I’m a design researcher specialising in the relationship between technology, work and material culture. I’m a Senior Lecturer and Chancellor’s Postdoctoral Research Fellow in the School of Design, Faculty of Design, Architecture & Building, University of Technology Sydney (UTS). In 2021 I will commence an Australian Research Council Discovery Early Career Research Fellowship (DECRA), for the project: Australian Design, Trades and Manufacturing 1945-2007: Connecting Histories.
My research shifts between historical and contemporary contexts and focuses on the quieter and less fashionable sides of design: industrial craft, manufacturing, repair, skill loss and human redundancy in the face of economic and technological change. My current (post-doctoral) research investigates the relationship between digital fabrication technologies and the social relations of Australian manufacturing, with a particular focus on industrial craft. In 2017 I initiated the Reshaping Australian Manufacturing Oral History Project in partnership with the National Library of Australia, which features in-depth interviews with industrial craft tradespeople, specifically engineering patternmakers.
I am the author of Hot Metal: Material Culture & Tangible Labour (Manchester University Press, 2016), which examines technological change and workplace upheaval in the Australian printing industry between the 1960s and the 1980s. Hot Metal pioneered an interdisciplinary approach that integrates design history, labour history and oral histories of working life. My forthcoming book, Voices of Industrial Craft will be published by Palgrave Macmillan’s Oral History Series (currently in preparation).
I am also co-CI on Repair Design, an emerging collaborative project, which opens up informed, realistic and meaningful public discourse about repair practices, capacities and limitations in an Australian context (with co-CI: A. Crosby, AIs: T. Lee, K. Scardifield, UTS Design Studies).
PhD in Design from UTS (2014)
Master of Arts from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (2009)
Bachelor of Art Theory (Hons Class 1) from UNSW (2005)
ARC Discovery Early Career Researcher Award (2021)
Co-winner UTS Faculty of DAB Early Career Research Excellence – External Funding (2020)
Finalist – UTS Early Career Researcher Award (2018)
UTS Chancellor’s Postdoctoral Research Fellowship (2016)
UTS Chancellor’s List for the Top 6 PhD Theses (2015)
Australian Postgraduate Award (2011)
UNSW University Medal (2005)
Professional: I am a member of the Australian Centre for Public History, where I co-lead the Design + History research node and also contribute to the Work & Technology group. Also a member of: Design History Society, Oral History NSW & Society for the History of Technology; past editorial board member for Craft + Design Inquiry; regular peer reviewer: Journal of Design History, Design and Culture; Technology & Culture. Before entering academia, I worked at Art & Australia magazine, the National Library of Australia and Sydney Living Museums.
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