Kate Dunn 

Kate Dunn is a designer and academic based in Sydney. Kate used her journal to work on nature inspired design for habitats for threatened species. 

“The city is not a great place to isolate. I really miss nature. This sprig of gum leaves is from Jervis Bay. The edges are a bit burnt from the January fires.” 

We asked Kate three questions about her experience of isolation, completing this journal and her hope for the future. These are her responses: 

Describe the experience of the period of isolation for you. 

The experience of being in isolation has been disconcerting, often alarming and at times, really lonely and at others, claustrophobic.
I have been working from home with my husband, two teenage daughters, two dogs and one cat. We have all spent a great deal of time on our computers.
Like many people, the experience of being at home in isolation has caused me to reflect on what I value and what we value as a society. 

What does your book represent and how did you approach the challenge? 

The book initially represented an outlet for feelings of isolation and the desire to make and draw things. As the winter developed it became a thinking tool for a project I am doing on sustainable habitats for marine environments the drawings became a way of thinking through structures and textures.  

What do you hope will change in Australia as a result of the pandemic? 

I hope that we will take the threat of climate change more seriously and take the skills we have learnt in adapting to the pandemic, ie, pivoting quickly, halting industry, re-evaluating capitalism- and apply them to meeting the challenge of climate change. 

Kate’s research investigates experimental 3D printing, digital fabrication and robotics with a focus on the development of new and sustainable materials for digital fabrication. Kate’s research builds on traditional material processes and integrates them into emerging digital technologies for a range of industries including the Built Environment, Medicine, and Multi-Modal Data Visualisation. Kate convenes and teaches Design courses at UNSW Built Environment and has over 15 years of undergraduate and postgraduate teaching experience in Australia’s leading Universities and has had over 45 exhibitions both nationally and internationally. 

research.unsw.edu.au/people/dr-kate-dunn

View Kate Dunn's journal here:


Image: Kate Dunn, Design/ Isolate Journal (detail), 2020.