Wendy Gunn is an Associate Professor of Collaborative Design in Design Engineering and Social Anthropology at Aalborg University. As a researcher, Gunn has cross-disciplinary expertise in IT product design, design engineering, architecture and anthropology and significant experience of conducting multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary research as an integral member of collaborative design teams involving both private and public sectors. She has developed research insights into how collaborative design processes work in engineering design as well as how anthropology can play an important role in design, whether in healthcare settings or architecture.
Previously she was an adjunct Professor (Research) in Design, Faculty of Art, Design, and Architecture at Monash University, Melbourne, Australia. There, her Adjunct Professorship was connected to the emerging technologies Research Lab which enabled her to collaborate with Professor Sarah Pink and her research team.
Collaboration is central to Wendy’s research and has involved working as a researcher and research supervisor with the company and industrial partners. Since 2005 she has defined frameworks for moving collaborative research inquiry into design processes and practices integrating anthropological methodologies and theoretical concepts with creative methods. Her publications explore such processes and practices through ethnographic documentation of design experimentation and analysis of emergent properties, involving learning, imagination, cooperation, etc., as well as methodological implications.
In her research, she demonstrates an ability to adapt analytical insights to social processes of collective learning and skill development and to apply those insights to design processes. As a leading scholar in Design Anthropology, she has played a crucial role in establishing a research agenda for the field of Design Anthropology at an international level. This includes developing conceptual and analytical frameworks whereby experimental design practice is the process of research inquiry and co-editing two agenda-setting key texts in the field, Design and Anthropology (Routledge, 2016, 2012) and Design Anthropology: Theory and Practice (BloomsburyAcademic, 2013). As a result of her research contributions, the field of Design Anthropology has developed as an important area of interdisciplinary research.
Wendy has published several articles and books with international publishers including Routledge, Bloomsbury, Ashgate, Berghahn, Peter Lang, and Sage. She also has many years experience of in curatorial and knowledge transfer communicating scientific research in different forms to divergent audiences. Currently, she is working on an encyclopedia article on Design Anthropology in Europe for the Oxford Research Encyclopaedia of Anthropology, to be published by Oxford University Press.
Integral to Wendy’s research activity was the development of the first international Ph.D. course in Design Anthropology attracting over sixty students globally. Wendy has chaired Ph.D. committees and examined Ph.D. students at SDU (Denmark); NNTU (Norway); QUT (Australia); and Uni. of Glasgow (Scotland). She previously was an external examiner at Faculty of Engineering, DTU-Man.Eng/Innovation & Sustainability& Social-Technical design, Danish Technical Univ. of Denmark, Copenhagen, Denmark, 2006-2010; and is currently an external examiner at The Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts in Copenhagen; Design School in Kolding; and Aarhus School of Architecture