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Lecturer in Visual Communication Design and Creative Industries, University of Newcastle

Dr Ari Chand is a Designer/Illustrator and practice-based researcher with experience in Secondary and Tertiary Education, Illustration Theory and Practice, Natural History Illustration, Drawing theory and Practice, Character Design and Concept Art, Design History and Theory, design research, to key areas of core teaching in Visual Communication Design and Creative Industries Education.

In 2019 was a finalist in the Sir William Dobell Foundation and National Art School’s Biannual 2019 Dobell Drawing Prize.

His research focuses on understanding the complex way a socio-cultural framework for understanding Design into the 21st century is relevant to how humanity will undertake the complex issues of our time. Research is practice-based at the University of Newcastle and looks at the development of a theoretical framework based on the combination of seminal concepts, habitus (Pierre Bourdieu) and tacit knowledge (Michael Polanyi), to interrogate and scope out the nature of style and design process within design practice. Future key focuses include creativity research, visuospatial cognition, and decolonising design.

With a forthcoming book in 2021 with Intellect entitled ‘A Designerly Way of Being: Habitus, Tacit Knowledge and Design Practice’.

His illustration work is mainly comprised of traditional drawing, watercolour, ink, acrylic or digital illustration.

As a Singer-Songwriter he also In 2018 released is Album 13 Track Album entitled‘ High Tide’ with Threebirds Records:

Other Projects Include:
Interdisciplinary Research Group: CindER (Creative Industries Educational Research); Kathryn Grushka, Kristi Street, Susan Kerrigan, Rachel Buchanan. Creative Industries Extension to 2019 & 2020.
• Art Masters Class Program (Newcastle High School): Research Project, Newcastle high School, Dr Kath Grushka, Rory Davis(Masters Candidate, Education).
• High Performing Students Program: Art/Science Project, DVCA Funded Longitudinal Research Project 2013- present. (Dr Kath Grushka, Dr Neville Clement, Dr Miranda Lawry, Mr Andy Devine).

Inaugural Member of the ‘Creativity in Higher Education Network’ led by Professor Philip McIntyre, Associate Professor Susan Kerrigan, Dr Janet Fulton and Dr Michael Meany.
‘Higher Education students who intend to enter future creative industries are attempting to become creative professionals in a world that is rapidly reconstructing itself. As a group the Creativity in Higher Education Network (CHEN) is intent on helping those students move past common beliefs and myths about creativity and help them draw, instead, on the authoritative, well-reasoned, empirically tested, peer-reviewed research into creativity. ‘

In 2020 He has been funded alongside Dr Andrew Howells, Dr Jane Shadbolt, Dr Caelli Jo Brooker, Mr Carl Morgan and Mr Alex Barnes-Keoghan to set up a ‘Drawing Education Network’.

Research Expertise
Key areas of investigation include Bourdieusian Practice Theory, Cultural Production, Design Ethnography, Tacit knowledge and the Design process. Ari has also been a Research Assistant on the large-scale research project and HEPPP funded “ Creative Industries Careers- Re-imagining Regional and Remote Student’s opportunities’. The project supported regional and remote High School students facing the prospect of the decline in the traditional areas of farming, mining, and manufacture to re-imagine their futures and aspire to work in Creative Industries.

Teaching Expertise
Drawing and Illustration, Visual Communication Design History, Theory and Research. Secondary Teacher Education in Visual Art and Design Education, Visual Art, Design and Technology Pedagogy. Post graduate and undergraduate pre-service teacher education in Visual Art and Design Education. Courses taught include: Teaching and Learning in Visual Art, Design in the areas of teaching strategies, assessment, classroom practices and curriculum design. Tertiary Teaching in Design Research Methodology.


  • 2016–present
    Lecturer, University of Newcastle
  • 2017–present
    Research assistant, University of Newcastle
  • 2017–present
    Casual Academic, School of Creative Industries, University of Newcastle
  • 2017–present
    Casual Academic, School of Education, University of Newcastle
  • 2015–2017
    History Teacher, Heritage College Lake Macquarie
  • 2013–2017
    Senior Visual Art Teacher, Heritage College Lake Macquarie


  • 2017 
    University of Newcastle, Doctorate of Philosophy(Design)
  • 2012 
    University of Newcastle, Bachelor of Natural History Illustration(Honours)
  • 2012 
    Qantm College, Screen and Animation- Completed Courses
  • 2011 
    University of Newcastle, Bachelor of Teaching/Bachelor of Fine Art


  • 2016
    Breathing life into Character: conceptual tools for understanding the relationship between illustrator and character design, The International Journal of Arts Theory and History: Arts in Society Conference/ Common Ground Publishing

Grants and Contracts

  • 2020
    Drawing Education Network
    Funding Source:
    University of Newcastle Australia
  • 2017
    Creative Industries Careers: Re-imagining Regional and Remote Students opportunities
    Funding Source:
    Department of Education and Training

Professional Memberships

  • Visual Arts and Design Educators Association
  • Australasian Performing Right Association
  • NSW Institute of Teachers
  • Creativity in Higher Education Network