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Ellmers, Grant N. Dr

Lecturer in Photography & Design

  • Faculty of the Arts, Social Sciences and Humanities
  • School of the Arts, English and Media
  • Associate Member - Early Start Research

Overview


  • Grant's primary research focus is graphic design education. His PhD completed in 2014 is titled Graphic Design Education: Fostering the conditions for transfer in a project-based and studio-based learning environment, through a structured and critical approach to reflective practice. 
  • Grant has published nationally and internationally drawing on the research developed through his PhD. Recent work extends the PhD research to link these topics with levels of design expertise
  • Grant is a member of SENSE Spaces, a multi-disciplinary research group funded by Global Challenges (UOW) that is researching the design of multi-sensory environments. Grant is contributing expertise in design thinking and design process, and the principles of Co-design and user experience.
  • Grant lectures across the Photography and Visual Communication Design programs in the School of the Arts, English and Media at the University of Wollongong. 

Top Publications


Research Overview


  • Design education including

    • studio and project-based learning
    • reflection
    • knowledge transfer
    • experiential knowledge
    • assessment

Available as Research Supervisor

Selected Publications


Presentations


Impact Story


  • <p>Drawing on international research this project has designed and developed a community-based multi-sensory environment (MSE) at the Horsley Community Centre in the Illawarra. An MSE provides a safe, non-threatening environment for children and adults with cognitive, behavioural and physical impairments to engage in a range of sensory experiences. The experiences provided by an MSE can either calm or stimulate the primary senses using sensory-based materials such as fibre optics sprays, bubble tubes, music, colour, lighting and aroma. We know that multisensory environments provide the ability to control sensory experiences and stimulation of the primary senses to encourage relaxation and enjoyment which can be helpful for multiple groups such as senior citizens/aged care, people with physical disabilities and those with conditions such as dementia, autism spectrum disorders and also people with anxiety and challenging behaviours.<br /><br />The project forged a unique partnership between CareWays Illawarra and the University of Wollongong (UOW). Methodologically, this project used participatory action research to foster the involvement of people with disabilities, their carers, families and disability services to assist in the design and development of the space to best meet the needs of the whole community. <br /><br />Initially known as the SMILE team, the project is now called Sense (Sensory Environments for Supporting Experiences) Spaces. It has expanded to explore the impact of MSEs for cross-sector user groups.  The project has grown from establishing an MSE to examining the immediate and lasting impact of using an MSE, and whether personalisation of the MSE can increase use or provide a more meaningful experience. Utilising different design-thinking approaches with coordinated communication plans will be significant as we engage, define, ideate, prototype and test across sectors to provide effective ways of delivering MSEs.  </p>

Available as Research Supervisor

Potential Supervision Topics


  • Design thinking

    Design process

    Reflective practice 

    User interface design

Advisees


  • Graduate Advising Relationship

    Degree Research Title Advisee
    Doctor of Philosophy Design and Digital-material Possession: Sartre's potential for mobile UI design Watts, Jody

Education And Training


  • Ph.D. in Design, University of Wollongong, School of Education, Graphic Design Education: Fostering the conditions for transfer in a project-based and studio-based learning environment, through a structured and critical approach to reflective practice 2005 - 2014

Top Publications


Research Overview


  • Design education including

    • studio and project-based learning
    • reflection
    • knowledge transfer
    • experiential knowledge
    • assessment

Selected Publications


Presentations


Impact Story


  • <p>Drawing on international research this project has designed and developed a community-based multi-sensory environment (MSE) at the Horsley Community Centre in the Illawarra. An MSE provides a safe, non-threatening environment for children and adults with cognitive, behavioural and physical impairments to engage in a range of sensory experiences. The experiences provided by an MSE can either calm or stimulate the primary senses using sensory-based materials such as fibre optics sprays, bubble tubes, music, colour, lighting and aroma. We know that multisensory environments provide the ability to control sensory experiences and stimulation of the primary senses to encourage relaxation and enjoyment which can be helpful for multiple groups such as senior citizens/aged care, people with physical disabilities and those with conditions such as dementia, autism spectrum disorders and also people with anxiety and challenging behaviours.<br /><br />The project forged a unique partnership between CareWays Illawarra and the University of Wollongong (UOW). Methodologically, this project used participatory action research to foster the involvement of people with disabilities, their carers, families and disability services to assist in the design and development of the space to best meet the needs of the whole community. <br /><br />Initially known as the SMILE team, the project is now called Sense (Sensory Environments for Supporting Experiences) Spaces. It has expanded to explore the impact of MSEs for cross-sector user groups.  The project has grown from establishing an MSE to examining the immediate and lasting impact of using an MSE, and whether personalisation of the MSE can increase use or provide a more meaningful experience. Utilising different design-thinking approaches with coordinated communication plans will be significant as we engage, define, ideate, prototype and test across sectors to provide effective ways of delivering MSEs.  </p>

Potential Supervision Topics


  • Design thinking

    Design process

    Reflective practice 

    User interface design

Advisees


  • Graduate Advising Relationship

    Degree Research Title Advisee
    Doctor of Philosophy Design and Digital-material Possession: Sartre's potential for mobile UI design Watts, Jody

Education And Training


  • Ph.D. in Design, University of Wollongong, School of Education, Graphic Design Education: Fostering the conditions for transfer in a project-based and studio-based learning environment, through a structured and critical approach to reflective practice 2005 - 2014
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