Interview with Miriam Fanning (Mim Design)

Updated: Jan 19

This week we have the honour of introducing Mim Fanning to The Design Coach community. In our exclusive Thursday Masterclass, Mim is going to talk about her practice's holistic approach to design: why we design, how we communicate, what makes design stand the test of time and have meaning. This session also explores the benefit of integration and creation of projects with like-minded collaborators - something we are passionate about here at The Design Coach.

Like most designers in Australia, I have followed the superbly crafted interiors that Mim and her team have created since she launched her business in 2000. Next year her company is celebrating 20 years and I can genuinely say that I believe Mim has helped redefine the landscape of Australian design significantly within those two decades.

Mim is setting the standards for considered holistic design across multiple disciplines, from residential, retail, hospitality, multi-residential, workplace and (most recently added to the portfolio) exterior design. It is nearly impossible to travel through the major cities of our country without coming across one of the well-resolved and beautifully detailed projects that Mim Design have created. Moreover, Mim is herself a shining example that hard work and dedication really do pay off, as she has built her business from the ground up to become one of the most revered and lauded design firms in the country.

Celebrated as a successful business woman of the 21st Century, Mim is a positive role model to interior designers everywhere, especially to women who manage the often challenging balance of work and a family lives.

In our interview with Mim we find out more about the drivers that have contributed to her considerable success, and ask for some advice to budding designers keen to start their own practice.

Miriam Fanning is the Principal at Mim Design

TDC: Your design studio Mim Design is one of the best known and most respected interior businesses in Australia. Did you ever dream that you would be where you are today?

MF: When I had my first major job (with the Buchan Group), I didn’t envisage having my own business. I wanted to work on different sorts of projects, being inspired and excited about whatever I was working on. It wasn’t that I needed to be a senior designer, associate or director by a certain age, it was more about asking myself, “What can I do next that I haven’t done before? How can I expand my knowledge?”

When I did start my own business it was just me. I’m very authentic about what I do and who I am, and I thought it was always just going to be me. Hence the name, Mim Design. There was never really the intention to grow a firm and have a big team.