Profile image for Samantha Edwards-Vandenhoek

Dr Samantha Edwards-Vandenhoek

Academic Director (External Engagement) and Senior Lecturer (Communication Design)
Doctor of Philosophy, University of Western Sydney, Australia


Dr Samantha Edwards-Vandenhoek is a design researcher, digital media artist and lecturer in communication design and photomedia, whose current research explore how situated art practices informed by participatory design processes can transform the experience of place in remote Indigenous communities. Samantha holds a BA (Hons) in Aboriginal Prehistory and a PhD in Media and Communication Studies. As an Early Career Researcher, Samantha's interests are focused on community engagement and design activism, place-making and transformative action research, graffiti and indigenous studies. She is concerned with the role, value and social impact of place-based design initiatives in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community development in remote, regional and urban settings.  As a graphic designer and exhibiting photo-artist, Samantha has an awarded studio and teaching practice.

Research interests

environmental design; visual communication; place-making; Documentary Photography; place branding; Street Art and Graffiti; participatory design; digital mapping; cultural heritage; public art; indigenous studies; social design; WIL; Cultures-Based Innovation; Strategic Design; Education

PhD candidate and honours supervision

Higher degrees by research

Accredited to supervise Masters & Doctoral students as Principal Supervisor.


Available to supervise honours students.

Fields of Research

  • Design Practice And Management - 120300
  • Creative Arts, Media And Communication Curriculum And Pedagogy - 130201
  • Aboriginal And Torres Strait Islander Education - 130301

Teaching areas

Communication Design;Social Enterprise;Indigenous Design;Social Impact Design


  • 2015, Swinburne, Vice Chancellors Excellence Award (Engagement), Swinburne University of Technology
  • 2015, Swinburne, Vice Chancellors Engagement Award, Swinburne University of Technology
  • 2015, Swinburne, Deans Award for Community and Industry Engagement, Swinburne University of Technology
  • 2013, Other, Vice Chancellors Professional Development Scholarship, University of Western Sydney
  • 2011, Other, Vice Chancellors Excellence in Teaching Award, University of Western Sydney


Also published as: Edwards-Vandenhoek, Samantha; Edwards-Vandenhoek, S.
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

  • 2019: Marngo Designing Futures 2019: Building Bridges into Higher Education for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Secondary Students through a placebase design education program. *; Higher Education Participation and Partnerships Programme
  • 2018: Marngo Designing Futures: Building pathways to higher education for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander secondary students through a place-based design education program *; Higher Education Participation and Partnerships Programme
  • 2017: Marngo Designing Futures:Connecting culture, demystifying university & building Higher Education aspirations in design of Indigenous Australian secondary students. *; Higher Education Participation and Partnerships Programme
  • 2016: Design, what is it good for? *; ACUADS Grants
  • 2016: Marngo Designing Futures:Connecting Culture, DemystifyingUniversity and Building HigherEducation Aspirations in Designof Indigenous Secondary Studentsin urban, regional and remotecontexts. *; Higher Education Participation and Partnerships Programme
  • 2015: Marngo Designing Futures: Connecting culture, demystifying University and buildinghigher education aspirations in Design of Indigenous secondary students across Victoria. *; Higher Education Participation and Partnerships Programme
  • 2014: After the Flood: The role of pulic art and participatory design in buidling resilience and place-making in the Warmun Aboriginal Community, East Kimberly, Western Australia. *; Early/Interrupted Research Career Scheme

* Chief Investigator