Sarah Teasley works across history, design research and social practice, with particular interests in the lived experience of old new biomaterials and biotechnologies in global circulation, and in how human and non-human power relations shape experience, within and as the result of design projects. Her other core research interest lies in transdisciplinary approaches and exchange between academic disciplines and between researchers and diverse industry and social communities, to enable and strengthen capacities for meaningful social and environmental change.
Her publications include Global Design History (Routledge 2011) and Designing Modern Japan (Reaktion 2022), as well as numerous book chapters and articles in journals such as Design Issues, The Journal of Design History and The Review of Japanese Society and Culture. She is a member of the Advisory Boards of Design and Culture and Design Issues, and previously served as Associate Editor of Design and Culture and Vice President of the Design Studies Forum.
At RMIT, she serves as Associate Dean for Research and Innovation in the School of Design. She teaches onto BA Industrial Design and the Masters in Design Innovation and Technology, and offers HDR supervisions in Design. Prior to joining RMIT in 2020, she was Reader in Design History and Head of Programme for History of Design at the Royal College of Art.
Sarah Teasley has extensive experience in industry and cross-disciplinary academic partnerships with museums, charities and design researchers and practitioners, and in consultancy for museums, government and the private sector.
In 2015-2020, she led the RCA’s joint postgraduate programme in History of Design with the Victoria and Albert Museum, co-designing and delivering integrated degree and research opportunities. In 2017-2020, she served as academic lead for the Design Trust-RCA Fellowship in Design Curation, a partnership to accelerate the development of creative curatorial expertise in design and architecture in Hong Kong and the Greater Bay Area.
Her consultancy work as an expert in design history, particularly design in modern Japan and histories of design innovation policy and practice, includes engagement with museums (exhibitions, permanent collections and public programming), national and local governments in Japan and the UK, SMEs and major multinational corporations. She has extensive experience in design publishing and film festival programming, including working in grassroots, bottom-up community organisations.
She is a strong advocate for multidisciplinary, industry-integrated research and learning and for responsive, respectful research that facilitates individual and community agency in decision-making.
Sarah Teasley’s research explores three inter-related questions:
In her work, Teasley attends to how stories are told and who tells them, aligning with the project to de-centre and reframe design history, history of technology, environmental history, STS and design research knowledge within Asia-Pacific regional and decolonial contexts.
Social history, design research, history of technology, design history, gender history, social practice, East Asia, Japan, Asia-Pacific, Asian history
Recently-completed HDR supervisions:
Other recent HDR supervisions:
Teasley, S. (2022)
M. Kelly and A. Rose eds. Theories of History: History Read Across the Humanities
Teasley, S. (2022)
S. Luckman and N. Hughes eds. Craft Economies: Cultural Economies of the Handmade, Bloomsbury Academic, 162-172
Teasley, S. (2018)
Acknowledgement of Country
RMIT University acknowledges the people of the Woi wurrung and Boon wurrung language groups of the eastern Kulin Nation on whose unceded lands we conduct the business of the University. RMIT University respectfully acknowledges their Ancestors and Elders, past and present. RMIT also acknowledges the Traditional Custodians and their Ancestors of the lands and waters across Australia where we conduct our business - Artwork 'Luwaytini' by Mark Cleaver, Palawa.
Acknowledgement of Country
RMIT University acknowledges the people of the Woi wurrung and Boon wurrung language groups of the eastern Kulin Nation on whose unceded lands we conduct the business of the University. RMIT University respectfully acknowledges their Ancestors and Elders, past and present. RMIT also acknowledges the Traditional Custodians and their Ancestors of the lands and waters across Australia where we conduct our business.