Russell Kerr


Russell has a Masters in Public Advocacy and Action from Victoria University and a Bachelor of Arts in Graphic Design with Honours from the University of Ballarat. Russell’s primary research interests traverse the areas of community based design, graphic agitation and social responsibility in graphic design education. He is currently a PhD Candidate at the Center for Cultural Partnerships at the Victorian College of the Arts.

His current PhD research investigates the contested field of Social Design specifically focusing on how social practice relates to Communication Design. The research examines the fields of sustainability, ethics, human-centered design and values-based design exploring how social relations in Communication Design practice are made explicit. The aim of this research is to rethink the social practice of Communication Design and develop a new body of knowledge that offers a sustainable framework for the values-based practice of Communication Design.

Russell has extensive professional experience in the design industry, he spent three years working at one of Australia’s premier design studios Inkahoots before moving on to set up his own studio Transfer Press. Russell continues to practice design working with grassroots community organizations and creating street based art and screen-printed posters with political content. Russell’s work is in the permanent collections of the State Library of Victoria and the Centre for the Study of Political Graphics, Los Angeles. Russell is a founding member of the Design for Community participatory design movement.

His primary research interests traverse the areas grassroots visual communication, graphic agitation and social responsibility in graphic design education. I am particularly interested in how youth’s creation and consumption of media effects the formulation of their views on the world in which they live. My current research explores collaborative relationships between education institutions and how these relationships can foster students experiences which examine social and political issues. I am also interested in how different environments influence approaches to communication problems.