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Professor Mario Minichiello

Professor

School of Design Communication and IT

A design coup

In 2012, world-renowned designer, illustrator, artist and academic Professor Mario Minichiello joined the University of Newcastle to help foster national and international collaboration.

Mario Minichiello Officially appointed as the Head of the discipline of Design, Professor Minichiello has a reputation for innovation, taking risks and developing different ways of thinking. 

Although born in Italy, Professor Minichiello started his professional career in the United Kingdom. He worked for seven years for BBC Newsnight as a reportage illustrator making drawings for events such as the Spycatcher Trials, and pre-television coverage of the House of Commons, including the Guildford Four appeals and Beirut Hostage releases.

During his 15 year career he has also worked for the Guardian, The FT, Amnesty International, the Terence Higgins Trust, BBC Enterprises, Longmans, The Times and ITN News.

Professor Minichiello's most brazen post was when he worked as an artist during the Afghanistan War. During this time be created the book, The Art Of Conflict?, which is a record of reportage drawings of the war.

Professor Minichiello also covered the 2007 APEC Summit in Sydney with a range of drawings published in the Sun Herald.

In research, Professor Minichiello is focused on the role of design and visual communication in the areas of climate change, economic betterment and human behaviour.

"I went to art school to explore an irrepressible instinct to explain the world visually," he says. "I studied graphic design because I wanted to help change that world for the better."

Professor Minichiello says design and visual communication provides solutions to problems, promotes clarity of thinking and encourages creative ideas.

"In this way we are developing the human capacity to meet the challenges of our future. The chance to influence how people in any society think and behave, even for a brief moment, is a positive intervention in a world that is increasingly concerned with mindless celebrity, consumerism and self-interest."

Professor Minichiello has received acclaim from many in his industry and beyond.

"Mario Minichiello's work grabs your eyes, your brain, your whole self," said BBC Worldwide Publishing Director Martin Mulloy.

"Some drawings impress with their emotion and humanity, others impress with their technique; Mario's do both and, what is even better, because of the nature of their questioning, they make even this most cynical old hack want to go out and draw the world afresh," said cartoonist Steve Bell.

"The [Spycatcher Trials] case generated a flood of witty political cartoons, but one of the most memorable contributions were the sketches by Mario Minichiello of the court room drama. Mario Minichiello's work vividly recalls important happenings that are beyond the gaze of most members of the public in a world in which the camera continues to be excluded from the courtroom," said Law Lord Anthony Lester QC.

Professor Minichiello's current role is to lead the team of design staff to deliver world class research, as well as prepare the next generation of visual communications students for enriching and successful careers.

Since joining the University it hasn't taken Professor Minichiello long to make a name for himself. Minichiello is the man behind the striking range of illustrations for strategic documents such as The Innovator and NeW Directions Strategic Plan 2013-2015. Professor Minichiello is also the Head of the  newly formed Hunter Centre for Creative Industries and Technology, a research cluster that brings together representatives from a industry, business, government and the university to develop research breakthroughs and new ways of thinking.

See more of Professor Minichiello's work

My War – Northern Stories (Hurricane films) - featuring some of Mario's illustrations.

More examples can be found at:

Mario Minichiello

A design coup

In 2012, world-renowned designer, illustrator, artist and academic Professor Mario Minichiello joined the University of Newcastle to help foster national and in

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Career Summary

Biography

I went to art school to explore an irrepressible instinct to explain the world visually. I studied graphic design because I wanted to help change that world for the better. Design and visual communication provides solutions to problems, promotes clarity of thinking and encourages creative ideas. In this way we are developing the human capacity to meet the challenges of our future. The chance to influence how people in any society think and behave, even for a brief moment, is a positive intervention in a world that is increasingly concerned with mindless celebrity, consumerism and self-interest. We have to strive to make life better and not merely make ourselves financially richer. My current role at the University of Newcastle is to lead my highly professional team of design staff to deliver world class research and the best student experience in order to prepare our graduates for their chosen careers.

Research Expertise
As a Professor at the University of Newcastle it is my personal responsibility to be an engaging and eloquent advocate for the core values of my discipline at both national and international forums. I am particularly focused on the role of design research and development in relation to climate change, economic betterment and human behaviour. I am also committed to developing a better understanding of the role of drawing as both a language for art and design practice, and as a means of thinking and researching social and personal issues. Examples of the application of this kind of thinking can be seen in the project with Birmingham Children’s Hospital conducted with Professor D Kelly and her team and in the recent Ikon Lunar debates. The purpose of my work is to remediate experience and ideas allowing the viewer to think beyond their normal confines. The activities within visual communication as a discipline have to have social agency as well as economic impact. While my research activities have developed from my practice as an artist and designer. I believe that design as a means of thinking can be universally applied and that it traverses all disciplines within a University – that at its core it captures the interdisciplinary ethos of my school and attracts many international partners and friends. Therefore my work in this field is intended to be an authoritative source of reference, instruction and critical thinking, while remaining politically provocative and intellectually disruptive. This approach has allowed me to make a significant contribution to the discipline of art and design. Which has been achieved through practice based research resulting in academic papers, international conferences, as well as exhibitions, publications and media broadcasts. 

Administrative Expertise
- Head of School (Birmingham City Uni UK) - Academic Director (Loughborough University UK) - Member of University Governing body (Academic Director University School of Art & Design Loughborough University ) - Research review board (Common Ground Publishing) - Quality assurance in HE learning and teaching (Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education UK)

Collaborations
My approach: Visual Communication Design is an agent of change (1); it’s true impact on human behaviour can be revealed using a range of practice based and lead qualitative and quantitative analytical methods. In undertaking this kind of research I wish to reveal new insights that would enable us to advance the understanding of design from the perspective of social responsibility and business efficiency. In investigating visual communication design as an innovative and creative practice it is possible to quantify its potential to transform societies and enhance human well-being. Inspired by Victor Papanek’s critical and cross-cultural approach to design culture, this inclusive approach to design challenges the purely commercial imperative of product culture. As designer and educator Victor Papanek stated, ‘the only important thing about design is how it relates to people’ I work with Prof Kelly and the clinical team where I am visiting Professor in Design at Birmingham Children’s Hospital UK, this started in 2008 when I helped to develop the first design interventions to ensure informed consent for very young children facing large scale surgery. I have published a number of peer reviewed papers in this new field. In the UK I have been award two ARB/C grants - As academic director at Loughborough I set up and helped gain funding from the EC for the Animation academy and the online drawing journal 'Tracy'. As Head of School at BIAD BCU I lead the applications for funding and research for practice lead and based research projects with industry through the Knowledge Transfer Partnership scheme. BIAD become the leader in KTP applications over my period as HOS. This work resulted in the 'Birmingham made me' standing conference with British manufacturing industry In summary: my research approach has been to investigate Visual communication in: • Examining the mechanisms underlying human vision and visual language-and the impact on individuals learning abilities • Studying the cultural evolution of visual languages under the influence of cognitive constraints • Investigating through design the human ability to cooperate with one another • Probing the psychological design and visual communications mechanisms underlying disorders related to body image • Developing art and graphics in environments as part of recovery and pre-medical preparations. • Understanding how different behavioural norms emerge in different social contexts where some aspect of visual communication, such as advertising and life style communication has constructed the social environment. • Understanding the impact of practice and the repositioning of Art and Design into wider social and intellectual paradigms. • Developing symmetry in Visual Communication Design • The application of cutting edge design and information technology to disrupt anti social groups (child exploitation, abuse of women, racism and conflict management). • Reportage and art as director journalism with political intent: Art of conflict

Qualifications

  • PhD, Loughborough University - UK
  • Bachelor of Arts (Honours), Leicester Polytechnic - England

Keywords

  • Co-Design
  • Critical thinking
  • Design thinking
  • Designing for Gamification,applying game-design thinking to non-game applications
  • Designing for behaviour change through New Media
  • Drawing and visualisation
  • Knowledge Transfer
  • Practice based action research and phenomenology
  • Visual Communication Design
  • Wayfinding

Fields of Research

Code Description Percentage
120307 Visual Communication Design (incl. Graphic Design) 100

Professional Experience

UON Appointment

Title Organisation / Department
Professor University of Newcastle
School of Design Communication and IT
Australia

Academic appointment

Dates Title Organisation / Department
1/01/2011 - 31/12/2018 Fellow - Birmingham Children's Hospital Visiting Professor in Design Communication Birmingham Children's Hospital visiting Professor in Design communication
Australia
1/01/2011 -  Editor - The Arts in Society The Arts in Society
United States
1/01/2010 - 31/12/2016 Fellow - DeMontfort University Visiting Professor in Design DeMontfort University Visiting Professor in Design
United Kingdom
1/01/2010 - 31/12/2016 Membership - Vroom Lab Association of Illustrator UK Vroom Lab Association of Illustrator UK
United Kingdom
1/07/2007 - 1/07/2010 Research Fellow The University of Sydney
Australia
1/01/2007 - 31/12/2009 Membership - Lunar Society Executive Committee Lunar Society Executive Committee
Australia
1/01/2007 - 1/03/2011 Head of School/Chair of Visual Communication Birmingham City University
Institute of Art and Design
United Kingdom
1/01/2005 -  Editor - Common Ground Publishing Common Ground Publishing
United States
1/01/2005 - 31/12/2020 Membership - Common Ground International Arts and Design Conferences Executive Common Ground International Arts and Design Conferences Executive
Australia
1/01/2002 - 1/01/2007 Academic Director Loughborough University
Loughborough College of Art and Design
United Kingdom
1/01/1999 - 31/12/2003 Membership - The Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education (UK) The Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education (UK)
United Kingdom
1/01/1998 - 1/01/2002 Head of Department Loughborough University
Visual Communication School
United Kingdom
1/01/1998 - 1/01/2002 QAA reviewer and National Subject Group Chair Loughborough University
United Kingdom
1/01/1993 - 1/01/1998 Head of Department Loughborough University
Loughborough College of Art and Design
United Kingdom

Professional appointment

Dates Title Organisation / Department
1/01/1987 - 1/01/1989 Reportage Artist - BBC Newsnight BBC (British Broadcasting Corporation)
United Kingdom

Invitations

Participant

Year Title / Rationale
2008 Making Design That Sells
Organisation: The Second International Conference on Design Principles and Practices Description: .

Speaker

Year Title / Rationale
2012 Thinking Through Drawing: In STEAM
Organisation: London College of the Arts Description: .
2011 Drawing as Visual Communication
Organisation: 6th UNIDCOM/IADE International Conference Description: .
2010 The Future World
Organisation: The Lunar Society Description: .
2010 Employability conference
Organisation: Birmingham City University and Regional Universities Group Description: .
2010 Shadow Play: Alchemy, Redolence and Enchantment
Organisation: University of Wales Description: .
2008 'War and Conflict' The Annual Debate
Organisation: Northampton University Description: .
2008 Master of the Universe
Organisation: Royal College of Art Description: .
1998 Informed consent and the role of visual materials
Organisation: Birmingham Children’s hospital Description: .
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Publications

For publications that are currently unpublished or in-press, details are shown in italics.


Book (3 outputs)

Year Citation Altmetrics Link
2003 Minichiello MA, Minichiello L, Klimowski A, Willis J, The art of conflict Afghanistan, European Illustration Gallery, Hull, United Kingdom, 30 (2003) [A1]
1999 Minichiello MA, Rhodes C, Mario Minichiello : drawing and prints 1996-1999, Loughborough University, Loughborough, United Kingdom, 26 (1999) [A1]
1999 McLean P, Minichiello MA, Morris D, Peter McLean : drawings, Loughborough University, Loughborough, United Kingdom (1999) [A1]

Chapter (5 outputs)

Year Citation Altmetrics Link
2015 Minichiello MA, 'We support business start-ups', Graphic desin for the curious: Why study graphic design?, The Curious Academic Publishing, - --- (2015)
2014 Minichiello MA, 'My arguments with the world', Recto Verso: Redefining the Sketchbook, Ashgate, Farnham, Surrey 177-189 (2014) [B1]
2012 Anelli L, Minichiello MA, 'Why do designers draw?', Design and Designing: A Critical Introduction, Berg Publishers, New York 82-96 (2012) [B1]
2006 Minichiello MA, 'Art', World fascism : a historical encyclopedia, ABC-CLIO, Santa Barbara, United States 58-60 (2006) [B1]
2006 Minichiello MA, 'Narrative Drawing', Fundamentals of Animation, AVA Publishing, Lausanne, Switzerland 26-27 (2006) [B1]
Show 2 more chapters

Journal article (13 outputs)

Year Citation Altmetrics Link
2015 Minichiello MA, Gale C, 'Beauty, Emotion, and Globalization: How Images Came to be Ruled by Words', International Journal of Arts Theory and History, 10 7-17 (2015)
2014 Minichiello MA, Anelli L, Kelly D, 'Drawing to aid recovery and survival', Tracey Special Issue: Drawing in STEAM, 1-15 (2014) [C1]
2012 Minichiello MA, 'Political illustration and propaganda in a mass mediated world', VaroomLab, 71-94 (2012) [C1]
2012 Minichiello MA, 'Drawing as a means of stimulating memory and aiding recovery', The International Journal of the Image, 2 179-193 (2012) [C1]
2009 Minichiello MA, 'I fought the law and the draw won', Varoom: the journal of illustration and made image, Dec 09 70-71 (2009) [C2]
2007 Minichiello MA, Minichiello L, 'The Changing Faces of Typographic Fonts', The International Journal of the Arts in Society, 2 65-72 (2007) [C1]
2006 Selby A, Minichiello MA, 'Animation Workshops: eLearning for Animation Studies', International Journal of Knowledge Culture and Change Management, 6 171-180 (2006) [C1]
2006 Minichiello MA, 'Human Rights, Diversity and Social Justice? Sure, But Only if it Sells!', International Journal of Diversity in Organisations Communities and Nations, 6 49-56 (2006) [C1]
2006 Minichiello MA, 'The Art of Conflict (Making Art about Ourselves).', The International Journal of the Arts in Society, 1 141-162 (2006) [C1]
2005 Minichiello MA, Selby A, 'Developing Independent Learning Styles', The International Journal of Learning, 12 267-280 (2005) [C1]
2005 Minichiello MA, 'Head, Heart and Hand: Narrative Drawing is the First Language of the World', International Journal of Diversity in Organisations Communities and Nations, 5 23-52 (2005) [C1]
2002 Minichiello MA, ''and then they left...' From Students To Professionals', Association of Illustrators. Journal, 2002/2003 (2002) [C1]
2002 Minichiello MA, 'The Practice Of Drawing', Association of Illustrators. Journal, 2002/2003 (2002) [C2]
Show 10 more journal articles

Conference (7 outputs)

Year Citation Altmetrics Link
2014 Simon, Cook B, Minichiello M, Lawrence C, 'Academic integrity: differences between design assessments and essays', Proceedings of DRS 2014: Design¿s Big Debates, Umeå, Sweden (2014) [E1]
Co-authors Simon
2014 Simon, Cook B, Sheard J, Carbone A, Johnson C, Lawrence C, Minichiello M, 'How well do academic integrity policies and procedures apply to non-text assessments?', Proceedings of the 6th International Integrity and Plagiarism Conference, Gateshead, UK (2014) [E1]
Co-authors Simon
2012 Minichiello MA, 'Drawing for visual communication', Design Research Society (DRS) 2012, Bangkok (2012) [E3]
2012 Minichiello MA, 'On drawing in mass media contexts', Conference Proceedings: Design Research Society 2012: Bangkok, Bangkok, Thailand (2012) [E1]
2011 Minichiello MA, 'My arguments with the world', RECTO - VERSO - Redefining the Sketchbook Conference Proceedings, Lincoln University (2011) [E3]
2005 Minichiello MA, 'The language of type and image in newsprint', Temporary Type: Proceedings of the Fourth annual Friends of St Bride Library conference, St Brides Museum of Type, London (2005) [E2]
2004 Minichiello MA, 'The Art of Conflict Afghanistan: Things Unseen and the End of the World as we know it', International Journal of Diversity in Organisations, Communities and Nations, California, LA (2004) [E1]
Show 4 more conferences

Creative Work (17 outputs)

Year Citation Altmetrics Link
2014 Minichiello MA, The Sleep of Reason, Royal West of England Academy, Bristol, UK (2014) [J2]
2014 Minichiello MA, Reportage, London,UK (2014) [J2]
2013 Minichiello MA, minichiello M, Reportage, London (2013) [J3]
2013 Minichiello MA, Brazell D, Davies J, Becoming a Successful Illustrator, London (2013) [J3]
2012 Minichiello MA, My War Northern Stories, UK (2012)
2010 Minichiello MA, Gough [Curator] P, 'Vortex': official war artists, Website, Bristol, United Kingdom (2010) [J2]
2007 Bartle R, Bennett T, Crowe N, Cowie N, Dejardin R, Dowling J, et al., Conflict, Scunthorpe, United Kingdom (2007) [J1]
2006 Minichiello MA, Hardlines, Leicester, United Kingdom (2006) [J1]
2005 Minichiello MA, Spicer [Curator] G, 'ILL-US-TRA-SHUN' the art of contemporary illustration, Leicester, United Kingdom (2005) [J1]
2003 Minichiello MA, 'The Art of Conflict', Hull, United Kingdom (2003) [J1]
2001 Minichiello MA, Bell S, Gerrell S, Mario Minichiello, Steve Bell and Spike Gerrell, Suffolk, United Kingdom (2001) [J1]
2001 Minichiello MA, Minichiello's Sex, Lies and Drawings, London, United Kingdom (2001) [J1]
2000 Minichiello MA, Mario Minichiello:commissions, personal journals, reportage, Hull, United Kingdom (2000) [J1]
1999 Minichiello MA, Visual Language, Leicester, United Kingdom (1999) [J1]
1999 Minichiello MA, Read in Truth and Claw: The Guardian Newspaper Gallery Folio Show, London, United Kingdom (1999) [J1]
1995 Minichiello MA, Festival of Illustration, Suffolk, United Kingdom (1995) [J1]
1993 Minichiello MA, Printmaker's Council, London, United Kingdom (1993) [J1]
Show 14 more creative works
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Grants and Funding

Summary

Number of grants 4
Total funding $493,430

Click on a grant title below to expand the full details for that specific grant.


20141 grants / $20,000

Matters directly relating to crucial networking associated with the planned EU grant application.$20,000

Funding body: University of Newcastle - Faculty of Science & IT

Funding body University of Newcastle - Faculty of Science & IT
Project Team Professor Mario Minichiello
Scheme Strategic Initiative Research Fund (SIRF)
Role Lead
Funding Start 2014
Funding Finish 2014
GNo G1401041
Type Of Funding Internal
Category INTE
UON Y

20132 grants / $272,430

City Evolutions Project - Watt Street$262,430

Funding body: Newcastle City Council

Funding body Newcastle City Council
Project Team Mr Chris Tucker, Professor Mark Balnaves, Doctor Ning Gu, Mr Ramsey Awad, Professor Mario Minichiello, Associate Professor Stephan Chalup, Doctor Keith Nesbitt
Scheme Research Grant
Role Investigator
Funding Start 2013
Funding Finish 2013
GNo G1201004
Type Of Funding Other Public Sector - Local
Category 2OPL
UON Y

Digital Public Space: new architectures and finance models for public service media$10,000

Funding body: University of Newcastle

Funding body University of Newcastle
Project Team Professor Mark Balnaves, Professor Mario Minichiello
Scheme Linkage Pilot Research Grant
Role Investigator
Funding Start 2013
Funding Finish 2013
GNo G1300806
Type Of Funding Internal
Category INTE
UON Y

20121 grants / $201,000

Plagiarism and related issues in assessments not involving text$201,000

Funding body: Office for Learning and Teaching

Funding body Office for Learning and Teaching
Project Team Mr .. Simon, Professor Mario Minichiello, Mr Roger Quinn, Mr Chris Lawrence
Scheme Commissioned Strategic Projects
Role Investigator
Funding Start 2012
Funding Finish 2012
GNo G1200799
Type Of Funding Aust Competitive - Commonwealth
Category 1CS
UON Y
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Research Supervision

Number of supervisions

Completed1
Current6

Total current UON EFTSL

PhD2.2

Current Supervision

Commenced Level of Study Research Title / Program / Supervisor Type
2015 PhD Habitus and Creative Practice: Cultural Context of the Designer
Graphic Arts & Design Studies, Faculty of Science and Information Technology, The University of Newcastle
Co-Supervisor
2015 PhD The Investigation of Narrative Visualisation in Data Journalism from a Visual Communication Perspective
Graphic Arts & Design Studies, Faculty of Science and Information Technology, The University of Newcastle
Co-Supervisor
2015 PhD Defining the Aesthetic of the Successful Ultra-Low Budget Feature Film
Graphic Arts & Design Studies, Faculty of Science and Information Technology, The University of Newcastle
Principal Supervisor
2015 PhD Comic Auteurs - Assessing the Isolated and Collaborative Design Processes Behind Comic Books Through the Framework of Auteur Theory
Graphic Arts & Design Studies, Faculty of Science and Information Technology, The University of Newcastle
Principal Supervisor
2014 PhD 'Pansies', Patriarchy and Pre-Millennialism: Exposing the Aesthetics of Hyper-Masculine Christianity to the Light of Infinite Beauty
Religious Studies, Faculty of Education and Arts, The University of Newcastle
Co-Supervisor
2010 PhD The Odes of Nature: Exploring the Cognitive and Botanical Images in Response to the Book of Songs (Shi Jing)
Communication & Media Studies, Faculty of Science and Information Technology, The University of Newcastle
Co-Supervisor

Past Supervision

Year Level of Study Research Title / Program / Supervisor Type
2015 Masters Hand Rendering in Contemporary Visual Communication
Graphic Arts & Design Studies, Faculty of Science and Information Technology, The University of Newcastle
Principal Supervisor
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Professor Mario Minichiello

Position

Professor
School of Design Communication and IT
Faculty of Science and Information Technology

Contact Details

Email mario.minichiello@newcastle.edu.au
Phone (02) 4921 5428
Mobile 0400541594

Office

Room D209
Building Design Building
Location Callaghan
University Drive
Callaghan, NSW 2308
Australia
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