Rohan Nicol

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Rohan Nicol

Associate Head of School, Creative Arts and Media
Associate Professor of Fine Art

Inveresk Campus

Associate Professor Rohan Nicol is Associate Head at the School of Creative Arts and Media at the University of Tasmania.  His areas of interest include Art, Craft and Design with particular interest in the role of creative practice and research as an instrument of social and cultural change.

Since 2009, Dr Nicol has secured $294,000 of research and project funding from the Australia Council, Australian Universities and private enterprise and organisations to conduct research and undertake consultancies. His awards include the prestigious Bombay Sapphire Design Award. He regularly exhibits at peak venues in Australia and internationally. His work is held in regional, state, and national collections, including the Powerhouse Museum and the National Gallery of Australia.


Associate Professor Rohan Nicol joined the School of Creative Arts and Media at the University of Tasmania in 2021. He is Associate Head of School and convenor of the honours program. He is an academic leader with more than 15 years’ experience in the tertiary sector. His prior roles included work as an executive member of the leadership group at the Australian National University (ANU), School of Art and Design (SO&AD) where he served as Deputy Head of School, Head of discipline and led the schools Engagement and Impact portfolio.

Rohan is focussed on providing outstanding educational experiences through purposeful and engaging teaching and supervision. His work has been recognised through receipt of the ANU Vice Chancellor’s Award for studio teaching (2013) and the Deans Award to Research supervision (2020).

Rohan is an experienced artist with an international profile achieved through a hybrid practice spanning contemporary art, craft, design, and curatorship. His research primarily focusses on the links between domestic living models (the home) and the impact of globalisation and change (consumption, materials use, distribution models). He has published in leading global journals on design ethics and led global teams in collaborative research projects that focus on changing harmful domestic consumption habits. These projects present new living, manufacturing and production models that are scalable and offer the prospects for the repair of our planet. Other projects focus on various forms of arts-led innovation (regional and local manufacturing), through collaborative projects that have realised and documented positive impacts on culture, community, and economies.

Career summary


  • PhD, Charles Sturt University (CSU), AUS, 2009. Thesis: Crafting Designs on Wealth: A viable model of studio-based craft and design practice
  • Ba Honours (1st Class Hons), Australian National University (ANU), 2003.
  • Grad Dip Education, Australian Catholic University (ACU), 2001
  • Ba Arts (Visual), Australian National University, 1996.

Administrative expertise

Executive Leadership/ Associate Head of school


Teaching expertise

Rohan Nicol has over 20 years teaching experience. In a variety of educational settings. He has taught in Secondary Schools in TAFE and Tertiary sector in areas including Art, Design and Technology. Experience in Tertiary sector includes:

Head of discipline

Unit and course design

Honours convenor

Facilitator higher degree research training

Group of eight Australian universities (GO8) curriculum benchmarking

Honours Course

FSX401 Creative Arts and Media Research Methods

FSX403 Thesis A

FSX404 Thesis B

FSX402 Advanced Practice A

FSX403 Advanced Practice B

Research Appointments

  • Craft ACT board, 2016-2020
  • National Contemporary Jewellery award and collection consultant and judge, 2016-2022
  • Design Canberra Program Committee 2016-17
  • Chair - Value Chains, The value and impact of Craft 2020.

View more on AssocProf Rohan Nicol in WARP


  • Deans Research Supervision Award (ANU), 2021
  • Acquisition, National Gallery of Australia (NGA), Canberra, 2016
  • Acquisition, Museum of the Riverina, Wagga Wagga, 2011
  • Writing up award (CSU), 2010
  • Bombay Sapphire Design Award, 2009
  • Acquisition, Museum of Arts and Sciences (MAAS), Sydney, 2006

Fields of Research

  • Crafts (360601)
  • Creative arts, media and communication curriculum and pedagogy (390101)
  • Design practice and methods (330306)

Research Objectives

  • Design (130101)
  • Pedagogy (160302)
  • The creative arts (130103)


  • 2021   Crafted futures: New teaching, learning and research for craft in the Australian tertiary academy
  • 2018   Book Chapter; Elizabeth Kelly and life’s big questions, Elizabeth Kelly: Colour in fine form. SFA Press Publication 2018, 1st edition ISBN; 978-0-9923936-4-9
  • 2016  The Anatomy of Sustainable Innovation within Studio Craft and Design. Sustainable innovation 2016; ‘circular economy innovation and design’. (D/B Peer-reviewed) Models - 12.15.pdf
  • 2016   Embracing innovation volume 6. Exhibition essay for the exhibition Embracing innovation staged by Craft ACT Craft and Design Centre. (invited writer)
  • 2016   Breaking the disciplinary mold: the new pedagogy of un-disciplined practice for approaching wicked problems in a real world. R. Nicol, N. Rubenis inted2016 proceedings, pp. 7242-7250. (D/B Peer-reviewed)
  • 2015  Crafting connected knowledge; Collaborative and problem-based pedagogy for the studio craft school. ACUADS 2015 (D/B Peer-reviewed)
  • 2015  Domestic Renewal: Resetting the table and repairing the domestic (Bloomsbury Journal UK) (D/B Peer-reviewed)

Creative Works/ Research through Practice

  • 2020   The Gudgenby Mission, Online exhibition
  • 2019   The Gudgenby Mission, Craft ACT Craft and design Centre
  • 2016 - 2019   Object Therapy, ADC touring nationally
  • 2015    Multiples and Production, Design Canberra exhibition Program
  • 2015    Crafting connections – Beijing & Canberra, sister cities cultural capitals Dashilar Houtong, Beijing Design week
  • 2014     ANCA retrospective – Canberra Museum and Gallery
  • 2013     Domestic Renewal 3 - (curator) in collaboration - the JamFactory, Adelaide
  • 2013     Domestic Renewal 2 - (curator) Craft Victoria, Melbourne
  • 2013     Intensity of Purpose - (curated) Canberra Museum and Gallery, Canberra
  • 2012     Domestic Renewal 1 - (curator) Craft ACT, Touring nationally
  • 2012     Prototyped - (curated) Jamfactory Craft & Design Centre, Adelaide
  • 2012     Designed 2 - (curated) ANU
  • 2011     Elements: metal - (curated), Craft ACT, Canberra
  • 2010     Crafting Designs: New directions for sustainability - (solo) Museum of the Riverina

Total publications


Conference Publication

(2 outputs)
2021Rubenis N, Nicol R, 'Crafted Futures: new teaching, learning and research for craft in the Australian tertiary academy', Proceedings of the 'Futuring Craft' IOTA21 International Conference, 17 -18 September 2021, Perth, Australia, pp. 179-191. ISBN 9780645218213 (2021) [Refereed Conference Paper]

[eCite] [Details]

Co-authors: Rubenis N


2015Nicol R, Rubenis N, 'Crafting connected knowledge: collaborative and problem-based pedagogy for the studio craft and design school', Proceedings of the 2015 Australia Council of University Art and Design Schools Conference, 24-25 September 2015, Adelaide, pp. 1-14. ISBN 9780994286819 (2015) [Refereed Conference Paper]

[eCite] [Details]

Co-authors: Rubenis N


  • 2020JMGA Conference funding through ANU CASS & RSHA combined $15,000
  • 2018Wright Hall Crest – Consultancy funding $100,000
  • 2016RSHA Summer research grant, $3,000
  • 2016RSHA Staff Conference, Symposia and Workshop
  • 2016 supplementary funding, $2,500
  • 2016ANU MEC grant for the acquisition of an object Pro Strata systems 3D printer $75,504
  • 2016ANU early career researchers travel grant $3000
  • 2015ANU Vice Chancellors Teaching Enhancement Grant (TEG) $9,600
  • 2013ANU College of Arts and Social Sciences 2013 Award for tutoring $3000
  • 2013ANU NIF early career researchers grant $3000
  • 2012Australia Council, New Work Grant $20,000
  • 2010Writing Up Award - $5,000. Charles Sturt University PhD research publication support program
  • 2009Winner of 2009 Bombay Sapphire Design Discovery Award - $30,000
  • 2009‘Connections Grant’, The Australia Council for the Arts - $30,000.

Research Supervision


Thomas O'Hara (Associate external ANU)

Project title; The impact and limits of generative systems for producing aesthetically resolved objects.

Blanche Tilden (Associate external ANU)

Project title; Prospecting for value: revaluing material artefacts and obsolete objects through jewellery.

Tracy Pateman (Associate external ANU)

Project title; Objects that distil the experience of home.

Jeremy Lepisto (Associate external ANU)

Project title; The effect of shipping containers on the agency of people/places/objects.

Bic Tieu (Associate external ANU)

Project title; New liminal objects of transnational identity.

Chloe Powell (Associate external ANU)

Project title; Advocacy and advancement for innovation in the Australian Arts Sector.


Dr Francis Kenna, 2020

Project title; The phenomenology of atmospheric perception in architectural space.

Dr Bifei Cao, completed in 2017

Project title; Building contemporary personal narrative through interpretation of traditional Chinese visual culture.

Dr Khadeeja Abdulraheem Althagafi, completed 2018

Project Title; The art of Saudi traditional jewellery: rejuvenation for a contemporary world.

Dr Niklavs Rubenis, completed 2018

Project title; The ethics of making: design for reuse and repair. Developing an alternative strategy for studio-based craft and design in a world full of stuff.




PhDJewellery as Specimen: Considering intersections between nature, museums and jewellery practices as a method to produce new objects that intercede human-animal relationships, with a focus on Tasmanian invertebrates2021
PhDAlternate vision: redesigning waste to increase social, cultural and aesthetic values2022