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Personal profile


Gene Bawden is a communication designer and Deputy Head of MADA’s Design Department.

His research and design practice embraces the confluence of the material, the visual and the spatial, and the narratives of belonging articulated in each. Specifically he interrogates the design of Australian domestic spaces constructed as a prescriptive but highly charged representation of cultural belonging, social alignment and gendered expectation. His work reveals the historical context of Australia’s highly gendered spatial alliances, and the rich interplay of semiotics embodied within the constraints of the country’s Western-centric domestic milieu.

Gene is a member of the Faculty’s XYX Lab, which affords him the opportunity to combine his knowledge of gendered spatial practices and his communication design expertise within collaborative research projects aimed at mitigating gender inequity in Australia’s urban environments. Key to the Lab’s methodologies is the facilitation of Design Thinking processes using bespoke material tools of enquiry. This is an area of investigation that is increasingly part of Gene’s expanding area of material/spatial research; and manifests in his teaching through MADA’s design curriculum and the Monash MBA “Design Thinking” unit.

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 10 - Reduced Inequalities
  • SDG 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions

Education/Academic qualification

Design, PhD

Award Date: 18 Nov 2015

Research area keywords

  • gender and design
  • design and co-design
  • Communication Design
  • Social History
  • Interior design history
  • Graphic Design


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