We are excited to announce that Cameron Tonkinwise will commence as Professor of Design at the University of New South Wales in January 2017.
Cameron has been teaching and researching in the United States for the last 9 years. He originally left his role as Director of Design Studies at the University of Technology Sydney, to take up a position at The New School in New York City at the beginning of 2008. He was the Co-Chair of the Tishman Environment and Design Center, helping to establish pioneering Environmental Studies degree programs that combined natural and social science study with studio-based design courses. Cameron was later the Associate Dean Sustainability for Parsons The New School for Design.
In the middle of 2012, Cameron was appointed as the Director of Design Studies and Doctoral Studies at Carnegie Mellon University’s School of Design in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. In that role, he created a new DDes degree program and led the relaunch of the School’s PhD with a focus on practice-based design research, which remains nascent in North America.
Cameron’s background is in philosophy and he continues to work on ways in which philosophies of technology and anthropologies of material culture can advance the practice of design. Throughout his academic career, Cameron’s focus has been on design-enabled societal change toward more sustainable futures. Cameron worked with Tony Fry at the EcoDesign Foundation in the 1990s. He is best known as a proponent of lowering societal materials intensity through ‘servicization’, or the decoupling of use and ownership – what is now called ‘the sharing economy.’
While at Carnegie Mellon University’s School of Design, Cameron has worked with colleagues to develop the research field and practice of Transition Design. Cameron will continue this advancing Transition Design through collaborations between UNSW Art & Design and the CMU School of Design.
Cameron Tonkinwise: “I am honoured to receive this appointment at one of the leading research Universities in my home country. UNSW Art & Design, through its undergraduate degree program, as well as its doctoral program, has always been ahead of its time in its commitment to transdisciplinary design, something now central to the dominant value-generating fields of interaction design, service design and social design. The wicked problems that designers must now take the lead in responding to, require critical and creative communication know-how, something UNSW’s top-ranked researchers and teachers have done for many years. UNSW’s 2025 Strategy has a strong commitment to developing design as a university-wide capacity that will allow students of all disciplines to innovate sustainably. I am excited to have the opportunity to help UNSW develop the next, more comprehensive, generation of design thinking with the wider goal of transitioning our society toward more sustainable ways of living and working.”