Dr. Rowan Page is a Lecturer in Industrial Design at Monash University and a practice-led design researcher in Health Collab – an interdisciplinary research lab at the intersection of design and health. Rowan’s research is driven by an exploration of design’s roles in supporting translational research efforts, particularly within universities. Through a series of co-authored journal articles (upcoming publications in The Design Journal and The International Journal of Design Management and Professional Practice) Rowan has observed the growing role of universities in attempting to actively and meaningfully translate fundamental research and discovery into practical impact in the world. Through these publications, he advocates for the role of the ‘translational designer’ as a key component in a university-led translational research ecosystem. His methodological research interests include co-design, speculative design, digital fabrication, and the function of designed artefacts as boundary objects within collaborative and interdisciplinary design projects. These interests are built on the foundation of his Ph.D. research on medical device usability and human factors in collaboration with Cochlear Ltd. (a global leader in implantable hearing solutions) and continue through his work understanding the contribution of design to the development of medical devices. His research practice has led to a diverse range of traditional and non-traditional research outputs, including multiple manufactured objects, exhibitions, patents and journal articles.
Rowan’s teaching practice is grounded in Work Integrated Learning (WIL), engaging industry (ABC, MONA, Monash Health, Cabrini Technologies, MiniFab etc) and research groups (The Generator, Precious Plastics, CSIRO) within undergraduate industrial design coursework. This approach has been extended into a winter studio in China supported by the Australian Government through the New Columbo Plan, running a series of design workshops in partnership with leading Chinese design studios. Fundamental to these teaching practices is an approach driven by a hands-on studio culture, overlaid with a context of practice-based research questions. Rowan has over six-years of teaching experience and has been responsible for coordinating third-year studio units in the Industrial Design program at Monash for five years, developing and delivering new content for several of these units.