Launched in 2014, Design History Australia Research Network (DHARN) is a research and publication site for scholars, practitioners, educators and students interested in Australian design and culture. DHARN is an engaging repository of information that includes original articles, images, videos and primary resources on designers, objects, ideas, users and institutions.  Self funded and generously supported by Swinburne University of Technology, DHARN aims to make scholarly content widely accessible in order to further knowledge and discussion about Australian design and its history.


  • Create a presence for design history and design studies in and about Australia
  • To encourage research and publication about Australian design
  • To foster historical and critical writing and inquiry about design and culture
  • To encourage collaboration between institutions, academics, amateur historians, curators, collectors and design practitioners in sharing knowledge and building an Australian design history

Dr Denise Whitehouse

Independent Design Historian, Design Writings

Denise is a design and cultural historian engaged in building a critical discourse about the history of Australian design as a practice and mode of cultural production. Her essay, “The State of Design History as a Discipline”, which features in D. Brody and H. Clark (eds.) 2009 Design Studies; A Reader, Berg, New York, has been translated into Spanish by Dr Isabel Campi. An award winning educator Denise is currently shifting her focus totally to research and publication. Her current project is a monograph of the designers Grant and Mary Featherston.

Karen Fermo

Director, Kart Projects and; Major Discipline Course Co-ordinator, Branded Environments, School of Design, Swinburne University of Technology

Karen Fermo is an independent curator and co-director of Kart Projects. After studying architecture, Karen completed a Master of Art Curatorship with a focus on curating design and architecture. This direction reflects a broad interest in the culture of design – the way design intersects and enriches everyday life. Karen is Major Discipline Course Co-ordinator, Branded Environments and Lecturer in the School of Design at Swinburne University, teaching across the streams of professional practice, design studio and design history.


Dr Daniel Huppatz

Senior Lecturer, Interior Architecture, Faculty of Health, Arts and Design, Swinburne University of Technology

Dr Kathleen Connellan

Senior Lecturer and Portfolio Leader Research, School of Art, Architecture and Design, University of South Australia

Professor Kate Darian-Smith

Professor of Australian Studies and History Chair, School of Historical and Philosophical Studies, Faculty of Arts; and Professor of Cultural Heritage, Faculty of Architecture, Building and Planning, University of Melbourne

Professor Peter McNeil

Director of Graduate Programmes and Researcher Education, Faculty of Design, Architecture and Building University of Technology, Sydney

Professor Suzette Worden

Ex-Professor of Design, Curtin University

Nanette Carter

Course Director, Bachelor of Design; and Lecturer Communication Design, Faculty of Health, Arts and Design, Swinburne University of Technology

Dr Margaret Woodward

Associate Professor of Design and Associate Dean (Research) Research, Faculty of Arts, Charls Sturt University, Australia


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