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The 2nd Annual Design Research Conference

3 & 4 October 2019
Monash University, Melbourne

Image: Digital Grotesque II by Benjamin Dillenburger and Michael Hansmeyer
Photo by: Michael Hansmeyer and Hyunchul Kwon

Thank to all those involved in attending and supporting the ADR19, we had a wonderful time hosting. Enjoy below images, videos of keynote lectures and booklets of the event. View and download the peer-reviewed conference proceedings and other conference documents.

Keynote speakers

We were fortunate to have a diverse group of extremely talented researchers, designers and artists attend as Keynote speakers for The 2nd Annual Design Research Conference in 2019.

  • Brian Martin

    View his Keynote presentation...

    Brian Martin is Associate Dean Indigenous at Monash University Art, Design and Architecture and is from Bundjalung, MuruWarri and Kamilaroi ancestry. As a practising artist, Brian has been exhibiting his work for approximately 27 years, both nationally and internationally. His research has investigated the relationship of materialism in the arts to an Indigenous worldview and Aboriginal knowledge framework and epistemology. His work reconfigures understandings of culture and visual practice from an Aboriginal perspective, investigating the premise of (de)colonization and Indigenization in various fields. Also, an honorary professor of Eminence with Centurion University of Technology and Management in India, Brian co-authored the Australian Indigenous Design Charter and International Indigenous Design Charter, which provides culturally appropriate principles for designers and practitioners working with Indigenous peoples.

  • Benjamin Dillenburger

    View his Keynote presentation...

    Benjamin Dillenburger is Assistant Professor for Digital Building Technologies at the Institute of Technology in Architecture (ITA), Department of Architecture, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH Zurich).

    His research focuses on the development of building technologies based on the close interplay of computational design methods, digital fabrication and new materials. In this context, he searches for ways to exploit the potential of additive manufacturing for building construction.

    He was shortlisted for the MoMA PS1 Young Architects Program. His work has been widely published and exhibited at the FRAC Archilab 2013 exhibition, the Art Basel / Design Miami, and the Design Exchange Museum in Toronto.

  • Laura Lee

    Laura Lee, FAIA, Hon FRAIA, is a registered architect and was Professor of Architecture for 18 years at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, USA where she served as Head of the School from 2004-2008. She is an international voice for integrated design education, practice and research. Her work focuses on the development and implementation of integrated strategies and collaborative programmes between the academy, government, industry and the profession. Laura’s research is founded on two decades of developing case studies for the profession which have now evolving into full-scale prototypes for research-based practice academies.

    In 2009 - 2010, Laura was the 16th “Thinker in Residence” in South Australia, a program inviting global experts and leaders in their field to generate actionable and visionary recommendations for the government.. Focused on the value of design and the impact of the built environment on the quality of life, Laura published an "Integrated Design Strategy for Australia - Building the Future."

  • Cameron Tonkinwise

    View his Keynote presentation...

    Cameron is the Director of the Design Innovation Research Centre at the University of Technology Sydney. Cameron has a background in continental philosophy and continues to research what design practice can learn from material cultural studies and sociologies of technology. His primary area of research and teaching is Sustainable Design, specifically the ways which Service Design can advance Social Sustainability by decoupling use and ownership – what these days is referred to as the ‘Sharing Economy.’ He is also a strong advocate for the importance of critical practice-based design research. Cameron’s current focus, in collaboration with colleagues at CMU and an international network of scholar-practitioners, is Transition Design – design-enabled multi-level, multi-stage structural change toward more sustainable futures.

  • Yoko Akama

    View her Keynote presentation...

    Yoko Akama is Associate Professor in the School of Design, RMIT University, Australia. She co-leads the Design and Social Innovation in Asia-Pacific network and Design+Ethnography+Futures research program at RMIT. Her Japanese heritage has embedded a Zen-informed relational practice to carve a ‘tao’ (path) in design and has published extensively on this topic. This practice is shaped by working with regional communities in Australia in strengthening their resilience for disaster preparedness, and with Indigenous Nations enact their sovereignty and self-determination. She is a Research Fellow of an ecosystem innovation studio, Re:public Japan and winner of the prestigious Good Design Australia Awards in 2014 and 2018.

  • Jon McCormack

    View his Keynote presentation...

    Professor Jon McCormack is the founder and director of SensiLab, a creative technologies research space that connects different disciplines together to explore the untapped potential of technology. His research spans multiple disciplines, including design, art and computer science. He is the recipient of more than 16 national and international awards for both artistic creativity and technical research, including the Eureka Prize for Innovation in Computer Science and the Lumen Prize for Digital Art. He is currently an Australian Research Council (ARC) Future Fellow, working on a project to advance the integration of the digital and material in design.

Image: Leanne Zilka, Pleats Pavillion


Monash University was pleased to host Real/Material/Ethereal: the 2nd Annual Design Research Conference, held on 3 & 4 October 2019 in Melbourne.

The role of the ADR conference is to explore the developing role of design research in both academia and practice, to encourage dialogue between academic researchers and practitioners, and to act as an experimental platform to test and evolve new modes of disseminating design research. The conference invites academics, researchers and design practitioners in architecture, interior, design, landscape architecture, urban design and other related fields to convene for a series of presentations, panel discussions and workshops with an accompanying exhibition showcasing exemplary design research outcomes.

The inaugural conference, ADR18, was held at University of Sydney, convened by Mathew Aitchison and Sarah Breen Lovett. We look forward to ADR20 which will be hosted in by University of Tasmania in Launceston next year!

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Image: Gini Lee, Lake Eyre (detail)