Professor Paul Carter


University Professorial Fellow

Professor Paul Carter is an internationally acclaimed artist and academic, Paul has theorised creative research practice and mentors in this area.

In 2004 Professor Carter published Material Thinking which became a seminal book on the theory and practice of creative research. In 2008 he followed this up with Dark Writing: performance, geography, design which extends creative research theory and practice into the domain of planning.

Well known for publications such as The Road to Botany Bay and his public artwork Nearamnew at Federation Square in Melbourne, Paul characterises his current research portfolio as three concentric rings that have at their heart the challenge of defining and designing ambience:

  • Creative Region is a constellation of creative place-making projects located in Victorian's Western District
  • Turbulence is a project based exploration of the complex interplay between crowd behaviour and physical setting and program and
  • Archipelago (also project based) explores the scope of design to broker new creative communities internationally whose shared goal is the development of design tools to sustain fragile environments and advocate their values. 

In 2013 Paul was a visiting fellow at the Institute of Interweaving Performance Cultures (Free University, Berlin), where his research topic was 'the dramaturgy of turbulence'. This research builds on a creative research program currently unfolding in the City of Dandenong as part of the landscape design for the new civic square. Its broader remit is to identify the environmental affordances that are conducive to improved sociability.

Archipelago will be taken forward through a three year research agreement with Charles Darwin University focused on a coastal design and management project called Ocean Connections. These initiatives are mechanisms for regrounding design in informal, everyday experience; in this context Paul is particularly interested in auditory aspects of place recognition.

Paul maintains an active radiophonic and installation practice, and is currently developing projects with Tarrawarra Museum of Art and the J,M. Coetzee Centre for Creative Practice (Adelaide). The latter project, Siren Sonata, has strong roots in Spain and Paul is keen to bring the project to RMIT's Barcelona hub and to use this base to develop the audiovisual design for the work. Paul regards the DRI's commitment to transdisciplinary design research as offering an ideal catalyst for transforming his current portfolio of projects into areas of research leadership that can shape RMIT's strategic research planning; in turn he is excited by the unique creative and intellectual dialogue RMIT offers him and the communities his research serves.

See Paul's RMIT staff profile.

Research interests

  • the poetics of place-making
  • public space design
  • the application of creative research to community renewal, strategic planning and policy formation.
Professor Paul Carter


T: +61 3 9925 4494

RMIT University
Melbourne VIC