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Joanna Boehnert

Design Academic, EducatorStrategic Design, Design InnovationSystemic Design, Policy Design

Dr. Joanna Boehnert is an ecological and sustainable design theorist, researcher, practitioner, and educator with expertise in communication in systemic design transitions. With attention to the fact that ecological knowledge has historically been dismissed in design theory, education, and practice, her work has centered on bringing ecological knowledge into design since her 2012 PhD titled: "The Visual Communication of Ecological Literacy: Designing Learning and Emergent Ecological Perception." With this expanded vision of design, she highlights the politics of sustainable transitions in her monograph "Design Ecology Politics: Towards the Ecocene" (2018) and other publications.


Joanna has worked for sustainable transitions in a wide variety of contexts. In her current role as an AHRC Innovation Scholar, she is working on a three-year research project called “Transition Templates: Pathways to Net Zero+” with Ben Reason at service design consultancy Livework. She is concurrently working on a second AHRC-funded project titled "Enacting Gregory Bateson's Ecological Aesthetics in Architecture and Design." Recent publications include “Design Politics in the Anthropocene” (2023) and “Unlearning Unsustainability: A Letter to Design Educators on Sustainability Delay” (2024).


Joanna is a co-convenor of the Design Research Society Sustainability SIG and a founding member of the Systemic Design Association. Joanna is a Senior Lecturer in Design at Bath Spa University. She is Canadian.

Joanna Boehnert