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About Me

After training as an industrial designer and working across a variety of specialisations, from Artisan Lighting to Public Placemaking to Plastic fabrication to Human-Computer Interaction Prototyping, I’ve undertaken a PhD in design to explore the practices of designers in complex environments. The experience of developing initiatives in a regional dementia ward made me realise a need to develop a stronger sensitivity and toolbox for designers in interrogating techno-centric perspectives and the way we inscribe power through artefacts.

My research at RMIT School of Design explores socially engaging technology in later life and its shaping by designers, approaching design research by investigating artefacts’ materiality and our interactions with them. In building this platform for design research practice, I’ve also taken on researcher roles in large interdisciplinary projects such as ‘Co-designing Participatory Strategies With Older Adults’ (Shaping Connections) and ‘Enabling an Ageing Workforce’ (Safeness by Design).

This has enabled me to realise my own desire to foster research-led and collaborative interdisciplinary design practices in socially complex contexts. Developing as a critical strength from my studies is the capacity to locate design research and practices in broader discourses and interrogate their impact. Bringing these values into shifting contexts, notably designing for ageing across the lifespan and safeness in the community, I’m interested in future research projects with breadth and engagement at scale → please get in contact if you’d like to chat!

Curriculum Vitae ︎



I acknowledge the people of the Woi wurrung and Boon wurrung language groups of the eastern Kulin Nations on whose unceded lands I conduct my work. I respectfully acknowledge their Ancestors and Elders, past, present and emerging.


©2022 Jacob Sheahan