BA (Hons), PG dip, MA, PhD, FSA Scot, FRAI


Email: Wendy.Gunn@monash.edu

BIO: Wendy Gunn is Jiangsu University Jinshan Distinguished Professor, Art School of Jiangsu University, Jiangsu University, Zhenjiang, Jiangsu, P.R. China. In parallel, Wendy is Adjunct Professor (Research) in Design, at MADA Faculty of Art, Design and Architecture. At MADA, she is connected to the Emerging Technologies Lab, and is working on a number of research projects and publications that complement the Lab’s core themes: energy futures, future mobilities, public space, and design for health and wellbeing. Her current research at Jiangsu University gives focus to creating sustainable material futures for healthcare facilities in China. The research contributes to a wider research context at the Department of Environmental Design, School of Art, Jiangsu University exploring interrelations between landscape architecture, quality of life and designing with communities of practice. Integral to her role at Jiangsu University is to build research capacity through interdisciplinary Chinese led research projects leveraging her international network.


As a researcher, she has cross-disciplinary expertise in design, architecture and anthropology and significant experience of conducting collaborative research as part of multidisciplinary design teams involving both private and public sectors. Central to her research is a close connection between theory and practice, research and teaching. Underpinning her research inquiry is a concern with the affects that design processes and future making practices have on people who engage with products, services, buildings and urban landscapes. This research inquiry is informed by a problematization of existing notions of sustainability and intervention within design processes and practices and has been underpinned by a longer-term aim to understand how people’s sensory experience and perceptual acuity can be involved during design processes and future making practices.


Collaboration is central to Wendy’s research and has involved working as a researcher and research supervisor with company and industrial partners. Since 2005 she has defined frameworks for moving collaborative research inquiry into design processes and practices integrating anthropological methodologies and theoretical concepts with creative methods. Her publications explore such processes and practices through ethnographic documentation of design experimentation and analysis of emergent properties, involving learning, imagination, cooperation, etc., as well as methodological implications. In her research, she demonstrates an ability to adapt analytical insights to social processes of collective learning and skill development, and to apply those insights to design processes.


As a leading scholar in Design Anthropology, she has played a crucial role in establishing a research agenda for the field of Design Anthropology at an international level. This includes developing conceptual and analytical frameworks whereby experimental design practice is the process of research inquiry, and coediting two agenda setting key texts in the field, Design and Anthropology (Routledge, 2016, 2012) and Design Anthropology: Theory and Practice (Bloomsbury Academic, 2013). As a result of her research contributions, the field of Design Anthropology has developed as an important area of interdisciplinary research. Wendy has published several articles and books with international publishers including: Routledge, Bloomsbury, Ashgate, Berghahn, Peter Lang, Sage. She also has many years experience of curatorial and knowledge transfer communicating scientific research in different forms to divergent audiences. Currently, she is working on an encyclopaedia article on Design Anthropology in Europe for the Oxford Research Encyclopaedia of Anthropology, to be published by Oxford University Press. As a research supervisor, Wendy has supervised BA, BSc, MA, MSc, PhD and industrial PhD students across the fields of design, architecture and anthropology. Thesis partners, among others: Dong Energy; Össur; Oticon; Focon Electronic Systems; DanChurchAid. Supervised doctoral thesis topics include: The Patient as Skilled Practitioner: A Design Anthropology Approach to Enskilment in Health and Technology; Different Matters of Invention: Design Work as the Dissimilar Design Artefacts; Reconcepualising Understandings of Agency: Within the Demand Side Management in a Future Electricity SMART Grid Infrastructure. Integral to Wendy’s research activity was the development of the first international PhD course in Design Anthropology attracting over sixty students globally. Wendy has chaired PhD committees and examined PhD students at SDU (Denmark); NNTU (Norway); QUT (Australia); and Uni. of Glasgow (Scotland). She previously was an external examiner at Faculty of Engineering, DTU-Man.Eng/Innovation & Sustainability & Social-Technical design, Danish Technical Univ. of Denmark, Copenhagen, Denmark, 2006-2010; and is currently an external examiner at The Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts in Copenhagen; Design School in Kolding; and Aarhus School of Architecture.




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