Ms Katrina Sandbach

Ms Katrina Sandbach

Design (sohca)


A designer and academic with a background in brand communication design, Katrina infuses her teaching with the practical skills of applied research, design production, and project management. She has taught widely across the 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.

Katrina's research draws heavily from her own professional design practice, as well as her long history with WSU and the Western Sydney region. She is particularly interested in creative geographies, and how visual communication affects place and cultural identity. In addition to part-time PhD candidature and teaching in the WSU Design (VisCom) program, she is a Research Fellow and co-leads the Places & Platforms stream in the Young and Resilient Research Centre, and has supported a number of grassroots creative initiatives in Western Sydney.

This information has been contributed by Ms Sandbach.


  • BA University of Western Sydney,Nepean


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


  • Branding
  • 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

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

  • 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

  • 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 - 2018-05-31
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

Western Sydney University

Locked Bag 1797
Penrith NSW 2751

Tel: +61 2 9852 5222

ABN 53 014 069 881
CRICOS Provider No: 00917k

Visit our mobile site