Sally Sutherland

Sally Sutherland

Research Student, Lecturer


Research activity per year

Personal profile

Research interests

My practice-based doctoral research uses design to observe, engage and intervene in contemporary UK public breastfeeding discourses. This research focuses on gender, care, food, culture and motherhood and critically examines the role of design in relation to complex issues of sustainability.

My work explores counter-conventional approaches to research and practice across design and health disciplines. I am interested in how design can create meaningful dialogue using critical thinking and designed artefacts. 

My research interests are Radical methodologies, Design Culture(s), Design Anthropology; Research Through Design; Design for social change; Design and sustainability; Intersectional feminist design agency; How design can positively impact health inequalities; The impact of design on everyday life, behaviours, norms, practices and belief systems. 

My recent interests are design(ing) for peace and intersecting issues of justice, and how the discipline of design reinforces gender based violence and oppressive class politics.

Together with Ben Sweeting and Tom Ainsworth I am a co-founder of the Radical Methodologies Research and Enterprise Group. Please see the blog for further information on the group.



Scholarly biography

My practice based Design Star funded PhD has a supervision team that spans the School of Architecture and Design, the School of Health Sciences and Goldsmiths University, London. I am currently both a Doctoral Researcher and a Design Lecturer at the University of Brighton.

I have an MA in Sustainable Design, a BA in Three Dimensional Design and 15 years experience working in Lighting Design and Product development in the UK and Australia. As a socially active designer and design researcher, I am interested in how knowledge and experience that comes with design practice can be brought into design and health research. 

Before joining the University of Brighton, my work included roles at Pinniger and Partners, Studio Fractal, The National Gallery Company,  KRD - Kitchen Rogers Design, and iLAB Sydney.

Approach to teaching

My approach to teaching comes from my understanding that learning is an active and social activity. I prefer to use workshops and experiments as sites for the negotiation of ideas, theory and the designed world. This is informed by my practice-based design research that takes bodies, play, making and 'thinking with' seriously. 

Education/Academic qualification

Master, Sustainable Design, University of Brighton

Award Date: 30 Sept 2018

Bachelor, Three Dimensional Design, Leeds Beckett University

Award Date: 1 Aug 2002

External positions

External Examiner - BA (Hons) Design for Sustainable Futures, Arts University Bournemouth

Sept 2024 → …

External Examiner - BA (Hons) Design, Arts University Bournemouth


Research Officer



  • B Philosophy (General)
  • Design Research
  • Design Research for Change
  • AHRC
  • design and motherhood
  • food design
  • sustainable design
  • Design and Feminisms
  • design and cultures
  • design and Health
  • cybernetics
  • methodology
  • social justice
  • maternal health
  • infant feeding
  • breastfeeding
  • motherhood
  • design culture
  • design culture(s)
  • chestfeeding
  • postnatal health
  • Feminism
  • design and gender
  • practice based research
  • design practice
  • design research
  • class politics
  • design and class
  • gender based violence and design
  • gender based violence
  • GBV
  • design and GBV
  • Working class design


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