I am a design researcher and oral historian specialising in the relationship between technology, work and material culture. I am a Senior Lecturer and ARC DECRA Fellow (Australian Research Council Discovery Early Career Research Award), within the UTS School of Design (Design Studies unit), University of Technology Sydney.
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 labour experiences, in the face of economic and technological change. In much of my work I speak to industrial workers, makers, tradespeople and manufacturers about the challenges of survival and transition over the past 40+ years.
I am the author of Industrial Craft in Australia (Palgrave Macmillan, 2021), and Hot Metal: Material Culture & Tangible Labour (Manchester University Press, 2016).
I am the founder and co-convenor of All Hands on Deck (with Dr Chantel Carr), an international cross-disciplinary symposium and two-volume book project on work, skill and material production at a time of human and environmental calamity (symposium to be held July 2023). In 2019 I initiated the UTS Design Studies collaborative project, Repair-Design (with A/Prof Alexandra Crosby).
I have initiated two oral history projects that are collected by the National Library of Australia: the Reshaping Australian Manufacturing Oral History Project (2017-2019), and Makers, Manufacturers & Designers: Connecting Histories, as part of my ARC DECRA (2021 – ongoing).
I am a regular commentator on the ‘right to repair’ and local manufacturing / industry policy reform in Australia.
NB: This is not an official UTS page.