Associate Professor Rebekah (Beck) Davis

PhD (QUT), GradDip (Industrial Design) and Bachelor of Built Environment & Engineering (Industrial Design) (QUT)
Head of School, Art & Design
ANU College of Arts and Social Sciences
T: 0408 153 738

Areas of expertise

  • Design Innovation 120302
  • Industrial Design 120305
  • Design Management And Studio And Professional Practice 120303
  • Curriculum And Pedagogy 1302

Research interests

Design studies / design process / design thinking / social innovation / design futures / analysing collaborative design activity and complex problem solving 


Beck's research focuses on the fuzzy front-end of design, this includes examining design teams, how they generate ideas, collaborate, and respond to complex problems. Additionally, she contributes to emerging practices such as collaborative design as well as design services that encompass research facilitation, stakeholder engagement, and problem framing. At the centre of her design thinking and action is the ability to develop rigorous methods for managing uncertainty. As a practitioner, Beck is recognised for her design thinking and collaborative expertise.

  • Board Director, Design Institute of Australia
  • Fellow, Design Institute of Australia
  • Board Member, Art Monthly Australasia
  • Member, Design Research Society (UK)
  • Member, Design Society (US)
  • Member, International Society of Gesture Studies
  • Selected, ANU Leading for the Future Program 2021-2022

Researcher's projects

"Creative Collaboration and the Virtual Design Studio." Collaborative, Cross-Disciplinary Research with the ANU Population Health Exchange and the Queensland College of Art, 2020-2021.

"The Data Imaginary: Fears and Fantasies." Contracted Research. Funded by the Australia Council for the Arts, Co-curated Exhibition for Griffith University Art Museum, 2021. Value $21,844. 

"Water on the Horizon." Contracted Workshop for ANU Institute for Water Futures, 2020. With Prof Whitelaw & Dr van Gelder. Value $14,130.

"AgriFutures." Contracted Workshop for the Centre for Entrepreneurial Agri-Technology (CEAT), 2020. With Prof Whitelaw & Dr van Gelder. Value $12,922.

"The Data Imaginary." Funded Research. CASS Small Grants Scheme, 2020-2021. Value $7,932.

"Shaping Queensland's Entrepreneurs." Strategic Collaboration Funding. International Education Partnership Grant (Consortia), Trade Investment Queensland, 2017-2019. Value $298,000.

"Inter-cultural Design Practices and Wearable Technology: China Intensive." New Colombo Plan Australian Government Funding, 2017-2018. With A/Prof Findlay. Value $50,000.

"Climatic: Post Normal Design." Co-curated exhibition for Miller Gallery, Carnegie Mellon University, 2016.

"ACICIS New Colombo Plan Funding (Indonesia). Australian Government Grant (cross-university consortia bid), 2016-2019. Value $27,000.

"Experimental Thinking/Design Practices." Co-curated exhibition for Griffith University Art Museum, 2015.

"Mediated Interactions." Funded Research, Griffith University New Researcher Grant, 2015-2016. Value $9,812.

"Wear Next_ An Exploration into the Future of Wearable Technology." Contracted and Co-curated Exhibition for Artisan Gallery, 2015. With Dr Gomez. Value $18,000.

"Asiabound (Korea)." Australian Government Grant. 2015-2016. With Sarah Kirkham. Value $43,000.

"Cloud Workshop." Strategic Research Grant, Queensland College of Art, 2014-2015. Value $10,000.

"LiveSpace." Arts, Education & Law Faculty Teaching and Learning Grant, Griffith University. With Dr Hall, Perolini & Hay. 2013-2014. Value $20,000.

"KAIST IP-CEO Program." Contracted Design & Business Workshop for the KAIST Centre for Creative Entrepreneur with Griffith University International Business Unit, 2014-2018. Value $36,050.

Current student projects

"Patient-Centred and Integrated Care Co-Design" in collaboration with Canberra Health Services.

"Beyond Borders: People, Plastics and Pollution" in collaboration with the Embassy of Sweden. 

"Communication Strategies & Guidelines for Diverse Communities" in collaboration with ANU Population Health Exchange, Research School of Population Health.

Past student projects

"Creative COVID-19." Cross institutional collaboration between students from ANU School of Art and Design and the Queensland College of Art with researchers from the ANU Population Health Exchange, 2020. With Sargent (RSPH), Davis (SOAD), Walsh (RSPH), Sargent (QCA), James (PHX) & Cooper (QCA).

2019-2021 Student-Industry Collaborations.

  • Embassy of Sweden, AU
  • Canberra Health Services (CHS)
  • ANU Population Health Exchange (PHX)
  • Mulligans Flat Woodland Sanctuary
  • ACT Parks and Conservation Service
  • Australian Mobile Telecommunications Association: MobileMuster
  • Perinatal Wellbeing Centre (formally PANDSI)
  • Canberra Innovation Network (CBRIN)
  • ANU CECS Reimagine
  • Transport Canberra (Active Travel Office)
  • Bimberi Youth Justice Centre
  • Space: ANU Institute for Space
  • Emergency Services Agency, ACT
  • Mt Stromlo Visitor Centre


Projects and Grants

Grants information is drawn from ARIES. To add or update Projects or Grants information please contact your College Research Office.

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Updated:  08 December 2022 / Responsible Officer:  Director (Research Services Division) / Page Contact:  Researchers