Professor Laurene Vaughan PhD is Dean of the School of Design at RMIT. She is internationally recognised as a leader in interdisciplinary and applied design research and pedagogy.
Since 1995 she has been a lecturer and research supervisor at RMIT for both Masters and PhD students. To date she has supervised 50 students through to successful completion of their degrees. Laurene was a founding Research Leader in the the RMIT Design Research Institute. As a design educator she has extensive experience in innovative approaches to online and studio education. She has successfully led national and international competitive funding applications that have enabled collaborative investigations into the future of design education. These include INTERACT (EU/Australia Mobility grant with University of the Arts London, Danish School of Media and Journalism and QUT); Design, Architecture, Practice Research (DAP_r) Australian Office of Learning and Teaching Grant; and an Eramsumus + staff/student Mobility Grant with DMJX.
Laurene's research investigates the interactive and situated nature of cultural production and the practices that enable this – both analogue and digital. Between 2005 -2009 Laurene was a Chief Investigator and Project Leader within the Australasian CRC for Interaction Design (ACID). Her investigations included explorations of design methodologies for interactive environments and new methods for working collaboratively in digital environments. She has been part of successful ARC, Australia Council and contract research projects.
Laurene was invited to the position of Neirenberg Chair, Distinguished Professor of Design, at Carnegie Mellon University, 2012 – 2013 for her leadership in practice based research and pedagogy. Laurene was a Chief Investigator on the Circus Oz Living Archive Project (archive.circusoz.com) and co-editor of Performing Digital (Palgrave). Laurene is currently a Chief Investigator on the Exemplar Health Design Evaluation of the Bendigo Hospital development (2016-2018). This project integrates ethnographic and design led methodologies in a stakeholder evaluation of this new psychiatric facility. Her most recent publication is Practice Based Design Research (Bloomsbury Academic, 2017), she is currently completing an edited collection Designing Cultures of Care (Bloomsbury Academic, 2018).
Laurene Vaughan is an active member of RMIT’s research community. She has provided leadership and mentoring to fellow researchers. Between 2005–2010 she was Project Leader and researcher within ACID (the Australasian CRC for Interaction Design).
Originally coming from an art and design education background with a major in sculpture, Laurene has melded a career of practicing artist, designer and educator in Australia and internationally. Within her research Laurene endeavours to explore and present comment on the interactive and situated nature of human experience, particularly the ways that we create and articulate the experience of place. For the past 5 years she has been investigating the historical and cultural evolution of vernacular artefacts: their making and their meaning. She enjoys identifying the unexpected within our everyday lives and then re-presenting them through images, words and artefacts in the areas of interaction design, social media and the vernacular crafts. Her interest in the complex ways in which we know things has led her to be actively engaged in the research investigations of the Arts and Cartography Working Group of the International Cartographic Association.
Throughout her career she has contributed to the pedagogy and scholarship of postgraduate supervision, realised in local and international invitations to run workshops and do presentations, as well as peer reviewed publications. She has had more than 30 successful PhD and Masters completions.
Laurene is on the editorial board for the Visual:Design:Scholarship journal. She is also a member of the DESIS network in Melbourne. She co-convened New Views 2 Symposium and Exhibition with Professor Teal Triggs at London College of Communication, University of the Arts London.
Laurene is registered as a research supervisor in the areas of Communication Design, Networked Media, and Interaction Design.
Research grants and projects
Australian Research Council (ARC) competitive grants applications
The Circus Oz Living Archive: developing a model for online digital engagement for the performing arts
Chief Investigator in conjunction with Dr David Carlin, Adrian Miles, Assoc. Professor James Thom, Assoc. Prof. Peta Tait, Michael Finch, Peter Williams, Patricia Stokes and Nicholas Herd.
ARC Linkage with Circus Oz and the Australia Council, LP100200118, awarded August 2010
Geo-placed Knowledge: developing a methodology for provisioning stakeholders in natural environments management with integrated media tools
Chief Investigator in conjunction with Prof. William Cartwright, A/Professor Colin Arrowsmith, Dr Brian Morris, Adrian Miles and Jeremy Yuille.
ARC Linkage with Parks Victoria, LP0883291, awarded June 2008
Other Funded Research
The Stony Rises Project (2008–2011)
Co-curator and researcher
This is a sub-project within the Affective Atlas cluster. It explores ways in which historical and social constructions of place can inform new design practices and interventions in the design of place-making systems. Touring Exhibition 2010–2011. Funded through Arts Victoria and NETS.
This project is an exploration of the relationship between walking, tourism, piligrimage and social networking technologies in the making of place.
Finalist in the inaugural RMIT Design Research Institute and Department of Innovation, Industry and Sustainability Design Challenge. Finalist and exhibited at the Museum of Melbourne. (Funded through DIISR)
Australasian CRC for Interaction Design (ACID)
ACID (Australasian CRC for Interaction Design)
Chief Investigator 2008–ongoing
Loupe explores the visualisation of electronic spaces such as blogs, wikis, email lists, forums, etc that are used for Knowledge Management. It seeks new ways to view and manipulate large amounts of information so that relationships, trends and tacit social networks can be seen and used to create and retain knowledge.
ACID (Australasian CRC for Interaction Design)
Project Leader and Chief Investigator
Modelled on rapid prototyping technology and processes, this project explores the design and development of a collaborative, generative platform for enable multiple designer use within media rich collaborative projects.
Ph.D. Communication Studies, RMIT University, 2004
Certified Professional Coach, International Coach Academy, 2004
Master of Arts (Fashion), RMIT University, 1998
Bachelor of Education (Secondary Art & Craft) Melbourne University, 1985
Laurene has a diverse industry background having worked in the fashion and design industries, arts management, interaction design, corporate training, change consultant and professional change coach.
Laurene is involved in research collaborations with Parks Victoria, Circus Oz, the Australia Council for the Arts and the Information Environments at London College of Communication, University of the Arts, UK.
2009 RMIT Vice Chancellor’s Award for Emerging Researcher
2003 RMIT Teaching Awards –Research Supervision Award, Co-winner with fellow team supervision applicants
- Nash, A.,Vaughan, L. (2017). Documenting digital performance artworks In: Documenting Performance: The Context and Processes of Digital Curation and Archiving, Bloomsbury Publishing, London, United Kingdom
- Sumartojo, E.,Pink, S.,Spong, L.,Vaughan, L. (2017). Feeling better: sensory rooms in an inpatient psychiatric unit In: Proceedings of the 3rd International Conference on Architecture, Research, Care and Health, Copenhagen, Denmark, 26-27 April 2017
- Yuille, J.,Varadarajan, S.,Vaughan, L.,Brennan, L. (2015). Leading through design: developing skills for affinity and ambiguity In: Design Management Journal, 9, 113 - 123
- Carlin, D.,Vaughan, L. (2015). Performing research in the creative arts, design and digital humanities: A dialogue In: Performing Digital: Multiple Perspectives on a Living Archive, Ashgate, Surrey, United Kingdom
- Vaughan, L. (2015). Performance, practice and presence: Design parameters for the Living Archive In: Performing Digital: Multiple Perspectives on a Living Archive, Ashgate, Surrey, United Kingdom
- Carlin, D.,Vaughan, L. (2015). Performing digital: An introduction In: Performing Digital: Multiple Perspectives on a Living Archive, Ashgate, Surrey, United Kingdom
- Vaughan, L.,Akama, Y. (2015). 24 hours noticing: Designing our encounters with place In: De-Signing Design: Cartographies of Theory and Practice, Lexington Books, Maryland, United States
- Moline, K.,Vaughan, L.,Haylock, B. (2015). This portfolio comprises two collaborative design curation projects: 'Experimental Practice: Provocations In and Out of Design' (RMIT Design Hub 2015) and 'Experimental Thinking / Design Practices' (Griffith University Art Gallery 2015) In: Various Various
- Yuille, J.,Varadarajan, S.,Vaughan, L.,Brennan, L. (2014). Affinity and ambiguity in designerly leadership In: Proceedings of the19th DMI International Design Management Research Conference, London, United Kingdom, 2-4 September 2014
- Vaughan, L. (2014). A Contemplative Atlas of Transition In: New American Notes Online (NANO), , 1 - 5
- DAP_r Design and Architecture Practice Research. Funded by: Office for Learning and Teaching Grant 2015 from (2016 to 2018)
- INTERACTive Studios & Innovation Networks for Future Design Careers. Funded by: Department of Education International Group Grant 2016 from (2014 to 2017)
- The Circus Oz Living Archive: developing a model of online digital engagement for the performing arts. Funded by: ARC Linkage Project Grant 2010 Round 2 from (2010 to 2015)
- Stony rises. Funded by: Creative Victoria Grant pre-2014 from (2010 to 2011)
- Geo-placed Knowledge: developing a methodology for provisioning stakeholders in natural environments management with integrated media tools. Funded by: ARC Linkage Project 2008 Round 2 from (2009 to 2012)
10 PhD Current Supervisions and 1 Masters by Research Current Supervisions21 PhD Completions and 19 Masters by Research Completions