Ms Katrina Sandbach

Ms Katrina Sandbach

Design (sohca)


Katrina Sandbach is a designer and academic with a background in brand communication design. She has taught widely across the Western Sydney University visual communication design program, with an emphasis on studio skills and professional practice, and co-leads the Rabbit Hole, a teaching studio that connects emerging designers with local organisations requiring creative insight.

A practice-oriented researcher, she employs visual and digital methods to study place, identity, and community, with a particular interest in participatory approaches and creative outcomes. Katrina is a Research Fellow and co-leads the Places & Platforms stream in the Young and Resilient Research Centre, and she has supported a number of grassroots creative initiatives in Western Sydney. Currently, she manages — an interactive map of creative businesses and cultural spaces in the west.

This information has been contributed by Ms Sandbach.


  • BA University of Western Sydney,Nepean


  • Vice Chancellors Excellence in Teaching Award 2011-11-01
  • Vice Chancellors Excellence in Teaching Award 2017-11-01
  • Three Minute Thesis, First Place, College of Arts Final 2010-08-01


  • Brand culture
  • Creative geographies
  • Place identity
  • Vernacular design

Organisational Unit (School / Division)

  • Design (sohca)


  • Sydney Design Festival Advisory Committee
  • The DiG: Digital Makerspace


Phone: (02) 9685 4663
Location: ED.G.57

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Previous Teaching Areas

  • 102278 Professional Design Experience: The Studio, 2019
  • 102279 Major Design Project, 2019
  • 102280 Professional Design Experience: The Individual Practitioner, 2019


Journal Articles

  • Deitz, M., Notley, T., Cantanzaro, M., Third, A. and Sandbach, K. (2018), 'Emotion mapping : using participatory media to support young people's participation in urban design', Emotion Space and Society, vol 28 , pp 9 - 17.
  • Sandbach, K. (2015), 'Magnetic learning space through design', International Journal of Design Education, vol 8, no 3-4 , pp 17 - 28.
  • Pink, S., Catanzaro, M., Sandbach, K., Barnes, A., Mcneill, J., Gusheh, M., Scotece, E. and Catanzaro, C. (2015), 'Making and sharing the commons : reimagaining 'the West' as Riverlands, Sydney through a dialogue between design and ethnography', Global Media Journal: Australian Edition, vol 9, no 2 .
  • Sandbach, K. (2015), 'Creative outsiders : creative industries in Greater Western Sydney', Global Media Journal: Australian Edition, vol 9, no 2 .
  • Edwards-Vandenhoek, S. and Sandbach, K. (2014), 'Down the Rabbit Hole we go : evaluating the impacts of a situated design pedagogy', Studies in Material Thinking, vol 11 .
  • Sandbach, K. (2013), ''Westies' no more : towards a more inclusive and authentic place identity', Cescontexto: Debates, vol 2, no June , pp 724 - 732.
  • Sandbach, K. (2011), 'Graphic Design and the Aesthetics of Place', Irridescent, vol 1, no 2 , pp 148 - 159.

Conference Papers

  • 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..
  • Edwards-Vandenhoek, S. and Sandbach, K. (2013), 'Down the Rabbit Hole : a situated approach to design education that facilitates socially responsible emergent designers', Proceedings from the 2nd International Conference for Design Education Researchers, Oslo, Norway.
  • Sandbach, K. (2011), 'Graphic Design and the Aesthetics of Place', agIdeas Design for Business and Industry, Melbourne, Vic..


  • 2016, 'The Absence of Femininity'

Other Publications

  • 2020, 'Creative West', Published Work
  • 2018, 'invisiblecity: Emotion Mapping App', Published Work
  • 2016, 'InWesternSydney', Published Work
  • 2015, 'Invisible City Project Website', Published Work
  • 2012, 'One Kilometre : Conversations with Darri-Ba Nungalinya', Published Work

Katrina's PhD thesis uses an action research approach to explore a different view of Greater Western Sydney that foregrounds creative communities and participatory approaches to community-building, reframing what it means to be a ‘Westie’ in a rapidly growing region.

In addition to the research outcomes listed in 'Publications', Katrina has presented the following conference papers:

Sandbach, K. 2018. ‘MOD-WEST’, Design Speaks, Sydney Design Festival, Penrith Regional Gallery, Emu Plains 3 March 2018

Sandbach, K. 2016. 'Envisioning Research'. Crossroads in Cultural Studies Conference, Sydney University, Australia, 14-17 December 2016

Sandbach, K. 2016. 'The Other Creatives'. Australian & New Zealand Communication Association 2016, School of Design, Communication and IT, the Faculty of Science and IT, Newcastle University, Australia, 6-8 July 2016

Catanzaro, M., Sandbach K. 2015. 'Learning Through Community Engagement: The Rabbit Hole Fourth Year Studio as Design 'Lab''. Designing for Learning Showcase, Western Sydney University, Australia, 3 December 2015

Sandbach, K. 2015. 'Higher Education & the Creative Cluster'. Blue-Lab Creative Industries Symposium, Blue Mountains Cultural Centre, Australia, 20-21 May 2015

Sandbach, K. 2014. ‘Creative Fringe’. Interventions and Intersections, School of Humanities and Communication Arts, University of Western Sydney, Australia, 9-11 July 2014

Sandbach, K. 2014. ‘Places for Learning and Practising Design’. Institute of Australian Geographers/New Zealand Geographical Society Conference, Melbourne University, Australia, 30 June-2 July 2014

Sandbach, K. 2014. ‘Creative Fringe: A Place for Creative Industries in Western Sydney’. Initiating Change by Design, School of Humanities and Communication Arts, University of Western Sydney, Australia, 23-24 April 2014

Sandbach, K. 2013. ‘Magnetic Learning Space through Design’, Interventions and Intersections, School of Humanities and Communication Arts, University of Western Sydney, Australia, 26-28 June 2013

Sandbach, K. 2011. ‘Graphic Design’s Agency in Place’, Mapping Ecologies of Place: Local, Virtual Digital, University of Western Sydney, Australia, 16-17 June 2011

Sandbach, K. 2011. ‘Re-thinking UWS Learning Spaces with Bachelor of Design Students’, Interventions and Intersections, College of Arts, University of Western Sydney, Australia, 7-8 June 2011

This information has been contributed by Ms Sandbach.

Previous Projects

Title: Young and Resilient Living Lab Foundation Project
  • University of Western Sydney
  • Google Australia Pty Ltd
Western Researchers: Amanda Third, Philippa Collin, Liam Magee, Tanya Notley, Louise Crabtree, Katrina Sandbach, Michelle Catanzaro, Peter Bansel, Nida Denson and Milissa Deitz
Years: 2016-12-05 - 2018-04-12
ID: P00023561
Title: Young and Well Cooperative Research Centre - YAWCRC - Engaging Creativity Through Technologies P2:P2
  • Department of Industry, Innovation and Science (CRC)
Western Researchers: Amanda Third, Kerry Robinson, Nida Denson, Peter Bansel, Tanya Notley, Katrina Sandbach, Michelle Catanzaro and Milissa Deitz
Years: 2013-06-25 - 2016-12-25
ID: P00021345

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