Ross McLeod is an Associate Professor in the School of Design at RMIT and Program Manager of the Master of Design Innovation and Technology.
As a designer, educator and academic, Ross sees his role as one that fosters a critical exploration of the issues informing contemporary design culture. His experiences in the fields of product design, furniture design, interior design and architecture have been instrumental in the establishment of a methodological framework for a creative practice that spans the design disciplines.
Through his work he is committed to the development and realisation of design projects, teaching practices and research activities that extend the boundaries of contemporary design and the sensibilities that surround it. This dedication to the evolution of design thinking is viewed as a school of thought that integrates the realms of the profession and the academy and which actively engages with the wider design community, both locally and internationally.
In his role as the manager of the RMIT Master of Design Innovation and Technology (MDIT) program, Ross coordinates a team of lecturers and postgraduate students who speculate on the future of design. This team is engaged in developing design methodologies that integrate the needs of people with the potentials that lie within technological innovation. Through the engagement of an international community of forward-thinking and practice-based academic researchers and professional designers, the program offers a dynamic learning environment that is in a continual state of evolution.
Each semester MDIT students choose from a range of partnered design projects and skill-based elective offerings that address the following research streams:
- Digital Fabrication - digital design, fabrication and advanced manufacturing
- Sustainable Systems – responsive and responsible energy-efficient design solutions
- Information Environments - connections between data, information, people and space
- Interactive Technologies – interactive and intelligent objects and spaces
- Spatial Sound - sound-based explorations across virtual, urban and natural environments
- Phenomena and Affect – embodied, sensorial and affective immersive environments
As innovation in design practice is positioned at the intersection of several disciplines, the program addresses issues from a wide variety of professions such as engineering, architecture, landscape architecture, interior design, industrial design, graphic design, service design, UX design, animation, interaction, lighting, media and sound design.
- 2011 Doctor of Philosophy - Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology
- 1998 Master of Architecture - Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology
- 1986 Associate Diploma (Furniture Design) -Tasmanian State Institute of Technology
- 1982 Bachelor of Arts (Industrial Design) - Sydney College of the Arts
Over the last decade, Ross has developed teaching and research collaborations with a range of industry, government and institutional partners. In these partnerships, he has led design research studios which seek to extend the knowledge and understanding of the design profession, through the undertaking of forward-thinking investigations into the principles and methodologies of professional and industry partners. Partners in these design research collaborations have included Stylecraft Furniture (2010,2012), DeCeCe Furniture (2012), Euroluce Lighting (2011, 2013), Melbourne Immigration Museum (2014), Haworth Furniture (2015), Reece Bathrooms (2016), Goulburn Murray Water (2016), City of Casey (2017), Grimshaw Architects (2017), TransUrban (2017), Lendlease (2017-2018), City of Melbourne (2019) and Museums Victoria (2020).
From 2017 – 2018, he was the lead researcher on The Exchange at Knowledge Market, an industry-funded, urban living laboratory and design ethnography research project, situated in Victoria Harbour, Docklands, Melbourne. The Exchange project involved the curation of a wide range of design postgraduate studios and workshops, exhibitions, public lectures and symposia. These included; the Zero exhibition for the Sustainable Living Festival, 2018; the Inner Worlds symposium for Melbourne Design Week, 2018; and the Sensor[ed] exhibition for Melbourne Knowledge, 2018. The Exchange project was a finalist in the Sustainability Award as part of the Melbourne Awards 2018.A book on the project The Exchange at Knowledge Market: An Urban Living Lab was published by Melbourne Books in 2019.
He is currently engaged in an ongoing research collaboration with Melbourne Museum exploring sensorial experience design in the creation of immersive environments.
- Lacey, J.,McLeod, R.,Anderson, C.,Khoo, C. (2018). Touchstone: a discussion of a digitally integrated artwork designed to facilitate community engagement In: Proceedings of the 2017 Responsive Cities/Active Public Space Symposium, Barcelona, Spain, 13-14 November 2017
- McLeod, R. (2018). Spatial Translations: A chronicle of the 'Hospital for Broken Things' installation in Hangzhou, China In: International Journal of Interior Architecture and Spatial Design Volume 5, ASD Publications, a Division of ATRIUM Press, University of Houston, United States
- Lacey, J.,McLeod, R.,Anderson, C.,Khoo, C. (2017). Touchstone In: Touchstone Clyde North, Australia
- McLeod, R. (2016). Crucible Collection In: Crucible Denpasar, Bali , Indonesia
- McLeod, R. (2016). The Idea of a Wall In: Space Design Award Contest Seoul, South Korea
- McLeod, R.,Lacey, J.,Khoo, C.,Anderson, C. (2016). Mnemonica: The Artwork Remembers In: Korean Institute of Interior Design(KIID) holds the KIID International Invitation Exhibition Seoul, South Korea
- McLeod, R.,Helsel, S.,Qiu, S.,Chua, J.,Hartono, D. (2015). Design Life Penang In: Design Life Penang Penang, Malaysia
- McLeod, R.,Zhang, A.,Yan, A.,Chen, J.,Zhou, C.,Zhu, C.,Shayne Ward, I.,Song, J.,Zhang, J.,Uldrikis, L.,Liu, R.,Sherlock, R.,Gu, T.,Wang, T.,Jiang, T.,Meng, X.,Li, X.,Li, Y. (2015). Hospital for broken things In: Hangzhou International Design Week Hangzhou/ China
- McLeod, R. (2014). Column In: THISNESS Melbourne, Australia
- McLeod, R.,Helsel, S.,Chyon, G.,Dewanto Ongkoutomo, C.,Taek Soo Tex, K.,Hong, C. (2013). Design Life SEOUL In: Design Life SEOUL Seoul, South Korea
2 PhD Completions and 2 Masters by Research Completions2 PhD Current Supervisions