Dr Gnanaharsha Beligatamulla

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Areas of interest: Design Thinking Pedagogy, Contemporary Design Practice and Theory (Design Thinking, Co-design, Participatory Design, Human-Centred Design), Integrated and transdisciplinary design, User experience beyond digital products, Teaching-Learning-Assessment in Design, Creativity and Innovation for all

PhD (Queensland University of Technology), B.Des (Hons) (University of Moratuwa), PGDip (Arch) (University of Kelaniya), CTHE (University of Colombo), SEDA (UK), FHEA, MHFA

Gnanaharsha completed his PhD at QUT. His PhD research focused on deepening the understanding of design thinking pedagogy in higher education worldwide, with significant findings. The doctoral project adopted a phenomenographic approach.  For his doctoral study, he received two scholarships – the Australian Government Research Training Program Stipend International (RTPSI) (changing from QUTPRA) and QUT HDR Tuition Fee scholarship. Continuing his passion for human-centred design and user research, he is currently engaged in a research project with the QUT Law School to explore design thinking in legal education.

Gnanaharsha has twelve plus years of practice experience as a designer, lecturer, principal and consultant. He facilitates design thinking, design sprint, creativity and innovation workshops for transdisciplinary teams. He also has taught in ten plus units at QUT School of Design, School of Architecture and Built Environment, and Oodgeroo Unit continuously since 2017 as a Sessional Academic. In addition, he was a Lecturer at the Department of Integrated Design, Faculty of Architecture, University of Moratuwa Sri Lanka.

Gnanaharsha is an internationally accredited teacher in higher education and a Fellow of Higher Education Academy. He has taught 35 plus units in universities such as Theory and Principles of product design, Product Semiotics, Ergonomics, History of Art and Design, Product UX and UI Design, Research Strategies in Design, Design and Sustainability, Design Psychology, Design in Society, etc.

He was an active member of the Higher Education Research Network’s Higher Degree Research – Special Interest Network (HERN HDR SIN) at QUT. In addition, he has served as; Chairman – Education and Training at the Sri Lanka Institute of Interior Designers (SLIID); Executive Committee Member at the Sri Lanka Association for Improving Higher Education Effectiveness (SLAIHEE); Secretary – the Alumni Association of Department of Integrated Design (AADID). Also, he was a Committee member of the Intellectual Property Advisory/ Assessment Committee (IPAC/IPaC) of the University of Moratuwa.

Thesis Title: “Design thinking pedagogy: A phenomenographic study of design thinking teaching in the higher education context”.