In Summary

Swinburne University of Technology will explore future research partnerships and staff and student exchange programs, with the National Institute of Design (NID), Ahmedabad, India.

Under a Memorandum of Understanding, signed by NID Director, Pradyumna Vyas, and Swinburne’s Associate Professor Design Anthropology, Elizabeth Tunstall, initial activity will comprise exploring a three-way research partnership with China Central Academy of Fine Arts, Beijing, in the area of design anthropology involving:

-       Implementation of a joint research project grant by Wenner-Gren Foundation;

-       Holding design anthropology workshops; and

-       Student mobility and exchange of research staff and students

It is expected that other collaborative projects will follow.

Associate Professor Tunstall and Dr Karen Hughes - recipients of the $37,000 Wenner-Gren Foundation International Collaborative research grant - will work with 48 students from the China Central Academy of Fine Arts and the NID to increase awareness and understanding of the emerging design anthropology discipline (how design translates cultural values into experiences to which people can directly respond).

Associate Professor Tunstall and Dr Hughes will conduct two design anthropology workshops, as well as visiting the indigo dying and weaving field sites in China and India.

During each field study trip, they will spend four weeks at indigo dyeing and weaving field sites in Uravakonda, Andhra Pradesh and Damadka, Kutch, Gujarat, India (October-November 2014) and in Nantong, Jiangsu Province, China (September-October 2015).

The two workshops will consist of a four-week intensive with two learning modules: one focused on research methods and one on critical theory.

The first workshop will be held at NID in May 2015. The second will be held at China Central Academy of Fine Art from mid-October to mid-November 2015.