Dr Joyce S. R. Yee

Associate Professor
Department: Northumbria School of Design

ADSS Joyce Yee1 Staffprofile 255Joyce formally trained in Visual Communication, she has over 15 years working experience in wide range of environments: academic (teaching at BA and MA level in the UK and in Malaysia), professional (commercial graphic & interaction design), cultural (United Kingdom & South East Asian), and organisational (working with commercial & non-profit organisations). She received an MA in Visual Communication at London’s Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design and has a PhD degree at Northumbria University in Design.

0191 227 3175


BA (Hon), MA, PhD

Research Themes and Scholarly Interests

Joyce has published regularly since 2003 with over 20 conference and journal papers. Her papers are bound by a common theme of exploring and identifying how designers develop and improve their own practice. She is interested in the development of design-specific research methods, particularly human-centred research methods for design process and application of design in social spaces. Expanding on her previous research, Joyce's current research is concerned with understanding how designers research and gain new knowledge, particularly in the area of designerly 'inquiring' and its resultant processes and methods. A simple way of describing the research area is 'research on design research'. Her work involves exploring the epistemology and methodological implications of practice-based research in design. She seeks to define these 'designerly' attributes by examining design research case studies, exploring the philosophy of design research and making a case for a distinctly 'designerly inquiry' approach as a valid approach to problem exploration and knowledge generation in academia specifically for design-related issues.

Her most recent book, Design Transitions, co-authored with Emma Jefferies and Lauren Tan presents 42 unique and insightful stories of how design is changing around the world. Design Transitions enables Joyce to continue her interest in codifying the value and role of design beyond its current professional boundaries.

Joyce adopts a multi-disciplinary, conceptual and analytical approach to her teaching and professional practice. At postgraduate level, her role as a tutor is focussed on helping students develops critical thinking and self-reflective skills. She recognises that an increasing amount of Postgraduate students come from a diverse cultural and pedagogic background. This poses a challenge but also an opportunity to harness the differences in experiences and worldviews through collaborative learning. As part of the ethos of connecting research with teaching practice, Joyce was involved in a research project (http://www.designcollaboration.org) which was aimed at helping tutors facilitate collaborative learning through practical teaching tools.

Joyce has been involved in Undergraduate, Postgraduate and Doctoral level teaching. Her subject knowledge spans graphic design, typography, interaction design, user experience and service design. The range of modules that she currently teaches include Principles of Visual Design, Interface and Application Design and Professional Practice. Previously she has taught the Research Principles module on several MA programmes and was the subject tutor for Visual Communication Interactive Media postgraduate students. She has also acted as project advisors to postgraduate Design Management students. She is currently advising 7 PhD students in the area of Service Design, Design Process, Design Methods, and Design Craftsmanship and has examined 2 PhDs thesis, one in the UK and one in Australia.

Current/Recent Projects

Knowledge Transfer Partnerships: ‘Designing and delivering an E-training and support service for sales agents’, with KTP Associate: Adam Walker, International Pipeline Products Ltd. October 2010 – 2012. Funder: Technology Strategy Board, £110,000.

Knowledge Transfer Partnerships: ‘Designing and delivering an e-learning platform’, with KTP Associate: Phillip Meredith and Zodiac Training Ltd. June 2008 – 2010. Funder: Technology Strategy Board, £110,000

Research-into-Teaching Grant, Developing Online Tools to Foster Collaborative Learning (http://www.designcollaboration.org), Northumbria University - £14,562, 2009.

Key Publications

Yee. J., Jefferies, E. & Tan, L. (2013) Design Transitions. Amsterdam: BIS.

Yee. J. (2012) ‘Four characteristics of a ‘designerly’ way of researching – implications for research training and examination for Design PhDs’, in Andrews, R., Borg, E., Boyd Davies, S., Domingo, M. and England, J. (eds), Sage Handbook of Digital Dissertations and Theses. London: Sage.

Lievesley, M and Yee, J. (2012) ‘Valuing service design: Lessons from SROI’. Design Research Society Conference, Bangkok, Thailand.

Yee, J., Walker, A. and Menzfield, L. (2012) ‘The use of design visualisation methods to support decision making’, Design 2012, 12th International Design Conference, Dubrovnik, Croatia. This paper offers an objective evaluation on the value and role of design visualisation methods in supporting decision making in 2 KTP projects.

Yee, J. (2010) ‘Methodological innovation in practice-based design doctorates’, Journal of Research Practice, Volume 6, Issue 2, Article M15. Available from http://jrp.icaap.org/index.php/jrp/article/view/196/193

Yee, J.  (2009) 'Capturing tacit knowledge: Documenting and understanding recent methodological innovation used in Design Doctorates in order to inform Postgraduate training provision'. Experiential Knowledge Conference. London Metropolitan University, 19th June 2009, London.

Yee, J., Lievesley, M. and Taylor, L. (2009) 'Recognizing risk-of-failure in communication design projects', Visible Language: Special Issue on Design Failures, November 09, pp.230-253, 2009

Yee, J., McKelvey, K. and Jefferies, E. (2009) 'Helping design educators foster collaborative learning amongst design students', Iridescent: Journal of Design Research. Available at: http://iridescent.icograda.org/index.php

Yee, J., Tan, L. and Meredith, P. (2009) 'The emergent roles of a designer in the development of an e learning service'. First Nordic Service Design Conference. School of Architecture and Design, 24-26 November 2009, Oslo, Norway.

Further Information




To view my Northumbria Research Link page click here