Sarah Johnstone


Publications by classification


Built Environment And Design
Studies In Human Society
Language, Communication And Culture

Publications by year


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HDR Student

Sarah Johnstone is a design researcher and PhD candidate within the Urban Informatics Research Group at the QUT Design Lab. She graduated from a Bachelor of Design (Interior Design) degree at QUT in 2014 with a particular interest in design for sustainability and the social welfare sector. During her studies, Sarah was actively involved in contributing to a vibrant student community, through various roles as a Campus Life Volunteer, QUT Connector; president of the Queensland Branch of the Design Institute of Australia (DIA) – Tarmac Student Council; student mentor for the Living City Project and guest critic for student presentations.

In 2014, Sarah won a Vacation Research Experience Scheme (VRES) Scholarship at QUT, which encouraged her to pursue a PhD at QUT. Since starting her PhD, Sarah has been a committee member of the UR{BNE} Collective through her involvement in PARKing Day, was selected for the 2016 Übercamp, and has worked on a number of research projects with a focus on co-design, innovation, and engagement, including the InstaBooth (2014-17), the CASE for Women event (2016), and most recently the HiQ Engine Room with the Learning the Teaching Unit (Student Success Group) QUT. Sarah has also tutored for the Design and Creative Thinking unit at QUT, published several papers, and presented at OZCHI and UPPD Conferences in 2016.

Research Areas: Design, Feminist Theory, Intersectional Feminism, Care Theory, Creative Engagement, Socio-spatial Ecology, Narrative, Zines.

Phd Research: Empowerment through Care-full Creative Engagement: A new methodology for Community Development

This study is about developing a methodology for care-full creative engagement to enhance community development and empower Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CALD) women living in Logan, one of the fastest growing, and most culturally diverse cities in Queensland. However, it is also a city with significant socio-spatial segregation for migrant populations. This study explores a new way to address the issue of social isolation, commonly experienced by CALD women, by engaging and empowering them through caring and creative methods of storytelling and making. It is aimed at developing a new way to apply creativity as a tool (rather than an outcome) to the design of programs and services within the Community Development sector, and creating an ‘Ecology of Care’ for CALD women in Logan.