Profile image for Gavin Melles

Dr Gavin Melles

Senior Lecturer
MSc Sustainable Development, SOAS London Universty, United Kingdom; Ed.D, Deakin University, Australia; M. Linguistics (Research), University of Costa Rica, Costa Rica; B.Arts, Auckland University, New Zealand


Dr Gavin Melles is a senior lecturer in design at Swinburne. His primary research interests are in design and education, design thinking, and social innovation and enterprise,

  • Dr Melles has design researcher and PhD supervisor roles in several Collaborative Research Centre (Interdisciplinary Industry-Government-Academia) projects - including the CRC for Low Carbon Living, CRC for Bushfire and Natural Hazards, and the AutoCRC EV Bus Malaysia. 
  • He has received research fellowship grants as visiting professor from the German Government (Deutsche Akademische Austausch Dienst, 2010), the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNF, 2011), and from the Exploratory Research Space at RWTH Aachen, HCI Research Center (2012).
  • He also held a one year (2012-2013) Swedish Higher Education Research Collaboration Grant (STINT) with Associate Professor Stefan Holmild, Linköping University, focused. Alongside these roles, Dr Melles imost recently held a nominated fellowship at the Edinburgh University Institute for Advanced Studies in Humanities (2016) focused on Postgraduate Teaching of Sustainable Development in the UK. 
  • Dr Melles was also a project member and co-author of the three-year EU-ICP (2009-2012) grant on design knowledge exchange (0.935 million), funding staff and student exchange between seven institutions. He has had Government funding also for Study Tour Mobility to India. He is an ARC and SNF (Switzerland) Grant Assessor.
  • He is affiliated with the Australia India Institute and is an Associate Editor of Arts & Humanities in Higher Education (Sage) as well as the HETL Review. He serves on the editorial boards of several journals, including the International Journal of Design Creativity and Journal of Applied Research in Higher Education.
  • His current PhD students and research projects address the process of designing social innovations in various contexts
  • He also consults to industry and community in various capacities and has worked with and for UN CBD on Gender & Diversity Review, Mentor for School of Social Entrepreneurs (Australia), Strategic Design for Tait Communications (NZ), Monash University Library, IDEO Report on Thinking and Acting Like A Designer: How Design Thinking Supports Innovation In K-12 Education

Research interests

Sociological Methodology and Research Methods; Strategic & Transformative Design: Design Thinking and Complexity; Strategic & Transformative Design: Design Research Education; Public Good Design

PhD candidate and honours supervision

Higher degrees by research

Accredited to supervise Masters & Doctoral students as Principal Coordinating Supervisor.


Available to supervise honours students.

Fields of Research

  • Design Innovation - 120302
  • Curriculum And Pedagogy Theory And Development - 130202
  • Applied Sociology, Program Evaluation And Social Impact Assessment - 160801

Teaching areas

Innovation;Strategic & Transformative Design: Design Research Education;Strategic & Transformative Design: Design Thinking and Complexity


  • 2016, International, Institue for Advanced Studies in Humanities (IASH) Nominated Fellowship, Edinburgh University, Edinburgh University
  • 2016, International, Chingari Small Grant Scheme ($2500) - Accounting for social impact in Indian social enterprise – a comparative case study of social accounting and audit in India, Australia-India Institue
  • 2014, Swinburne, Researcher Development Grant Scheme ($3000) , Swinburne University
  • 2014, National, Asia Bound Mobility Grant ($21,500), Australian Government
  • 2012, International, Swedish Foundation for International Cooperation in Higher Education (STINT) Research Collaboration Initiation Grant ($22,000), Swedish Government
  • 2012, International, HCI Center, RWTH Aachen. Exploratory Research Space (ERS) Seed Fund Grant. Visiting Researcher (3955 Euros), RTWH Aachen
  • 2011, International, Schweizer National Fonds Project # 136303. Forschung als Design. Eine kritische Analyse eines Ansatzes der Designforschung (Research as Design. Critical analysis of a design research approach Visiting Professor. FHNW Fachhochschule Nordwestschweiz ($10,04, Swiss National Research Fund
  • 2010, International, DAAD) Research Stays for University Academics and Scientists Program. A/09/11786 Referat 424. Amount EUR 4,428 ($AU 6,640) . Examining Design Research and Education in Germany, DAAD (German Government)

Further information



Also published as: Melles, Gavin; Melles, G.
This publication listing is provided by Swinburne Research Bank. If you are the owner of this profile, contact us to update.

Recent research grants awarded

  • 2014: Increasing knowledge and motiviating collaborative action on Low Carbon Living through team-based and game-based mobile learning *; CRC Low Carbon Living
  • 2014: Integrated Human-Centred Design approachin developing the modular EV Bus driveline system for Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia 2020(Student Agreement Postgrad for Jung-Ok (Jo) Kuys) *; AutoCRC
  • 2014: Media and communication strategies to achieve carbon reduction through renovation of Australia's existing housing *; CRC Low Carbon Living
  • 2014: Student research agreement for Tomi Winfree *; CRC Low Carbon Living
  • 2013: Air Tight Buildings for Low Carbon Living *; Department of State Development Business and Innovation - Voucher Program

* Chief Investigator