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Associate Professor Carolyn Barnes

Associate Professor
Doctor of Philosophy, The University of Melbourne, Australia; Master of Arts (Honours), The University of Melbourne, Australia; Bachelor of Arts (Honours), The University of Melbourne, Australia; Bachelor of Education, Melbourne State College, Australia


Associate Professor Carolyn Barnes (PhD Melb 2004) is Deputy Chair of the Department of Communication Design and Digital Media Design and Academic Director of Research Training in the School of Design, where she teaches research methods for academic and practice applications at Honours and Masters level. Her research investigates how to harness the knowledge and power bound up in individuals and groups to address their primary needs and interests. Using social research approaches, Carolyn works in two main areas. The first is participatory design, examining how co-creation methods can mobilise stakeholder knowledge to achieve the best outcomes for people. The second is research into practitioner networks, which investigates the transfer of knowledge and skills within networks of designers and artists. Her art writing focuses on artist-initiated activity, artist’s networks and the legacy of modernism in Australian non-objective and concrete art post 1980. Craftsman House published her monograph on the Hong Kong-Australian artist John Young in 2005. Carolyn is an associate editor of the International Journal of Design and a member of the editorial board of The Journal of Visual Arts Practice.

Research interests

Design History, Philosophy, and Theory; Public Good Design; Strategic & Transformative Design: Design Thinking and Complexity; Recent Australian Art History

PhD candidate and honours supervision

Higher degrees by research

Accredited to supervise Masters & Doctoral students as Principal Supervisor.

Fields of Research

  • Design - 330300
  • Art History, Theory And Criticism - 360100

Teaching areas

Design History, Philosophy, and Theory;Public Good Design;Strategic & Transformative Design: Design Research Education;Strategic & Transformative Design: Health


  • 2016, National, 2016 Citations for Outstanding Contributions to Student Learning, Australian Government Department of Education and Training

Professional memberships

  • 2013 (current): Member, The Art Association of Australia and New Zealand., Australia


Also published as: Barnes, Carolyn; Barnes, C.
This publication listing is provided by Swinburne Research Bank. If you are the owner of this profile, you can update your publications using our online form.

Recent research grants awarded

  • 2022: Go Against the Flow website audit and social media content review *; Continence Foundation Fund Scheme
  • 2017: Co-designing social enterprise legal models in Australia: a user-centered approach *; Swinburne Research, DVCR&D - Internal contributions
  • 2010: Hydrogeology to secondary school information project *; Petroleum Exploration Society of Australia
  • 2010: Investigating participatory design as an approach to service product development *; AMP Services Limited

* Chief Investigator

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