Associate Professor Jonathon Allen

Associate Professor Jonathon Allen

Head, The Academy,
The Academy

Adjunct Professor,
Dean's Unit, School of Humanities & Comm Arts

Associate Professor,
Design (SoHCA)


Professor Jonathon Allen is Head of The Academy, Western Sydney University’s interdisciplinary program focusing on ethical leadership and critical thinking. The Academy currently services over 4500 students, providing extension-level academic development, community engaged service learning opportunities, international and national experiences and a range of professional and personal development workshops. It also runs the Bachelor of Applied Leadership and Critical Thinking degree.Jonathon has over 20 years’ university teaching and academic administration and leadership experience and has supervised many international award-winning students. From 2008-2010 he was Associate Head of School (Industrial Design) in the School of Engineering at the UWS, Provost of Penrith Campus from 2012-2014, and has previously lectured at Loughborough University, UK, Massey University, NZ, and Monash University.

This information has been contributed by Associate Professor Allen.


  • PhD Loughborough University of Technology

Professional Memberships

  • Australian Institute of Company Directors (2013 - 2014)
  • Design Research Society (2000 - 2014)
  • Board Director, Penrith Business Alliance (2012 - 2015)

Organisational Unit (School / Division)

  • The Academy
  • Dean's Unit, School of Humanities & Comm Arts
  • Design (SoHCA)


Phone: (02) 4570 1305
Mobile: 0426821460
Location: L4.G.06

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Previous Teaching Areas

  • 100947 Design Thinking, 2012
  • 101015 Information Design, 2015
  • 101020 Design Research Training, 2012
  • 101090 Design Project, 2014
  • 101090 Design Project, 2015
  • 101923 Australian Design, 2015
  • 101924 Design Thinking, 2015
  • 10943 Applied Ergonomics, 2008
  • 300304 Sustainable Design: Materials Technology, 2008
  • 300304 Sustainable Design: Materials Technology, 2009
  • 300304 Sustainable Design: Materials Technology, 2010
  • 300308 Design Studio 2: The Design Proposal, 2010
  • 300773 Industrial Design Project (Commencement), 2008
  • 300773 Industrial Design Project (Commencement), 2010
  • 300774 Industrial Design Project (Completion), 2008
  • 300774 Industrial Design Project (Completion), 2009
  • 300774 Industrial Design Project (Completion), 2010
  • 85032 Industrial Design Project (Commencement), 2009


Chapters in Books

  • Cohen, H., Sidoti, F., Gill, A., Mellick Lopes, A., Hatfield, M. and Allen, J. (2021), 'Sustainability, living labs and repair : approaches to climate change mitigation', Right Research: Modelling Sustainable Research Practices in the Anthropocene, Open Book Publishers 9781783749621.
  • Allen, J. (2014), 'The immaterial of materials', Materials Experience: Fundamentals of Materials and Design, Butterworth-Heinemann 9780080993591.
  • Allen, J. (2012), 'Changing the fabric of society : an exploration of smart textiles in product design', Smart Design : First International Conference Proceedings, Springer-Verlag 9781447129745.
  • Allen, J. and Kouppas, P. (2012), 'Computer-aided design : past, present, future', Design and Designing : A Critical Introduction, Berg 9781847885777.
  • Allen, J. and Currie, G. (2007), 'Australians with disabilities: Transport disadvantage and disability', No Way to Go - Transport and Social Disadvantage in Australian Communities, Monash ePress 9780980361629.
  • Allen, J. (2004), 'Beyond Functionality - Product Semantics in Assistive Device Design', Designing a More Inclusive World, Springer 1852338199.

Journal Articles

  • Hardie, M., Allen, J. and Newell, G. (2013), 'Environmentally driven technical innovation by Australian construction SMEs', Smart and Sustainable Built Environment, vol 2, no 2 , pp 179 - 191.
  • Allen, J., Andrews, T. and Mellick Lopes, A. (2012), 'Industrial design is dead. Long live industrial design : adapting industrial design curricula in response to a climate-changed future and the current university climate', Industrial Design Educators Network Journal, vol 1, no 1 , pp 19 - 26.
  • Allen, J. (2005), 'Designing desirability in an Augmentative and Alternative Communication device', Universal Access in the Information Society Journal, vol 4, no 2 , pp 135 - 145.

Conference Papers

  • Huda, S., Allen, J., Sinclair, C., Andrews, T., Mellick Lopes, A., Duarte, F., Bambrick, H., Craig, D., Jeffery, M. and Campbell, S. (2010), 'Climate Change: Building Leadership Capacity within a Higher Education Institution', International Farming Systems Association Europe Group Conference, Vienna.
  • Andrews, T., Mellick Lopes, A. and Allen, J. (2010), 'Design and the University: a partnership for sustainable design', CONNECTED 2010, UNSW, Sydney.
  • Allen, J., Mellick Lopes, A. and Andrews, T. (2009), 'Futures West: A Design Research Initiative Promoting Sustainable Futures for Western Sydney', Cumulus 38? South 2009: Hemispheric Shifts Across Learning, Teaching and research, Melbourne, Australia.
  • Allen, J., Coxon, S., Richardson, M. and De Bono, A. (2007), 'Public transport design research initiative', ConnectED 2007 ? International Conference on Design Education, Australia.
  • Coxon, S., Allen, J. and De Bono, A. (2007), 'Collaborative international project 'Kitchen of the World' : a case study in multi-national groups undertaking design studio activity', International Conference on Engineering and Product Design Education, Newcastle Upon Tyne, U.K..
  • Coxon, S., Allen, J., De Bono, A. and Richardson, M. (2007), 'Design in the world kitchen : a case study in multi-national collaborative design education', ConnectED International Conference on Design Education, Sydney, N.S.W..
  • Coxon, S., Napper, R. and Allen, J. (2007), 'The role of industrial design in addressing the disparity between user perceptions of public and private transport', Australasian Transport Research Forum, Melbourne, Vic..
  • Napper, R., Coxon, S. and Allen, J. (2007), 'Bridging the divide: Design's role in improving multi-modal transport', Australasian Transport Research Forum, Melbourne, Vic..
  • Allen, J., Coxon, S. and Napper, R. (2007), 'Changing the climate of public transport : a design research initiative', Australasian Transport Research Forum, Melbourne, Vic..
  • Allen, J. (2006), 'Human augmentation: transference of design approaches from designing for sports to designing for disability', Wonderground: Design Research Society International Conference, UK.

Jonathon’s research interests span: smart design; design thinking; new and emerging materials and technologies; design's role in addressing social and environmental concerns; transport design; augmenting people's capabilities through perceptive design; designing for people with disabilities; and, design for sustainability. He’s interested in design’s role in enhancing the social and cultural landscape of people’s lives.

His current focus of research is in material intelligence and intelligent use of materials, and in the application of design thinking to addressing pressing concerns related to food security and climate change.

This information has been contributed by Associate Professor Allen.

Current Projects

Title: Seeing yourself in Australian cultural heritage
  • Australian Research Council (ACRG)
Western Researchers: Rachel Hendery, Kylie Budge, Kate Richards and Jonathon Allen
Years: 2021-01-01 - 2023-12-31
ID: P00026572

Previous Projects

Title: Energy and water efficient greenhouse design and operation
  • University of Western Sydney
Western Researchers: Bill Bellotti, Jonathon Allen and Leigh Sheppard
Years: 2009-10-28 - 2010-05-27
ID: P00017601
Title: Co-designing digitally enhanced cultural heritage experiences, audience and student engagement
  • National Trust
  • University of Western Sydney
Western Researchers: Kylie Budge, Kate Richards, Rachel Hendery, Jonathon Allen and Noel Burgess
Years: 2019-11-20 - 2021-06-30
ID: P00026194


Associate Professor Allen is available to be a principal supervisor for doctoral projects

Previous Supervision

Thesis Title: Factors Affecting Technical Innovation Delivery in Small and Medium Construction Enterprises
Field of Research: Construction Engineering
Thesis Title: Back to the Drawing Board Exploring the Value of Drawing in the Creative Thinking Process Using Improvisational Drawing Techniques and the iPad.
Field of Research:

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