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Staff Profile

Dr Philip Ely

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Senior Lecturer
Office of the Provost
Faculty of Humanities
Bentley Campus

Brief Summary

Dr Philip Ely is Senior Lecturer and Major Coordinator of Creative Advertising and Graphic Design. Prior to Curtin University, he was an Associate Dean at the University for the Creative Arts and Visiting Fellow at the University of Surrey's Digital World Research Centre. Philip recently led student entrepreneurship development at the University of Portsmouth where he founded the Social Startup development programme and created the Social Startup brand. He was a post-doc research fellow on the UK's Interactive Newsprint project funded by the Research Council UK's Digital Economy programme where he designed and conducted user-based studies of new forms of interactive content. Philip has a research interest in design entrepreneurship and the role of design thinking in real-world problem solving. He spent his formative years in Dutch design agency Total Design in Amsterdam, was an interactive designer at IBM, Controller of Interactive Design at Granada Media plc and Director of Digital Media at international branding consultancy Design Bridge.  He has published work on entrepreneurship, creative industries and new media respectively.

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Memberships, Awards and Training

  • Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (UK)
  • Fellow of the Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures & Commerce (RSA)
  • Member of the Association for Computing Machinery Special Interest Group for Computer Human Interaction (SIGCHI)
  • Diploma Member of the Chartered Society of Designers
  • Member of The Typographic Circle

  • British Designers & Art Directors Association (D&AD) Award Winner as Tutor, D&AD Global Student of the Year, D&AD Global Student Awards, 2007
  • British Designers & Art Directors Association (D&AD) Award Winner (First Prize - Music Videos: The Clock) as Tutor, D&AD Global Student Awards, 2007
  • British Designers & Art Directors Association (D&AD) Award Winner (Second Prize - Animation: 15 Steps to Climate Control) as Tutor, D&AD Global Student Awards, 2007

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Employment History

  • Former External Examiner, Graphic Design at Central St.Martins, University for the Arts London (UAL)
  • Peer Reviewer for Research Councils UK
  • Business Ambassador for the City of Portsmouth, UK
  • Founder of Vested Interest (

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Major Coordinator for Creative Advertising and Graphic Design

Unit Coordinator for Typography

Honours, Masters and PhD supervisor.

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Research Fields

    Built Environment and Design

  • Design History and Theory
  • Design Innovation
  • Design Management and Studio and Professional Practice
  • Digital and Interaction Design
  • Visual Communication Design (incl. Graphic Design)
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Research Interests

  • The socio-economic and cultural benefits of graphic design practice in Western Australia;
  • Graphic design history in US, Europe and Australia;
  • The 'micro' and 'macro' level concerns of design entrepreneurship and innovation - shaping policy and advocating for ;
  • Ethnographic research;
  • The role of higher education in the regional development of innovation and entrepreneurship.

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Specialty Areas

  • Graphic Design practice;
  • Design thinking;
  • Design entrepreneurship;
  • Design for interactive media


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Journal Articles (Research)

  • Frohlich, D. M., P. Ely, H. Moore, C. Golsteijn, P. Egglestone, J. Mills, J. Rogers, T. Metcalf, K. Stone, and M. Menicou.. "Designing interactive newsprint." INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF HUMAN-COMPUTER STUDIES 104 (2017) Inpress.


Journal Articles (Research)


Book Chapters (Research)

  • Ely, P., D. Frohlich, and N. Green. 2011. "Uncertainty, Upheavals and Upgrades: Digital-DIY during life-change." In New Media Technologies and User Empowerment 1st. Pierson, J., E. Mante-Meijer, and E. Loos., 1-1 Berlin: Peter Lang Verlag.
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keyboard_arrow_downAdditional publication categories


Journal Articles (Scholarly/Professional)

  • Ely, P. C. 2011. "Review of Creative Research: The theory and practice of research for the creative industries." Networks (ADM-HEA) 12 (Spring): 1-1.
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