Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in History of Design, V&A/Royal College of Art History of Design programme, UK
Master in Design, PUC-Rio, Brazil
Bachelor in Industrial and Graphic Design, ESDI, Brazil
Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy, AdvanceHE, UK
Postgraduate Certificate in Art & Design Education, Royal College of Art, UK
Livia Rezende is a design historian living and working on unceded Gadigal land.
She is the Postgraduate Coordinator for the School of Art & Design, where she teaches Design History and Theory and supervises postgraduate students in correlate fields. Livia welcomes enquiries from applicants interested in undertaking an MFA, MPhil or PhD by thesis or by practice.
Livia holds a doctoral degree from the V&A/Royal College of Art History of Design Programme, a Master's and a Bachelor's degree in graphic and industrial design from Brazil. She holds a Postgraduate Certificate in Art & Design Education and is a Senior Fellow of the Advance Higher Education Academy (SFHEA).
Livia is an expert in exhibition histories and histories of design practice in postcolonial contexts—including design’s environmental, cultural, and social impacts. Livia is internationally renowned in the field of Design History as a Latin American scholar whose publications and thought leadership contribute to expanding the discipline’s geographical and methodological reaches. Livia works with innovative research methods that advance transnational and intersectional design histories, promote positionality and perspective sharing in scholarly and teaching practices. She is recognised for introducing non-Western perspectives and knowledges to the field, for critically reassessing archival methodologies in design, and for advancing collaborative history writing.
As Book Editor for the Manchester University Press, Livia advises on the academic standing of book proposals and manuscripts in the Studies in Design and Material Culture series. She is also Editor of the Journal of Design History with special responsibility for Explorations, a new strategic editorial direction underpinned by EDI principles to foster publishing access for underrepresented groups.
As one of the co-founders of the international research collective OPEN, she works on decolonial methods and praxis through public engagement, educational impact, and scholarly outputs.
Australian Council of University Art and Design, 2023: A Decolonial Design History Educators Network, $5,000 with Nicola St John (RMIT), Fanny Suhendra (Swinburne), Diana Albarrán González (Univesrity of Auckland), Nina Gibbes and Zenobia Ahmed
UNSW School of Art & Design Research Grant (Seed Funding Scheme), 2023: $2,739
UNSW Arts, Design & Architecture Faculty Research Fellow, 2021-2022: $45,000
UNSW Art & Design Faculty Research Grant, 2019: $4,997
Royal College of Art (RCA), Research & Knowledge Exchange and Innovation Fund, 2018: $1,000
Arts & Humanities Research Council UK / Newton Fund, 2017: Development through the Creative Economy in China, $6,500
Royal College of Art (RCA), Research Development Fund, 2014-2015: $3,500
2021-22 UNSW Faculty of Arts, Design & Architecture Research Fellow
2021 Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy
2020 Design Writing Prize, Design History Society, United Kingdom
2019 UNSW Art & Design Dean's Award for Research Excellence
2013 Visiting Professorship, Rio de Janeiro State University, Brazil
2012 Junior Postdoctoral Scholarship, Brazilian Council for Scientific and Technological Development (CNPq)
2007-10 Full Doctoral Award, CAPES Foundation of Brazil
2010 Conference Travel Grant, Design History Society, United Kingdom
2008 Conference Travel Prize, UK Society for Latin American Studies
2005 Best Written Work, Museu da Casa Brasileira, Brazil
2001-03 Full Master's Degree Award, Brazilian National Council for Scientific and Technological Development (CNPq) and CAPES Foundation of Brazil
Livia’s current project investigates the expansion of the industrial design activity in Latin America under the aegis of military dictatorships in the 1960s and 1970s. This project has received a series of small grants, prizes, commissions, critical acclaim, and public attention that evidence the timeliness of research into historical precedents to the current rise of authoritarian cultures.
Her previous research project and publications discuss nation-building efforts through designed pavilions, visual communication, exhibits and displays in 19th-century International Exhibitions and World’s Fairs, with emphasis on the commodification of raw materials and the gendering of nature in these ‘design pageantries’.
Two upcoming projects will see Livia’s methodological and disciplinary expertise make further impact on the Australian context:
The Decolonial Design History Educators Network: This international research group (RMIT, Swinburne, UNSW, and University of Auckland) investigates how design curriculum and teaching practices address social injustice. Projected impact includes supporting, through outreach activities, end-users in Design Schools to teach diverse and inclusive design histories. Funded by an Australian Council of University Art & Design Schools (ACUADS) CAT3 grant.
Networks of Design: Reconsidering the Impact of Australian Design Internationally (1959-1980): This project explores how federal and state governments collaborated with design peak bodies to form an institutional framework for the development of design. This project will lead to the first historical research into Australian design peak bodies.
My Research Supervision
Livia is eligible and has capacity to primary supervise MFA, MPhil, and PhD candidates by thesis or by practice.
She welcomes supervision enquiries in Design History and Theory, Craft History and Theory, Latin American Cultural History, and correlate fields. Among other areas, research focus can include exhibition histories, theories and histories of nationalism & national identity formation, gender theory, transnational and intersectional histories, critical archival methods, and decolonial thinking and praxis.
Current PhD Supervisions
Completed PhD Supervisions
Completed Master by Research Supervision (as Primary Supervisor)
Completed Master by Research Supervision (as Joint Supervisor)
Completed Supervision of Critical and Historical Studies Masters’ Dissertation (as Primary Supervisor)
Livia has co-designed all four core courses in the Design History and Theory curriculum for the Bachelor of Design (Integrated Design) program.
At the School of Art & Design, she teaches into Design History and Theory at undergraduate and postgraduate levels: