May 6, 2021


Mark Trathen – Designer and Project Manager

Design, Planning & Site Management

As a Project Manager/Designer, my role entails 3 things:

  1. Designing
  2. Planning
  3. Site Managing

As a Designer, I am responsible for the overlay design of various events across Australia. This means determining how all of the temporary event infrastructure comes together and how the site functions as a whole.

As a Project Planner, I manage contractor scopes from such things as budgeting to construction programmes. The planning phase involves regular interaction with key stakeholders involved in the build of the event.

As a Site Manager, I have the opportunity to see my designs translate on the ground. Site management involves coordinating the various construction activities on site and working with the numerous suppliers to achieve the desired outcomes.

Background Experience Counts

Working previously as a Landscape Architect, my work was focussed on designing spaces. This could be anything from designing a carpark to the masterplan of a resort complex. With such variety in scale, my work was sometimes quite conceptual and sometimes very detailed.

Moving into my role with iEDM, it was a great opportunity to apply these skills into the design of large-scale event precincts. Designing an event is essentially designing a large space. The key difference…it’s all temporary infrastructure and it’s a hell of a lot more exciting.

The Importance of Design

As the saying goes, a picture says 1,000 words. This is particularly true in what I do. Events are highly dynamic environments with many moving parts and time-critical deadlines. The ability to convey information clearly and succinctly is key. This starts with having a clear vision of what you are trying to achieve and then using drawings to communicate your ideas effectively.

Taking the time to plan properly and capture key details on a set of drawings can help people digest information quickly which in turn saves significant amounts of time when building an event.

The 2019 Gold Coast 600 was a good example of this process, where we took a step back from the event that we had produced over many years and carefully considered how we wanted to freshen up the event. It started with looking at the site more conceptually and getting a better understanding of some of the functional elements including people movement, key views, access nodes and how each event space linked together.

After determining the vision and exploring the functional aspects of the site, we were then able to develop successful detailed outcomes that were consistent with our vision. The event was a big success and the drawings were a key tool in communicating the vision to everyone on the ground.

By Mark Trathen – Designer and Project Manager


Mark Trathen – Designer and Project Manager