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About us

At Public Research + Design we take the guesswork out of creating places, services and experiences that people love. We approach research and community engagement in a unique way, developing a deeper understanding of your customer and community, now and in the future. We uncover their patterns of behaviour, their needs and aspirations – making sense of what this means; leading to the creation of more successful built environments, services and experiences.

What does this mean for you?

We add measurable value across the project spectrum, from reduced reputational risk, holding costs and shorter approval times, to improved design outcomes, stakeholder relationships and increased profitability.


Our story

Public’s cofounders, Edward and Lena Belin have spent their careers working with many of the largest organisations in Australia. 


Ed’s focus has been on what to build and how to build it, through business analysis and project management. Lena helps businesses understand why people do what they do, through her background in design anthropology and business consulting. 


Through their involvement in the delivery of many built environments, both Ed and Lena noticed a difference between places and spaces that worked and those that didn’t… the most successful leveraged a deep understanding of the real needs and aspirations of their users, now and into the future. 


This led Lena and Edward to envisage a different type of research consultancy.


Public Research + Design was created to more deeply embed the user experience into architecture, design and development… so that, ultimately, humans can have better places to live, work and play. 


Edward Belin

Co-founder of Public Research and Design

Edward is an accomplished project manager and strategist with decades of experience at the interface of business, end user and the built environment. He has extensive experience delivering projects for the Department of Education in Victoria, and the Department of Health in Queensland. Previously he served as an internal consultant in the Defence Force, focusing on the assessment of strategic infrastructure acquisitions. 


A high-level project management and stakeholder engagement expert, Ed has typically worked on time-sensitive projects with multilevel C-suite and board-level stakeholders.

He brings a strong analytical, project and business process perspective to his work, with a healthy dose of user advocacy along the way. His multi-disciplinary background helps him act as the interface between designers, developers, customers and the business – leading to better outcomes all round.  


Throughout his career, Ed’s frustration with inadequate design processes leading to poor outcomes has grown. This is the driving force behind his passion for embedding a deep understanding of user needs into the design of our built environment, to create better outcomes for communities. 


Edward’s full career history - LinkedIn

Dr.Lena Belin

Dr Lena Belin

Co-founder of Public Research and Design

Lena is a designer, researcher and strategist. She brings deeper user insights into the design of spaces, places, services and strategies. She researches people, working alongside them to design things that fit their needs and desires – even when they are hidden or unconscious. 


Her work leads to business and social innovation, and better outcomes for everyone.

Recently Lena won two Good Design Awards, for her engagement and strategy work with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in the Queensland Government. Prior, her work in the education sector earned her a special commendation at the Victorian Premier’s Design Awards. She has consulted to some of Australia’s most well-known organisations, including Australia Post, Museums Victoria, and others. 

In 2019, Lena was selected by the Queensland Government to be trained as a Climate Reality Leader. She spent three days with former Vice President Al Gore, expert scientists and Indigenous leaders learning about the climate crisis in the Australia / Pacific region and how together we can minimise its impact.

As a social researcher, systems designer - and as a human - Lena is committed to using her knowledge to help us transition to a new economy that integrates human wellbeing with that of the planet.


Read Lena’s full career history -  LinkedIn

Ready to find out more? Contact us today for a free consultation on your project at

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