Abby Mellick Lopes

Associate Professor, Design, School of Humanities and Communication Arts, Western Sydney University

Dr Abby Mellick Lopes is a design theorist with 20 years' experience in the field of design for sustainability. She lectures in the design program in the School of Humanities and Communication Arts and is a member of the Institute for Culture and Society (ICS) at Western Sydney University. Her current research explores the liveability of Western Sydney in a climate-changed future with the Mapping Urban Resilience in Riverland, Sydney (MURRS) group at ICS; drivers of trust in public drinking water in a project led by Professor Gay Hawklins at ICS; and mapping organic waste systems as part of a living lab project with Dr. Alexandra Crosby at University of Technology, Sydney. She also researches in visual communications and has a long-standing interest in how image ecologies mediate sociomaterial relationships. As a Partner Investigator, she co-led the visual communications strand of the transdisciplinary project Transitioning to Sustainable Sanitation Futures, led by the Institute for Sustainable Futures at UTS in 2010-2011, a project that won a Green Globe award for environmental innovation in 2012. She publishes widely on design and design for sustainability, most recently a piece co-authored with Tessa Zettel titled 'Making Time: food preservation and ontological design' in Food Democracy: critical lessons in food, communication, design and art, edited by Dr. Oliver Vodeb (2017). Abby is an associate of The Studio at the Edge of the World (


  • –present
    Senior Lecturer in Design, Western Sydney University