Dr Mike McAuley
Mike’s switch from full-time professional practice as an illustrator to academia began in the 1990s as a consequence of an invitation to give a talk at Curtin University on what it was like to work in the ‘real world’, i.e. the world of design practice. This was when he discovered his passion for helping students develop their own understanding of how they learn and respond creatively to the challenges of our man made artificial world.
Since then, while still maintaining his practice whenever possible, Mike has been an educator and researcher in design, teaching both studio and theory based courses at a number of universities. Prior to taking on a senior lecturing position at Griffith he was subject director in Illustration at Massey University’s College of Creative Arts in Wellington, New Zealand (1995–2013). He also taught at the University of Newcastle, NSW (2014–16). During his time there he was Honours convenor (2015) and program convenor (2016) in Visual Communication Design.
In 2013 he joined the editorial board of the journal ‘Art, Design and Communication in Higher Education’. This is a consequence of his numerous research publications and conference presentations on creativity, design process, storytelling, student learning, the relationship between theory and practice and the processes involved in interpreting words into pictures.
Mike is also a regular reviewer of scholarly papers for international design journals and conferences. He served as Chair of the Teaching and Learning Committee, Design, Communications and Information Technology at the University of Newcastle (2016). In 2015 and 2016 he was a judge for the international Undergraduate Awards for Honours level art and design education.
Mike regards the relationship between teaching and research as a nexus, where each area of focus strengthens, informs and improves the other, leading to enhanced student learning and new knowledge about design.