Supervisor Meeting Time: Tuesday 11.30-2.30 (City Campus; Social Innovation Hub, Carlton; Gregory Lodge, Kensington)

I’m interested in how ‘design’ (in a very broad sense) can be used to create everyday experiences that contribute to people’s wellbeing. In my research and practice I combine a variety of methods from design, ethnography and cultural studies to embed myself in different contexts, where I collaborate with people in different design projects. My approach to teaching and honours supervision is interactive and participatory. I frame my supervision group as design team, where we all work together to get the best results in terms of learning experiences and tangible outcomes. I’m interested in supervising students interested in collaborative approaches to design practice and/or pursuing a future career in the field of design for wellbeing and/or focused on tangible aspects of design practice.

Current Research Activities

I’m a researcher associated with the School of Design, the Health Transformation Lab, the Social Innovation Hub, and the Design & Creative Practice – ECP.

As part of my research I’m implementing and/or running ‘Living Labs’ within Psychiatric Units, Aged Care Centres and ONGs. These ‘Labs’ are platforms for doing social innovation projects inspired by critical design frameworks and developed by recontextualising technologies and/or using lo-fi techniques. In these Labs I collaborate with staff and users to challenge assumptions about mental health, ageing and workplaces and prototype experiences to improve their future.

Honours Interests

In 2020, I’ll invite my honours students to be part of the project ‘Hacking Aged Care’, which is run in partnership with the Health Transformation Lab, the Social Innovation Hub and an aged care centre located in Kensington. As part of this initiative we (the students and I) will establish a ‘Living Lab’ at this nursing home and develop design projects to improve the everyday life and increase the wellbeing of its residents.

‘Hacking Aged Care’ aims to conduct design projects that challenge assumptions about what being old means, the social role of older persons in society and what aged care is supposed to be. The projects will explore the use of creative practice, storytelling, crafts, play, urban gardening, analogue and digital media, multi-sensory modulation (and anything else you could imagine) as part of aged care services. The Living Lab will be a social innovation platform based on a disparate variety of approaches and techniques including (but not limited to) DIY, hacking, retrofitting, virtual and augmented reality, lo-fi prototyping, self-publishing, street art, guerrilla gardening, gamification, and so on. Project outcomes could include commercial products, interactive objects and textiles, retrofitted – hacked or recontextualised (second-hand) objects, analogue and digital games, interactive and non-interactive projections, public exhibitions, urban interventions, publications (and anything else students would like to co-create in collaboration with aged care staff and residents).