In 2020 I start my new journey as Asst. Prof at Emily Carr Institute for Art and Design, In Vancouver, Canada. I look forward to a new way of working, with a wonderful, dynamic set of people, in a new place—a new continent, a different ecology and very different weather!
I have taught in the Industrial Design Programme at RMIT University, Melbourne, since 2005. Here I designed and delivered a range of bespoke skill, theory and studio courses. I also supervised students at the Honours level through a year long project aimed at delivering both design and research outcomes.
This studio addresses the life event of pregnancy and explores this diffuse domain as a site for thinking through complex problems. We focus on pregnancy and childbirth with the intention of addressing agency, over-medicalization, and problematic social narratives it faces. We examine ways to normalize and understand pregnancy socially, through research and enabling tools and artefacts.
This studio explores this area of Sound through the design and construction of objects that either respond to or disrupt existing musical traditions, or propose new ways to thinking about how sound can be the preliminary driver for social or aesthetic response. In this studio we develop a proposition for, and make an object or an installation that creates sound for a specific outcome or purpose.
This studio aims to curate an opportunity for students to explore ideas of ecology, biophilia and the plant world in conjunction with design. One of the intentions is to extract from this an ecological consciousness, an awareness of the dialogue and critical ideas around ecology and the environment today. Learnings and projects are presented in the form of films. This establishes the basis for the second aspect of the studio—where students develop a proposition for a project that is focused around the biological (plant) world, and develop it to a point where they then fabricate a working prototype.
Design Studies are theoretical courses that offer frameworks for design thinking. ThingSpeak is a tutorial that offers a series of Methods for how to comprehend objects. Over 12 weeks this is done using 3 lenses—the cognitive, the responsive and the technical/material. Students bring it all together at the end of the semester with a ‘knowledge object’ which reflects how this translates into design. Similarly Tic-Tac-Toe is a tutorial that offers 9 design tactics to strategically disrupt or enhance the standard design process. Students are asked to explore design case studies that mirror their values and propose at the end of the semester their own Tactic.
Tic-Tac-Toe is a Design Studies tutorial that explores strategies and methods of approaching and revealing design thinking. Over one semester we explore 9 propositions that form alternatives to the status quo and offer ways to challenge design strategy. These tactics are a random selection of 9 – yet they offer a discourse on how we might interrogate the ideas we assume are critical to the essence of design action: The 9 tactics explored Generosity, Empathy, ReUse, Repair, Reduction & Reframing, Play, Futuring, Co-working, and finally Making. At the end of 12 weeks each participant proposed a tactic that offered an alternative to an already understood design thinking practice. This reveals how this might be demonstrated in a project.This a a compilation of 16 design tactics proposed by the participants of the Tic-Tac-Toe, design Studies Tutorial, 2017.
My pedagogical approach demands students first discover or identify their individual alignments and design values. These begin to be discovered through curatorial exercises and creating personal compendiums and collections in any form. Based on this, courses allow students to develop projects within their own areas of interest that align with the overarching field of the course. Meaningful directions are sought for students to choose elements of program content, the methods and mediums in which they wish to work, and ways to delve deeper into their unique areas. Theory courses are deeply integrated with making, as I believe the alignment of the two is essential to design thinking. Music and food are essential parts of all workshops and students are encouraged to find the places of laughter and humour to make enduring associations of work and enjoyment.
Skill courses in communication were based on vector sketching in Adobe Illustrator and rendering in Photoshop for 1st year students. This was followed by a course in Diagramming that emphasises another form of communication – that of content, language and time, over simply one of form.
List of Courses : Designed, Developed & Delivered
|Upper Pool studio
|2nd & 3rd yr
|2nd & 3rd yr
|The Book Lab Studio
|2nd & 3rd yr
|Design Studio 1:
Design Studio 2:
The Happiness Studio
|Design Studio 3:
|Historical Narratives in Design
|2008 – 09
|1st, 2nd & 3rd yr
Digital Drawing &