Crafting designs on wealth

Incubating change towards sustainable manufacturing and distribution models through networks of local makers, manufacturers and materials producers

Degree type


Closing date

25 September 2023


Hobart, Launceston

Citizenship requirement

Domestic / International

About the research project

Our built environment is increasingly shaped by a global system of material and resource flows enabled by capital, infrastructure and thinking that appear to be unchallenged and unchallengeable. Globalised systems can be efficient, yet their social and environmental costs are rarely considered. Further, the globally sourced materials, products and systems that have increasingly 'furnished' our built environment diminish and increasingly threaten the role of local alternatives. The prospect of sustaining a local vernacular that has previously been important to defining an idea of place is now seriously challenged.

The COVID pandemic disrupted globalised systems and saw governments, enterprises and individuals re-evaluating existing practices and the value of a return to nationally based and local ways of operating. The project will directly address this issue and emergent opportunities.

This project aims to identify the factor conditions required to incubate, sustain, and grow viable "grassroots" alternatives to the globalised manufacturing and distribution system. Through applied and practice-based research, the project seeks to develop and document concrete models for specifying and producing our built environment in a more wholistic way. The outcome will evidence how they operate, the value they provide and why they matter.

This project seeks a candidate to join a team of scholars working on design for social and environmental sustainability, under the broad theme of Conceptualising and communicating change. The successful applicant will be a creative practitioner from the discipline of art, craft or design and pursue a practice led enquiry that may include project partners. It is expected that the successful applicant will produce and disseminate findings through both traditional and non-traditional research outputs.

Primary Supervisor

Meet A/Prof Rohan Nicol


Applicants will be considered for a Research Training Program (RTP) scholarship or Tasmania Graduate Research Scholarship (TGRS) which, if successful, provides:

  • a living allowance stipend of $31,500 per annum (2023 rate, indexed annually) for 3.5 years
  • a relocation allowance of up to $2,000
  • a tuition fees offset covering the cost of tuition fees for up to four years (domestic applicants only)

If successful, international applicants will receive a University of Tasmania Fees Offset for up to four years.

As part of the application process you may indicate if you do not wish to be considered for scholarship funding.

Other funding opportunities and fees

For further information regarding other scholarships on offer, and the various fees of undertaking a research degree, please visit our Scholarships and fees on research degrees page.


Applicants should review the Higher Degree by Research minimum entry requirements.

Ensure your eligibility for the scholarship round by referring to our Key Dates.

Additional eligibility criteria specific to this project/scholarship:

  • Applications are open to Domestic/ International/ Onshore applicants
  • Applications are open to applications from Art, Craft, Applied Design, Industrial design, Architecture and Design discipline background
  • English language score must be above minimum entry requirements for this project

Selection Criteria

The project is competitively assessed and awarded.  Selection is based on academic merit and suitability to the project as determined by the College.

Application process

  1. Select your project, and check that you meet the eligibility and selection criteria, including citizenship;
  2. Contact A/Prof Rohan Nicol to discuss your suitability and the project's requirements; and
  3. In your application:
    • Copy and paste the title of the project from this advertisement into your application. If you don’t correctly do this your application may be rejected.
    • Submit a signed supervisory support form, a CV including contact details of 2 referees and your project research proposal.
  4. Apply prior to 25 September 2023.

Full details of the application process can be found under the 'How to apply' section of the Research Degrees website.

Following the closing date applications will be assessed within the College. Applicants should expect to receive notification of the outcome by email by the advertised outcome date.

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