Heather McKinnon

QUT Urban Informatics > Team > Heather McKinnon

PhD Candidate
BBus, S.Qld; M.IDEA, Syd.



Heather is an interaction designer and PhD candidate with the Urban Informatics Research Lab and QUT Design Lab. After finishing her Bachelor of Business she then went on to receive a Master of Interaction Design and Electronic Arts. Her prior studies have explored urban screens, responsive environments, tangible user interfaces, and interactive public art. Heather’s current research interests spread across three connected spheres: Mundanity, domestic resource sufficiency, and design. She uses design-led methods to investigate implications of everyday resource use, creating design research artefacts from recycled materials to explore the home environment.


Research areas

  • Mundanity
  • Environmental Sustainability
  • Resource Sufficiency
  • Waste & Frugality
  • Design Futures
  • Materiality in Design
  • Design-led Methodologies


PhD Research: The Mundane Lives of Households: A Design Exploration Into Everyday Resource Sufficiency In The Home

Situated across the areas of design theory, environmental sustainability, and modern mundanity, this doctoral study explores cultures of resource waste and frugality within the home. Within the context of everyday life lie the mundane, ordinary rhythms and patterns that make up our days. Many writers and theorists such as De Certeau, Perec and Lefebvre emphasise the value and potential that lies in the study of these mundane practices, suggesting that the transformation of everyday life can in turn, lead to a transformation of society. This research seeks to address this space, focusing on everyday domestic resources – food, water, energy, and general waste. This study seeks to explore the mundane realities of everyday wastefulness/frugality in detail, identifying opportunities for design. The research builds upon past design interventions, contextual examples, design philosophy and literature. In order to collect data, this research uses design-led methods such as cultural probes and design research artefacts to explore the home environment in greater detail.

Contact Details

Email: h.mckinnon@qut.edu.au

Eprints: https://eprints.qut.edu.au/view/person/McKinnon,_Heather.html

Orchid ID: orcid.org/0000-0001-5615-2829

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/heather-mckinnon-17199599/