Resilient Communities Focus Areas


Urban waste generation and consumption is growing rapidly globally, impacting on planetary health and wellbeing. We use concepts such as Urban Loveabiltiy and Conscious Cities, and approaches from Urban Informatics, Media Architecture, and Urban Morphology to explore how to improve the well-being of communities and places by paying attention to the details of our daily existence and struggle. Using innovation as a frame to focus on the positive, qualitative, intangible and dynamic aspects of the human condition in an urban context we explore empathy, social justice, connections to place, and technological transformations. Our research in this focus area is driven by responsible and sustainable design values spatially as well as experientially.



Design-led learning is a human-centred, participatory, experimental and iterative practice that invites participants to collaboratively explore the issues and challenges of existing situations and contexts to create more desired futures. Design practice seeks to observe, understand, reframe and generate new workable solutions for implementation, thereby developing creative, agentic, and reflective learners to build adaptive and innovative organisations and communities.

This research group collaborates and partners with individuals and organisations to 1) understand the impact of design-led learning approaches and environments, and 2) capture the value of the role of design in facilitating the development of new ways of working for a productive future workforce.



The future is regional. What role can design play in building better regions — socially, physically, economically, environmentally? How can we capture tacit and lived practices to inform better partnerships with communities and design?

Regions exist at multiple scales — global, city and regional contexts. Designers need to understand vulnerabilities to better assist recovery programs in the context of natural hazards and disaster events for communities. It involves rethinking the city, where resources are open, democratic and horizontally available. Our intention is to shift current practice and encompass transdisciplinary approaches to complex global problems, through systems-based change, designing for sustainable futures to redistribute, reuse, repurpose and recycle. Our research involves embracing alternative modes of design-thinking and transformative design outcomes to support future trajectories that are resilient.



Chief Investigators:

  • Assoc Prof Lindy Osborne Burton

    Areas of interest: Architecture Education, Architecture Practice, Learning Environment Design, Healthcare Design, Psychological Design, Salutogenic Design, Biophilic Design, Handmade Artists’ Books

  • Assoc Prof Glenda Caldwell

    Areas of interest: Design Robotics, Media Architecture, Urban Informatics

  • Assoc Prof Debra Cushing

    Areas of interest: Landscapes for health and wellbeing, Children and nature, Park design, Playable urban design, Artful placemaking

  • Dr Muge Fialho Leandro Alves Teixeira

    Areas of interest: Design Robotics, Digital fabrication and manufacturing, parametric design, transdisciplinary design research, phenomenology of perception, multimodal spaces, pancomputational design strategies

  • Prof Marcus Foth

    Areas of interest: Urban Informatics, Smart Cities, Media Architecture, Sustainability, More-than-Human Futures, Critical Data Studies

  • Dr Nick Kelly

    Areas of interest: Design Cognition, Design Education, Interaction Design, Ontological Designing, Pluriversal Design, Cognition of Creativity

  • Dr Jeremy Kerr

    Areas of interest: Co-design, design methods, communication design, mental health, informal and formal education, nutrition, inclusive design, design thinking, visual communication, co-production

  • Ms Marissa Lindquist

    Areas of interest: Neuroarchitecture, Intergenerational Living and Learning Environments, Health and Environments, Design and Emotion, Regional Communities, Fashion and Space, Experimental Fabrication

  • Assoc Prof Sean Maher

    Areas of Interest: Urban Spatiality, Cinematic Cities, Documentary and Ethnography, Innovation through Design

  • Dr Dan Nyandega

    Areas of Interest: Water sensitive cities and design: architecture, infrastructures, and landscapes; Rising water levels in low-lying coastal cities – sea level rise and flooding; Water and shoreline infrastructure futures; Public buildings and open spaces as decentralised water infrastructures; Emerging construction techniques, technologies, and materiality for future territories on and under water; Incremental adaption of highly modified lowlands (reclaimed land) in coastal cities to effects of rising water/sea levels.

  • Ms Tessa Rixon

    Areas of Interest: Scenography Digital Performance and Extended Reality Design Intermedial Theatre design Australian scenographic identities and histories Ecoscenography and climate crisis theatre design

  • Dr Manuela Taboada

    Areas of interest: Decolonial Design, Speculative Design, More-than-human design, Design Activism, Deep Ecology Behavioural Change, Systems Thinking, Cultural Identities and Migration, Environmental Social and Cultural Sustainability

  • Dr Anastasia Tyurina

    Areas of interest: Imaging Science, Creative Coding, Augmented Reality, Data Visualisation, Graphic Design, Visual Communication, Interactive Art, Ecological Art, Science Communication, Art & Science, STEAM

  • Dr Kirsty Volz

    Areas of interest: Housing Diversity Missing Middle Housing and Density Design-led solutions for housing affordability Queensland Architectural History Filmic Interiors Design for Manufacturing Technology in Construction

  • Dr Natalie Wright

    Areas of interest: Design thinking, design education, STEM, secondary schools, design methods, 21st century education, learning environments, informal learning

Affiliate Investigators:

  • Mr Dean Brough

    Areas of interest: Skin cancer prevention Design of playgrounds and parks for healthy communities, Apparel design for health and well being

  • Dr Sue Cake

    Areas of interest: Screenwriting/Scriptwriting, Narrative Comedy, Screenwriting Pedagogy, VR/XR/AR

  • Dr Emma Felton

    Areas of Interest: Urban cultures and sociability, place-making and the role of art and culture in cities. Social inclusion and diversity and inclusion

  • Assoc Prof Tiziana Ferrero-Regis

    Areas of interest: Sustainability in local/regional areas, city and the circular economy, textile and fashion exchange practices, transition design.

  • Dr Judy Matthews

    Areas of interest: Business model innovation, design led innovation, design and strategic organisational renewal, creativity and entrepreneurship, exploration and exploitation, human resource management and innovation, innovation in SMEs, knowledge management and innovation, problem rraming and solving in complex environments

  • Dr Deanna Meth

    Areas of interest: Design education and pedagogies, transdisciplinary education, education for sustainability, education policy and discourse

  • Prof Alice Payne

    Areas of interest: Fashion design, textiles, sustainable fashion, circular economy, more-than-human design

  • Dr Shannon Satherley

    Areas of interest: Landscape meaning, creative practice in landscape, landscape ecology, design studio education, post-industrial landscapes

  • Dr Madeline Taylor

    Areas of interest: Design collaboration, Emotional intelligence, Fashion, Costume, Performance design, Critical fashion practice,

  • Dr T.J. Thomson

    Areas of interest: Visual Communication, Media Production and Consumption, Self-Representation, Everyday Image Making, Digital Storytelling, Emerging Technologies, News in Regional and Rural Areas

  • Dr Jane Turner

    Areas of interest: Ontological design, Game design, Critical literacies, Interactive narrative design, Software & systems culture, Material culture, Place and meaning-making, Animal interaction design

Postdoctorial Research Fellows

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