Donald Welch

Donald Welch, Senior LecturerDonald Welch, Senior Lecturer

The photo is of me when I was teaching in Shandong, PRC. Well, actually I didn’t always turn up for classes looking like this, but I’m sure my students would have been hugely impressed if I had [Mmm, maybe not . . .]. Yes, life’s a serious business but you have to keep it in perspective. Humour, and a measure of irreverence — essential conditions for maintaining sanity and a measure of humanity. The living planet Earth, however, is not something to be taken lightly and it’s time we, as a species, stopped trashing our home. Whatever else design education may achieve, it should ensure we design for life. It’s all we have.

Donald Welch has worked as a designer in both the UK and Australia, specialising in visual communication design and especially typography. In England, he applied these skills to assisting the disadvantaged by, amongst others things, co-editing the first newspaper for adult semi-literates, which led to work on the simplification of forms used to apply for Social Security benefits. Subsequently, his experience included designing a range of graphic material including major wayfinding projects for public and private sites, branding for government and private institutions, and publication design. Alongside these activities, he did pro bono design for conservation bodies and neighbourhood groups in Queensland, Australia.

He has taught visual communication design for over twenty years. He developed the Master of Design program in 1999 and then, as head of the Design Department at Queensland College of Art, assisted in the transformation of this into the Master of Design Futures from 2007. Having developed and taught the course Creative Thinking since 2003, his research focus is on developing effective methods of teaching creative problem solving with an emphasis on Meta/Design/Futures thinking. Since 2009 Donald has been the convenor of the Bachelor of Design program in Hong Kong.


The Master of Design Futures changed the way in which I understood design and design practice. It was a unique experience of critical thinking, reflection and redirection towards sustainment.
Daniel Lopera. Industrial Designer.
Master of Design Futures, 2011/ Colombia