Andy Bates

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Andy Bates is an interactive artist, designer, researcher and PhD candidate in the Urban Informatics group within the QUT Design Lab. Andy is currently employed as an associate lecturer across both Interaction Design and Visual Communication disciplines in the QUT School of Design. In this role he is both lecturing in Advanced Web Design and Design Thinking, as well as developing new course content for upcoming design units and a series of interaction design resources to aid undergraduate student in implementing design/design research methods in their projects.

Andy has extensive teaching experience, having been employed as a sessional academic (tutor) since 2014 and has tutored in areas that include: branding, web design, interface design, user experience design, design thinking, data visualisation, embodied media, tangible media and visual communication theory. It is through his background in visual design and further studies in interaction design that Andy has established a reputation as an adaptive, versatile and approachable educator that is well suited to working across disciplines.

Beyond being a keen educator, Andy’s creative practice sits within the field of interactive art, which is an interest that emerged and evolved during his undergraduate studies in tangible and embodied interactive media. Andy has presented two collaborative artworks at the 2013 and 2014 Ars Electronica Festival in Linz, Austria. This festival is arguably the premiere event for media art at an international level and beyond this, Andy has also presented work at various local, national and international events and festivals.

Andy’s research career began with an honours degree where he was investigating the notion of exclusive experience in interactive art, which can be understood as an experience that is transient to a single moment in time, perceived by a single individual, with the research seeking to unpack whether these experiences held more value for those individuals experiencing them. While his initial research interests were focussed on qualities of individual experience in interactive art, Andy has extended his research to focus on broader, ecological factors in interactive art through his PhD research.

PhD Research: (Re)connecting With Nature: making sense of biophilic design approaches in interactive art environments

Andy’s PhD focuses on the phenomena of biophilia, and particularly on how interactive artworks might facilitate biophilic experiences, which can be understood as experiences that evoke a deeply felt sense of connectedness to life – plants, animals and other human beings. The study involves the application of biophilic design principles, which have been adapted from architectural studies to interactive art, as well as the creation and evaluation of an interactive artwork that has been designed using these biophilic design principles. While this research initially began as a study focused on ways to inspire new ways designing interactive artworks that connect us to nature, it has evolved into a project that holds great significance as experiencing biophilia is evidenced to promote both wellbeing in humans as well as having positive impacts on how people perceive and treat natural environments – which is quite relevant to the current discourse around climate change and the Anthropocene.

Research areas:

  • Interactive art environments
  • Biophilia and biophilic design
  • Biophilic interactions
  • Practice-based research
  • Grounded theory methods