Gene Bawden is a communication designer and Head of MADA’s Design Department. His research and design practice embraces the confluence of the material, the visual and the spatial, and the narratives of belonging articulated in each. Specifically he interrogates the design of Australian domestic spaces constructed as a prescriptive but highly charged representation of cultural belonging, social alignment and gendered expectation. His work reveals the historical context of Australia’s highly gendered spatial alliances, and the rich interplay of semiotics embodied within the constraints of the country’s Western-centric domestic milieu.
Gene is a member of the Faculty’s XYX Lab, which affords him the opportunity to combine his knowledge of gendered spatial practices and his communication design expertise within collaborative research projects aimed at mitigating gender inequity in Australia’s urban environments. Key to the Lab’s methodologies is the facilitation of Design Thinking processes using bespoke material tools of enquiry. This is an area of investigation that is increasingly part of Gene’s expanding area of material/spatial research; and manifests in his teaching through MADA’s design curriculum and the Monash MBA “Design Thinking” unit.