I am a researcher and educator in the trans-discipline of design for sustainability with a particular interest in exploring how design can contribute to enabling social change.
I have recently migrated from industrial design to visual communications design, and am committed to exploring the following questions through my research in the next few years:
- How can practices of visual communications design enhance ecological literacy?
- How can practices of visual communications design contribute to the most ambitious, emerging strategies of design for sustainability (system design; social innovation)?
- How can practices of visual communications design facilitate appropriate learning for more sustainable ways of living and working?
- How can the development of material perspectives and intuitions be supported by visual communications design practices?
Current projects include:
“On Wearing: a critical interpretative framework on design’s ‘already made’” with Dr Alison Gill. (Presentation at AAANZ 2009 paper and research project in development). This paper reflectively interrogates what can be learnt by attending to the worn and wearing across architecture, fashion, product and communications design. Wearing is explored as an intentional act and practice of creative extension as well as an important indice of use and duration that prompts some directions for visual communications design research. The theoretical framework for this project draws largely on practice theory (Schatzki, Reckwitz, Shove et.al.).
“Futures West: A Design Research Initiative Promoting Sustainable Futures for Western Sydney” (Conference presentation Cumulus 2009 and ongoing research initiative with Tara Andrews, Assoc Professor Jonathon Allen). This project seeks to mobilize design thinking and practice to amplify, cohere and extend relationships between researchers, educators and projects concerned with sustainability/climate change adaptation at the University of Western Sydney – a geographically and demographically dispersed university of 6 campuses spread across Greater Western Sydney, an area of 2,175 sq km kilometers largely connected by the car. A key theoretical source for this project is Tony Fry’s (2009) design as ‘redirective practice’.