Professor Esther Charlesworth

Esther CharlesworthEsther Charlesworth is a Professor in the School of Architecture and Design at RMIT University, Melbourne and Academic Director of the Masters of Disaster, Design and Development (MoDDD) degree. She undertook her Masters Degree in Architecture and Urban Design at Harvard University and her PhD at the University of York (UK). She is also the founding Director of Architects without Frontiers (AWF).

She has worked in architecture and urban design practices in Melbourne, Sydney, Boston and New York and previously lectured in design at the University of Melbourne, QUT and The American University of Beirut. She has published widely on the theme of social justice and architecture, including CityEdge: Contemporary Case Studies in Urbanism (2005), Architects without Frontiers: War, Reconstruction and Design Responsibility (2006), Divided Cities (2009) The EcoEdge (2011), Live Projects (2012); Humanitarian Architecture (2014) and Sustainable Housing Reconstruction. For more see Esther’s RMIT staff page.

Professor John Fien

John FienJohn Fien is Professor of Practice in the interdisciplinary field of Disaster, Design and Development. He has been involved in the MoDDD degree program since its beginning, and has helped prepare and teach core courses such as Disaster, Design and Development, Building Urban Resilience and Shelter and Settlement, as well as electives such as Humanitarian Architecture and Climate Change, Design and Disasters.

His role now focuses on developing national and global partnerships and fostering an applied research culture in HARB. John has been a Professor at Griffith and Swinburne Universities as well as RMIT and has led development projects and evaluations in several countries, including: Kenya, South Africa, Thailand, Vietnam, The Philippines and Fiji. This has involved working with agencies such as The World Bank, UNESCO, UNICEF UNEP, AusAID, OECD and WWF-International. For more see John's RMIT staff page.

Associate Professor Elizabeth Grant

Elizabeth GrantElizabeth’s expertise is research and design in the fields of design and human rights, Indigenous architecture and placemaking, housing and community infrastructure design, and design for people with physical and/or psychosocial disability.

Elizabeth is a Churchill Fellow, has published four books and over 70 papers and serves as a peer reviewer and referee for more than 10 international journals. She is the lead editor of the International Handbook of Contemporary Indigenous Architecture (Springer 2018). In 2015, she was honoured with the International Prison and Correctional Association (ICPA) Excellence in Research Award for her work in this area.

In 2017, she was invited to submit to three Government inquiries and appointed as an expert witness and participant for closed forums as part of the Royal Commission into the Protection and Detention of Children in the Northern Territory. In 2018 she has appeared before Ministerial and Senate inquiries into the housing needs of Indigenous peoples living with a disability.

In 2018, Grant appeared before the Australian Senate and was appointed as an international expert for the New Zealand Government's Hāpaitia te Oranga Tangata Process on the humane design of places of detention for Māori and Pacific Islanders. For more see Elizabeth's RMIT staff page.

Pamela Cajilig

Pamela CajiligPamela is a Doctoral Scholar in HARB researching the intersection of design, citizenship and participation in post-disaster housing reconstruction after Typhoon Yolande in the Philippines. She currently holds a BA degree in Communication Research and an MA in Anthropology from the University of the Philippines.

She is the co-founder of Curiosity Design Research, which helps organizations understand how people use products and services to create value and spark social change. As part of Curiosity, Pamela works with development, business, and government sectors in applying empathy-driven, human-centered research and design thinking for inclusive innovation.

Pamela leads Curiosity’s research engagements in financial literacy, post-Yolanda shelter design and education, the informal economy, agriculture, affordable healthcare, and other areas of social concern.

Pamela is on the Advisory Board of two non-profits: Roots of Health (maternal and reproductive health) and WeDpro (women’s rights). Pamela is also part of a small but growing group of global researchers that advocate for the serious consideration of fashion as an avenue to investigate broader themes that shape society: history, globalization, and the political economy. For more see Pamela’s Curiosity Design website.