Doctor Alison Gill

Doctor Alison Gill

Senior Lecturer,


Dr Alison Gill is a design educator at Western Sydney University in the Bachelor of Design (Visual Communication) and postgraduate studies. Alison has developed an interdisciplinary design expertise across a range of media and a capacity to position design in trans-disciplinary problem contexts/settings. Her research interests in design philosophy, cultural theory and socio-material studies are evident in publications about sports product advertising, deconstruction fashion, audiences/user practices, and sustainable design education.

She writes for journals Fashion Theory, Design and Culture, Critical Studies in Men's Fashion, Journal of Design Research, and has chapters in the books Fashion Theory: A Reader (Routledge, 2007, 2nd edition 2020), and Thinking Through Fashion (I.B. Tauris, 2016, forthcoming revised edition with Bloomsbury 2023). Her two chapters on sports shoes can be found in the anthologies Shoes: A History from Sandals to Sneakers (Berg, 2006) and Design Studies: A Reader (Berg, 2009), which are about shoes as a cultural object, brand and customised entity.

She has several co-publications with Abby Mellick Lopes on design, social theories of practice and audiences/user-side practices with a focus on developing approaches for sustainable design education (2011-2015). These are outcomes of an ongoing research project on wear ability in material culture with an increasing focus on repair cultures. 'On Wearing' is the base-line article for the research project and explores 'wearing' as a multimodal concept that points to enduring products and product-user relationships as positive signs of sustainable practices (Gill and Mellick Lopes, 2011). A co-authored journal publication with Mellick Lopes titled 'Recoding Abandoned Products' (2012) analyses the pedagogical setting of a sustainable design project for visual designers learning to shift product value away from disposability and support product life extension. A co-article for the Journal of Design Research (2015) critically examines conceptions of use at work in three design disciplines – industrial design, visual communications design and fashion design – and considers how these conceptions might be productively challenged and reoriented by the relational insights of social practice theory for sustainable design education.

Presentations of this research have been given at design and inter-disciplinary conferences in the UK, US, Cyprus, and the Australian cities of Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Canberra. Alison has supervised and examined many honours level projects in design and several postgraduate design research projects on the subjects of Sydney-based graffiti and stencils, urban photography, illustration, creative industries in Western Sydney and sustainable fashion and laundering practices. Alison has been on the advisory boards of Australian journals such as West, Visual Design Scholarship, as well as The International Journal of the Image and on the research project 'If The Shoe Fits: Footwear, Identity and Transition' at the University of Sheffield (2011-14). She frequently reviews articles for international journals, book manuscripts and conference proposals, and assists her postgraduate students to achieve publication.

Google scholar []

This information has been contributed by Doctor Gill.


  • PhD University of Sydney
  • BA University of Sydney

Professional Memberships

  • Digital Humanities Research Group (Associate Member) (2017 - 2017)
  • Image Research Network Advisory Board (2015 - 2017)
  • AGDA (Australian Graphic Design Association) (2010 - 2013)
  • Design Research Society (2009 - 2013)
  • Digital Humanities Research Group (2014 - 2016)


  • UWS Learning and Teaching award: Citation for Outstanding Contribution to Student Learning 2013-12-10


  • Design philosophy and theory, design studies
  • Everyday consumption and related social practices
  • Fashion studies
  • Visual knowledges and communication and methods of thinking the visual

Organisational Unit (School / Division)

  • Design


  • Education for Academic Integrity Committee


Phone: (02) 9685 4669
Location: ED.G.70

PLEASE NOTE: obtaining information from this Directory must be for the legitimate purposes of doing business with and within Western Sydney University, and must not be used for unsolicited bulk e-mailing (spamming) or similar purposes.


Previous Teaching Areas

  • 100773 Design Honours Thesis, 2013
  • 101022 20th Century Design Histories, 2014
  • 101025 Australian Design, 2016
  • 101080 Design Issues, 2015
  • 101876 Reflective Design Practice, 2017
  • 101885 Design: Professional Engagement, 2014
  • 102262 Design Histories and Futures, 2015
  • 102262 Design Histories and Futures, 2016
  • 102262 Design Histories and Futures, 2017
  • 102266 Researching the Visual, 2016
  • 102266 Researching the Visual, 2017
  • 102275 Contextual Design Studies, 2017



  • Kalantidou, E., Keulemans, G., Mellick Lopes, A., Rubenis, N. and Gill, A. (2023), 'Design/Repair: Place, Practice & Community', : Palgrave Macmillan 9783031468612.

Chapters in Books

  • Mellick Lopes, A. and Gill, A. (2023), 'Commoning repair : framing a community response to transitioning waste economies', Design/Repair: Place, Practice & Community, Palgrave Macmillan 9783031468612.
  • Kalantidou, E., Keulemans, G., Mellick Lopes, A., Rubenis, N. and Gill, A. (2023), 'Roundtable : a discussion about design/repair', Design/Repair: Place, Practice & Community, Palgrave Macmillan 9783031468612.
  • Kalantidou, E., Keulemans, G., Mellick Lopes, A., Rubenis, N. and Gill, A. (2023), 'Introduction', Design/Repair: Place, Practice & Community, Palgrave Macmillan 9783031468612.
  • 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.
  • Gill, A. (2020), 'Deconstruction fashion : the making of unfinished, decomposing and re-assembled clothes', Fashion Theory: A Reader, Routledge 9781138296930.
  • Gill, A. (2016), 'Jacques Derrida : fashion under erasure', Thinking Through Fashion: A Guide to Key Theorists, I.B. Tauris 9781780767345.
  • Gill, A. (2009), 'Sneakers', Design Studies: A Reader, Berg 9781847882363.
  • Gill, A. (2007), 'Deconstruction Fashion: The Making of Unfinished, Decomposing and Re-assembled Clothes', Fashion Theory: A Reader, Routledge .
  • Gill, A. (2006), 'Limousines for the Feet; The Rhetoric of Sneakers', Shoes: A History from Sandals to Sneakers, Berg: an imprint of Oxford International Publishers Ltd 9781845204433.

Journal Articles

  • Gill, A. (2021), 'Dress code : are you playing fashion?', Fashion Theory, vol 25, no 1 , pp 141 - 148.
  • Gill, A., Mellick Lopes, A. and Kaye-Smith, H. (2016), 'Practicing sustainability : illuminating 'use' in wearing clothes', Cultural Studies Review, vol 22, no 1 , pp 32 - 58.
  • Mellick Lopes, A. and Gill, A. (2015), 'Reorienting sustainable design : practice theory and aspirational conceptions of use', Journal of Design Research, vol 13, no 3 , pp 248 - 264.
  • Mellick Lopes, A., Gill, A. and Fam, D. (2015), 'Editorial : special issue on design and social practice theory : a promising dialogue for sustainable living', Journal of Design Research, vol 13, no 3 , pp 237 - 247.
  • Mellick Lopes, A. and Gill, A. (2015), 'Initiating change by design : editorial', Global Media Journal: Australian Edition, vol 9, no 2 .
  • Black, P., Carter, M., de Perthuis, K. and Gill, A. (2014), 'What lies beneath? : thoughts on men's underpants', Critical Studies in Men's Fashion, vol 1, no 2 , pp 133 - 145.
  • Gill, A. and Mellick Lopes, A. (2012), 'Recoding abandoned products : student visual designers learn to sustain product lives and values', Art, Design and Communication in Higher Education, vol 10, no 2 , pp 233 - 253.
  • Mellick Lopes, A. and Gill, A. (2011), 'On wearing : a critical framework for valuing design's already made', Design and Culture, vol 3, no 3 , pp 307 - 327.

Conference Papers

  • Gill, A. and De Perthuis, K. (2023), '#AFeministFuture : feminist social design pedagogy with a case study about young men in Western Sydney', Australian Council of University Art and Design Schools. Conference, Online.
  • Gill, A. (2022), 'Connecting, shaping and communicating repair cultures', Building Digital Humanities Symposium, online.
  • Gill, A. (2020), 'Australian-Japanese fashion : the folds and wrappings of cultural exchange and sustainable practices', Critical Fashion Studies, University of Melbourne.
  • Gill, A., Sandbach, K., Harkus, S. and Abbott, O. (2017), 'The Blow Breathe Cough campaign : a learning partnership to develop a message about healthy hearing', Our Languages Matter Symposium, Western Sydney University, Parramatta, N.S.W..
  • Gill, A. and Mellick Lopes, A. (2016), 'Repair cultures', Crossroads Conference (Cultural Studies), University of Sydney.
  • Gill, A. (2016), 'A Bowie family portrait : "a couple of kooks" + a baby', Crossroads Conference (Cultural Studies), University of Sydney.
  • Gill, A. (2012), 'Wearing matters : engaging 'users' and changing relationships with clothes', Fashionably Early: Designing Australian Fashion Futures, Canberra, A.C.T..
  • Gill, A. and Mellick Lopes, A. (2011), 'Recoding Abandoned Products: student visual designers experiment to sustain product lives and values', Experiential Knowledge Special Interest Group of the Design Research Society, Farnham, Surrey, UK.
  • Gill, A. (2006), 'Trainers : the worlds at our feet and the multiple investments in high performance shoe technology', Cultural Studies Association of Australasia. Conference, Canberra, A.C.T..

Other Publications

  • 2016, 'Rethinking Wardrobes: The Sharing Economy and the Fashion Imagination', Published Work


Doctor Gill is available to be a principal supervisor for doctoral projects

Current Supervision

Thesis Title: From fast fashion to post consumerism: the material practices of fashion in the twenty-first century amongst young Australian women.
Field of Research:
Thesis Title: Experiences of the Inbetween: A phenomenological inquiry into the nature of the relationships of art, craft and design in western and non-western cultures
Field of Research:

Previous Supervision

Thesis Title: Back to the drawing board? Exploring process drawing and pathways to drawing participation in Higher Education for graphic design students.
Field of Research: Communication And Media Studies, N.e.c.; Graphic Arts And Design Studies; Education Studies
Thesis Title: The "Other" Creatives: Design and Culture in Western Sydney
Field of Research:
Thesis Title: Graffiti Archaeography: The Poetics of Engagement in Sydney's Inner Suburbs
Field of Research: Visual Arts And Crafts, N.e.c.
Thesis Title: Doing Laundry more Sustainably: Disrupting Everyday Practices Through Media Conversations
Field of Research: Society And Culture, N.e.c.; Communication And Media Studies, N.e.c.; Other Society And Culture; Graphic And Design Studies, N.e.c.
Thesis Title: Capturing Disappearance: A Visual-Phenomenological Investigation of Sydney's Irregular Performance Spaces
Field of Research: Communication And Media Studies, N.e.c.; Visual Arts And Crafts, N.e.c.; Human Geography


Title: Google Scholar
Description: Google Scholar
Title: Orcid
Description: Orcid
Title: ResearchGate
Description: ResearchGate

Western Sydney University

Locked Bag 1797
Penrith NSW 2751

ABN 53 014 069 881
CRICOS Provider No: 00917k