Meet The State of Design Team

The State of Design: Research to the Power of Ten™

Meet our ten founding research partners work across WA’s five universities: Curtin, Murdoch, UWA, ECU and Notre Dame. With expertise spanning the wide range of design disciplines and economics, entrepreneurship and the social sciences, our research team has extensive knowledge and experience of research for, about and through design.

Dr Philip Ely

Discipline Lead, Design Futures
Curtin University

Philip is the cofounder of The State of Design. He is a design-led innovation researcher and practitioner with research and consultancy experience in interactive design, social entrepreneurship, design management and leadership. With a PhD in sociology, Philip has experience of design and ethnographic research methods applied to the development of innovative new products and services. He was Associate Dean and founding Head of the Business & Community School at University for the Creative Arts, UK, where he led business and community engagement applying design-led innovation to regional development, heritage and design entrepreneurship, leading a AU$1.5m knowledge transfer project across three Universities funded by the UK Government. Prior to joining academia in 2003, Philip held senior positions in the design, music and television industries leading and securing projects in excess of AU$22.3m. In 2018, Dr Ely was an Australian Research Council Excellence in Research (ERA) reviewer for Design.

Lara Pinho

Lecturer, School of Design
University of Western Australia

Lara Pinho is an architect who is focused on issues of sustainability and social impact. A lecturer in the UWA School of Design, Lara’s interest in social impact emerged after winning the international Open Source House Competition with Emerging Ghana, an eco-affordable housing design for the emerging middle class in Ghana. Her more recent work in sustainable and humanitarian living includes a current project, Mutable Mobile, which is critically examining design in the context of post-consumer waste. Lara has completed a number of eco-, humanitarian and indigenous dwelling projects in her capacity as both academic researcher and founder of Portugese architectural firm blannc borderless architecture and has won awards across the globe for her work. She was the co-founder of the not-for-profit Associação Adobe for Women based in the southern Mexican state of Oaxaca.

Associate Professor Stuart Medley

Coordinator of the BDes
Edith Cowan University

Stuart is a highly regarded visual communicator, with a PhD in Visual Communication from ECU. As a researcher, educator and practitioner he has expertise in deliberate communication using pictures and has published books (The Picture in Design), chapters (in Developing Citizen Designers and Illustration: Art & Theory) and journal articles (for example, in The International Journal of Visual Design, The International Journal of the Image, Studies in Comics and the Journal of Design Research. As a professional illustrator, Stuart has been commissioned by the Imperial War Museum (UK) and Berg Publishing. He is Art Director for Australian record label Hidden Shoal and Co-founder and Co-chair of the Perth Comic Arts Festival. He has recently been heading work using comics and visual prototypes for service design to improve employment and housing services.

Dr Mark Cypher

Academic Chair, Graphic Design
Murdoch University

Dr Mark Cypher has been teaching in the art and design fields and working with clients in both the digital, print and communication design environments for over 20 years. He has been responsible for the construction, development and teaching of several TAFE Diploma and University Bachelor Degrees and, as Principal for (a design consultancy) consults in communications design, book design, identity design and web design for cultural, not for profit, and corporate clients. Mark is also an experienced international new media artist, having exhibited in over 30 international exhibitions and is represented in several Australian state and national collections such as the National Library of Australia (Pandora archive), Art Gallery of Western Australia, ArtBank (Sydney) and Casula Powerhouse (Sydney). Mark received his PhD from the University of Western Australia in 2011.

Dr Robyn Creagh

Senior Lecturer, Architecture
The University of Notre Dame Australia

Dr Robyn Creagh is an applied researcher, passionate teacher and engaging facilitator. Robyn undertakes collaborative research with industry and interdisciplinary partners at the intersection of built environment design, lived experience and sense of place and leads the interdisciplinary, creative and applied research stream. Prior to this she was a Lecturer at Curtin University, teaching in Architecture and Planning. During 2014-2016 Robyn held a post-doctoral research fellowship at the Centre for Sport and Recreation Research. In 2019 her co-edited book Visual Spatial Enquiry: Diagram and Metaphors for Architects and Spatial thinkers was published in the Routledge Research in Architecture series. The book brings together architects and spatial thinkers from the arts, social sciences and humanities to present rich case studies through which to appraise and consider research approaches, methods and process within and across their fields. Robyn has served as Joint-Editor for The Architect magazine, the journal of record for the Australian Institute of Architects WA. Her most recent publications have grown out of a teaching collaboration of universities and industry partners to bring hands and place-based learning experiences to post graduate students in built environment programs nationally

Erica Ormsby, Christopher Kueh, Paul Flatau and Katie Stubley coming soon…

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