2019 Conference

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2019 ACUADS CONFERENCE: Engagement

31st October – 1st November, Melbourne
ISBN: 978-0-9758360-5-7
Day 1: VCA Southbank Campus
Day 2: Capitol Theatre and RMIT City Campus

Conference website: https://art.rmit.edu.au/acuads

Conference Schedule
Conference Abstracts

The 2019 ACUADS Conference focused on the meaning of engagement for contemporary art and design schools: across disciplines, nationalities and cultures; but also with industries, communities and the world at large.

‘Our guiding principle was that design is neither an intellectual nor a material affair,  but simply an integral part of the stuff of life, necessary for everyone in a civilized society.’
— Walter Gropius

2019 marks the centenary of the founding of the Weimar State Bauhaus by Walter Gropius. Revolutionising models of art, design and architecture education at the time, the school drew on interdisciplinary ideals, international parameters and a deeply held social conscience. Gropius established the archetypal Modernist school by engaging across media, disciplines, cultures, classes and genders, with a deep commitment to the material, the applied and the experimental. These aspirations still ring true one hundred years later, although the models and context have changed.

The Australian Research Council‘s new Engagement assessment rates universities and fields of research on a low, medium, high, scale for:

Engagement: “interaction between researchers and research end-users outside of academia”
Impact: “contribution the research made to the economy, society, environment or culture, beyond the contribution to academic research”

In 2019, how do we demonstrate value without instrumentalising creativity? How do we research in order to achieve impact but also to explore the unknown? How do we educate to achieve innovation but remain connected to history? How do we sustain a critical commentary on society whilst receiving the rewards and resourcing? What can we learn from indigenous perspectives on engagement?  In the year when the Excellence in Research for Australia framework has articulated the first sector-wide measures of impact and engagement, we ask: does engagement allow new futures for art and design schools, or has engagement become a dirty word?

The conference, Engagement, was held in Melbourne, Victoria on the 31st October and 1st November. The conference was co-hosted by the School of Art and School of Design, RMIT University, and the Victorian College of the Arts, University of Melbourne.


Conference Steering Committee

Professor Kit Wise, Dean, School of Art, RMIT University (co-convenor)

Associate Professor Kate Daw, Head, VCA Art, Victorian College of the Arts, Faculty of Fine Art and Music, The University of Melbourne  (co-convenor)

Dr David Sequeira, Director, Margaret Lawrence Gallery, Victorian College of the Arts, Faculty of Fine Arts and Music, University of Melbourne

Dr Danny Butt, Associate Director (Research), Victorian College of the Arts, Faculty of Fine Arts and Music, The University of Melbourne

Associate Professor Shane Hulbert, Associate Dean Photography, School of Art, RMIT University

Associate Professor Richard Roberts, Performance Design, Victorian College of the Arts, Faculty of Fine Arts and Music, The University of Melbourne

Dr Neal Haslem, Associate Dean, Communication Design, School of Design, RMIT University

Dr Amy Spiers, 2019 ACUADS Conference Producer, School of Art, RMIT University



All the papers published here were subject to a process of double-blind peer review at both abstract (acceptance) and final paper stage (publication). Abstracts were revised and resubmitted following an initial stage of peer review. Final papers were reviewed by their authors subsequent to a further final stage of peer review. The papers were then subject to minor editing to ensure they are as free of errors as possible and that they consistently comply with the conference style guide.


Dr. Lyndall Adams (ECU), Harrison See (ECU), Fiona Bell: Public Arts: the academy engaging with Main Roads WA, industry and community
Bronwyn Bailey-Charteris (UNSW): Precipitational Learning in the Hydrocene
Prof. Estelle Barrett (University of Melbourne): Towards Relational Methodologies: Relationality and Ethical Know-How in Indigenous Research
Caelli Jo Brooker (University of Newcastle), Michelle Catanzaro (Western Sydney University), Bettina Hodgson (University of Newcastle), Ralph Kenke (University of Newcastle), Carl Morgan (University of Newcastle), and Katrina Sandbach (Western Sydney University): Not just for show: identity, engagement, and work integrated learning through design graduation exhibitions
Dr. Martine Corompt (RMIT) and Arie Rain Glorie: Testing Grounds – beyond the studio
Assoc. Prof. Cameron Bishop and Prof. David Cross (Deakin University): Venetian Blind – A New Model for PhD Research in the Creative Arts
Prof. Julian Goddard (RMIT) and Dr. S. Chandrasekaran (LASALLE): Engaging Asia
Lawrence Harvey, Jon Buckingham, Lisa Rae Bartolome, Gillian Lever, and Josh Peters (RMIT): Voicing the Sonic: a case study of the RMIT Sonic Arts Collection and the Speaker Orchestra
Yusuf Hayat (University of South Australia): Enduring settler-colonial narratives: interdisciplinary approaches to cultural curation
Dr. Rachael Haynes (QUT): Artist-Run Initiatives as Collaborative Models for Studio Teaching
Dr. Troy Innocent (RMIT): Engaging civic conversation in playable cities
Varuni Kanagasundaram (RMIT): Culture and the Liminal space: investigation of threshold ritual practice of migrants from South Asia and position of the feminine translated to creative practice in clay and performance
Dr. Nicola Kaye and Prof. Clive Barstow (ECU): Interlace: Inter-Institutional Engagement
Assoc. Prof. Meghan Kelly (Deakin University): Indigenous Design Thinking Conversations: Engaging with cultural design protocols
Assoc. Prof. Keely Macarow (RMIT): A creative proposition for health and wellbeing
Dr. Marcia Nancy Mauro-Flude and Dr. Thomas Penney (RMIT): Neomateriality: Beyond the Textures of Post-Digital Aesthetics
Dr. Louise R Mayhew: The Activist Essay: Art, Feminism and Wikipedia in the Classroom
Laura Mitchell (ECU): Mashup Painting and Liquid Modern Consumerism: Engagement through the Street, Impact through the Storefront
Dr. Jo Li Marie-Joelle Tay (Curtin University): Engaging with industry through Design Thinking: Reflections of a WIL educator
Peter West (RMIT): ‘The Whitemosphere’: Unsettling Western design epistemes through Indigenous sovereignty and the racialized logics of whiteness