Dr Justin Westgate – About



PhD, MA, PGDip(Sci), BAD(Hons), BA, BGD

I’m a social designer and cultural researcher.

My design practice applies design principles to address social, cultural, and environmental issues. I’ve worked in Australia, NZ, the UK and Ireland for social design studios, international NGOs, and more recently through my own consultancy. Clients have included local government and government agencies, international NGOs and change agencies, education and research institutes, and arts and culture organisations (refer to my studio website.)

My research interests follow my design practice, extending across social thought through to political and cultural issues. My masters research, based in cultural geography, investigated intersections of place, sustainability, and branding, critically interrogating the application of corporate branding at the scale of the nation-state, focusing on the NZ situation. My doctoral research spanned cultural research and creative practice, interrogating responses to insecure dwelling at planetary scales. Such themes lead ongoing research interest focusing critical attention on practices and cultures of creativity and innovation in light of planetary issues. Following concerns with the way experimentation is expanded to global scales, I am interested with what this means not just for humans but for practices of collective designing and world-making.

I have some 10 years education experience acting as lecturer, tutor, and examiner within design programmes in NZ and Australia. I have taught across all levels of undergraduate study, supervised honours and masters students to completion, and I have served as both internal and external examiner for major assessment of student work.

Additionally, I’ve been actively involved with numerous campaigns promoting social justice and sustainability (such as Global Climate Change Week, 350.org, GE-Free NZ), innovation networks (such as Social Design Sydney, Intersect NZ), as well as working in community youth development as a counsellor and performance educator.

Feel free to get in touch