Associate Professor / Associate Dean of Education - Faculty Leadership, Associate Dean of Education ADE Unit, UG Teaching Staff, Industrial Design, Design Research Collaboration
PhD IntArch & EnvDesign (Bilkent), PhD ProdDes (Marmara), MBldgSc (METU), GradCert in L&T (UNSW), BIndDes (METU)
Phone +61 2 9385 4742
Fax +61 2 9385 5613
Building Level 2, West Wing Red Centre Building
Associate Professor Oya Demirbilek is passionate about the ways industrial design can enhance life for everyone, and in particular for an ageing population. She loves to teach about design research methods, universal design and empathy.
Oya is currently the Associate Dean Education at the Built Environment, and Associate Professor in the Industrial Design Program at UNSW. Prior to this, Oya held other positions at UNSW. She was Program Head for Industrial Design (2006-09), Senior Lecturer - Industrial Design Program (2003-09), and Postgraduate Program Director for the MID and MSc(IDES) Postgraduate Programs (2002-05). Prior to this she was a Lecturer within the Department of Industrial Design (2000-02).
Prior to joining UNSW, Oya was an Assistant Professor at the Middle East Technical University (METU), Turkey, where she previously held a Lecturer position (1997-99), and a Research Assistant position (1990-97). Oya also held an Instructor position with the Department of Product Design, at the Art Center College of Design (Europe), La Tour-de-Peilz, Switzerland (1989-90).
Oya brings many years of teaching, research and freelance design work to her current role.
Teaching and Research Project Supervision
Oya teaches in the areas of industrial design studio and design research methodology. She recently lead the first BE MOOC (Massive Open Online Course) Re-Enchanting the City on FutureLearn https://www.futurelearn.com/courses/re-enchanting-the-city https://www.futurelearn.com/courses/re-enchanting-the-city
Masters and PhD supervision
2012-cont. Alicia Mintsez. PhD. Promoting quality of life: Maintaining independence and dignity in the home bathroom. (joint supervision with Prof Bruce Judd)
2012-cont. Peter Sweatman. PhD. Evidence based bathroom product design: creative liveable bathroom environments for older people (co-supervisor with main supervisor Assoc Prof Catherine Bridge)
2012-2015 Phillippa Carnemolla. PhD. Enabling built environments: Home modification as a substitute for community care (co-supervisor with main supervisor Assoc Prof Catherine Bridge)
2008-2013 Li Xian PhD. E-waste and e-product life span in China (Joint supervision with Dr Miles Park)
2005-2009 Catharina Nawangalupi PhD. Investigating the usability and the pleasurability of sustainable product-service systems. UNSW, Faculty of the Built Environment, Industrial design Program, Sydney (main supervisor with co supervisor Dr Mar Ramirez).
2003-2013 Joanne Quinn PhD. A Home for All Ages: Design of the Home -submitted Environment for an Ageing Australian Population. UNSW, Faculty of the Built Environment, Industrial design Program, Sydney (joint supervisor with Prof Bruce Judd).
1999-2001 Esra Demirel, Master of Science by Research. Solutions and modifications towards design deficiencies of modular kitchens in turkey: Kayseri as a case study. Middle East Technical University. Esra started working with Oya in 1999, and when she moved to Sydney, Oya became a co-supervisor with Mr. Güner Mutaf.
Between 2000 and 2005, Oya has supervised 21 Master of Science and Master of Industrial Design by Coursework to successful completion.
Other research areas
Inclusive Design, Design for Ageing, Design and Emotions, Design Research
Oya’s areas of research interest include emotional design, in which she looks at the emotional relationships between products, environments and people. Her other main area of interest is designing for an aging population.
Other areas of interest include the fields of universal design, accessible design and adaptable design and participatory design (collaborative design with real users).
Other research areas
Inclusive Design, Design for Ageing, Design and Emotions, Design Research
Demirbilek, O. R., & Carnemolla, P. K. (2012). Sacred Geoms: Exploration of Sacred Geometry and Jewellery (1 ed.). USA: Blurb Books. Retrieved from http://www.blurb.com/books/2886293
Komsar, J., Powell, R., Lewis, M., Demirbilek, O. R., Demirbilek, N., Elkins, L.R., Gruen, J.P., Harbison, R., Harris, S., How, C., Jenkins, D.L., Millard, B., Reynolds, C., Riorden, E.H., Sandall, R., and Turnbull, J. (2008). Architectura: Elements of Architectural Style. Miles Lewis (Ed.) Global Book Publishing. ISBN: 978-1-7404-806-35.
Demirbilek, O. (2017). Evolution of Emotion Driven Design. Emotions and Affect in Human Factors and Human-Computer Interaction. Myounghoon Jeon (Ed.) Academic Press, Elsevier, Ch. 14, 341 - 358. ISBN: 978-0-12-801851-4.
Demirbilek, O. R. (2011). Alla Turca: Squatting for Health and Hygiene. In J. Molenbroek, J. Mantas, & R. de Bruin (Eds.), A Friendly Rest Room: Developing Toilets of the Future for Disabled and Elderly People (pp. 271-280). Amsterdam: New IOS Press Publication. Retrieved from http://www.booksonline.iospress.nl/Content/View.aspx?piid=19766
Demirbilek, O. (2006). “Emotions and Design” the International Encyclopedia of Ergonomics and Human Factors - 2nd Edition. Edited by Waldemar Karwowski, London: Taylor & Francis Ltd., Ch. 143, 687 – 693. ISBN 9780849375477
Bridge, C., Demirbilek, O., and Mintzes, A. (2016). Transforming Inclusion: Designing in the Experience of Greater Technological Possibility. Proceedings of 3rd International Conference on Universal Design 2016 (UD2016): Learning from the past, designing for the future, York, United Kingdom, August 21–24, 2016. Edited by Petrie, H., et al. IOS Press, doi:10.3233/978-1-61499-684-2-143. pp. 143-152
Mintzes, A., Bridge, C., and Demirbilek, O. (2015). Development of a national survey on aging and the domestic bathroom: The Livable Bathrooms Survey. 20th International Conference on Engineering Design (ICED15 Design for Life). Milan, 27-30 July 2015.
Demirbilek, O., Bridge, K., Mintzes, A. and Sweatman, P. (2015). Integrating the voice of older people in the development of bathroom design research methods through the use of participatory co-design. D4H15 - Design4Health 2015 European Conference, 3rd European Conference on Design4Health. 13-16 July 2015. Sheffield: Lab4Living at Sheffield Hallam University.
Bridge, C., Mintzes, A., and Demirbilek, O. (2014). Older Australian out and about in the global context: Their bathroom preferences and what this means for standards development and accessible tourism. Symposium on Trends in Universal Design (STUD20124) Tourism Industry for an Ageing Population. Kuala Lumpur, 1 December 2014.
Xian, L., Park, M., & Demirbilek, O. R. (2012). Comparison of informal and regulated WEEE collection methods in China. In International Proceedings of Chemical, Biological and Environmental Engineering, v. 41 (pp. 131-135). Singapore: Int. Ass. of Com. Sci. and Inf. Tec. Press. Retrieved from http://www.ipcbee.com/vol41/027-ICEBB2012-R017.pdf
Smith, J., & Demirbilek, O. R. (2012). Investigating Smart Fabrics to Help Muscle Pain. In Proceedings of the Hawaii International Conference on Arts and Humanities (pp. 1154-1168). Honolulu, USA. Retrieved from http://www.hichumanities.org/2012%20Final%20Program.pdf
Demirbilek, N., Osborne., Caldwell., & Demirbilek, O. R. (2010). I'm a designer, get me out of tech class!: closing the gap between design and technology education. In On the edge: Cross-disciplinary and intra-disciplinary connections in architectural science (44th Annual Conference of the Australia and New Zealand Architectural Science Association). Auckland: Departments of Architecture and Landscape Architecture.
Bridge, C. E., Mintzes, A., & Demirbilek, O. (2014). Older Australian out and about in the global context: Their bathroom preferences and what this means for standards development and accessible tourism. In Symposium on Trends in Universal Design (STUD20124). Retrieved from http://handle.unsw.edu.au/1959.4/unsworks_34736
Bridge, C. E., Demirbilek, O., & Mintzes, A. (2013). Older persons actively designing better cities and municipalities. In International Istanbul Initiative on Ageing. Istanbul, Turkey.
Bridge, C., Demirbilek, O., Cummings, S. & Mintzes, A. (2013). Houses as places of self care and enablers of bathing: Beyond bricks and mortar. Paper presented at the 7th Australasian Housing Researchers’ Conference, Fremantle, Perth.
Li, X., Park, M., & Demirbilek, O. (2011). Comparison of informal and regulated WEEE collection methods in China - 22033. In World Congress on Engineering and Technology CET 2011. Shanghai. Retrieved from http://www.ipcbee.com/vol41/027-ICEBB2012-R017.pdf
Demirbilek, O. R. (2014). Glass Lace collar and necklaces [Exhibition], Salon Dantel. Curators: Gijs Stork, Manon Schaap, Özlem Yalım Özkaraoğlu. Istanbul. Retrieved from http://www.salon1.org/salondantel
Demirbilek, O.R. (2014). Interwoven "Process to Product"| DesignEx 2014 [Exhibition]. 28-30 May. Curators: Gitte Lindberg McGloin and Clare Beale.
Judd, B., Park, M., Bernabei, R., Demirbilek, O. R., Corkery, L., Zamberlan, L., . . . Mahar, B. (2013). DO | Visual symposium: in the mist of knowing (No. Of Pieces: 4) [video]. UNSW Faculty of the Built Environment Website: UNSW FBE. Retrieved from http://www.be.unsw.edu.au/content/visual-symposium-mist-knowing-0
Demirbilek, O. R. (2013). Interwoven 2013 (No. Of Pieces: 6 neck pieces) [Exhibition]. Damien Minton, Annex Space, 583 Elizabeth St, Redfern, Sydney. Retrieved from http://www.dia.org.au/index.cfm?event=810&id=4 http://www.be.unsw.edu.au/content/interwoven-2013
Demirbilek, O. R., & Carnemolla, P. K. (2012). Sacred Geoms (No. of Pieces: 20) [Exhibition]. USA: Blub Books. Retrieved from http://www.blurb.com/books/2886293
Demirbilek, O. R. (2012). Geoms & 3D Manufacturing. Design work exhibition: "Explorations d’ impressions tridimensionnelles en différents matériaux" [Design]. EXHIBITION / OPEN STUDIO. Cité Internationale des Arts, Atelier 2053, 19 - 20 December 2012, Paris- France.
Bridge, C., Mintzes, A., and Demirbilek, O. (2015). Older Australian out and about in the global context: Their bathroom preferences and what this means for standards development and accessible tourism. Journal of Universal Design in the Built Environment, Vol. 1, No: 1, 15-23. ISSN:2462-1668
Xian, L., Park, M., & Demirbilek, O. R. (2012). Informal WEEE Recycling in China: A Field Study of Stakeholders in Tianjin. International Journal of Environmental Science and Development, 3(5), 422-426. Retrieved from http://www.ijesd.org/papers/259-CD0073.pdf DOI: 10.7763/IJESD.2012.V3.259
Judd, B., Olsberg, D., Quinn, J., Groenhart, L., & Demirbilek, O. (2010). Dwelling, land and neighbourhood use by older home owners. AHURI Final Report, (144), 1-340.
Judd, B. H., Olsberg, D., Quinn, J. M., Lucy, G., & Demirbilek, O. R. (2010). AHURI Final Report 144: Dwelling, Land and Neighbourhood Use by Older Home Owners. Affordable housing, urban renewal and planning: emerging practice in Queensland, South Australia and New South Wales. Retrieved from
Judd, B. H., Olsberg, D., Quinn, J. M., Lucy, G., & Demirbilek, O. R. (2010). AHURI Final Report 144: Dwelling, Land and Neighbourhood Use by Older Home Owners. Affordable housing, urban renewal and planning: emerging practice in Queensland, South Australia and New South Wales. Retrieved fromhttp://www.ahuri.edu.au/publications/projects/p70392/
Nawangpalupi, C.B., & Demirbilek, O. (2008). Investigation of the drivers and the barriers for travel behaviour changes and analysis of the impact. The International Journal of Environmental, Cultural, Economic and Social Sustainability. Victoria: Common Ground Publishing, Vol. 4, Issue 4, pp. 1-10, (ISSN 1832-2077 - ERA ID 36441)
Demirbilek, O., & Demirkan, H. (2004). Universal product design involving elderly users: a participatory design model. Applied Ergonomics. Oxford: Elsevier Science Ltd., Vol. 35, No: 4, 361-370. (ISSN 0003-6870 1872-9126 - ERA ID 13416)
Demirbilek, O., & Sener, B. (2003). Product design, semantics and emotional response. Ergonomics, 46(13-14), 1346-1360. doi: 10.1080/00140130310001610874
Digital Future Lab – Digital Fabrication for Prototyping in Architecture and Product Design: 5-axis CNC mill, Collaborative robot arm, electronics work stations. (Matthias H., Demirbilek O., Russell L., Ward S., Park M., Matthias I., Rosenberg E., Araullo R., Hespanhol L., Dunn K., Velonaki M., Tschaut F., Furber B., Wimbourne M.), $443,929.
Design and architecture practice research: contemporary PhD (DAP_r), Lead by the Dean of the School of Architecture and Design at RMIT, and where O’Callaghan, J. and Demirbilek, O. are representing UNSW. OLT Innovation and Development grant, $1,779,147.
Novel pressure sensing surface system. 2014. UNSW Major Research Equipment & Infrastructure Scheme. ( Bridge, C.E.; Judd, B., Lowe, R.; Demirbilek, O. R., Ward, S., Sweatman, P., Davey, S., and Mintzes, A.), $225,000.
Major Research Equipment and Infrastructure Initiative, 2013 (MREII 2014) Digital Fabrication for the Construction Industry to Deliver Digital Architecture in Australia. (Haeusler, H., Demirbilek, O., Lowe, R., Ward, S., and Park, M.), not submitted but transferred to an internal BE Faculty Grant, $210,533.
Livable bathrooms for older people: designing out dependence in activities of daily living. 2012. ARC Linkage Grant - Partner: Caroma. (Bridge, C.E.; Judd, B., Lowe, R.; Demirbilek, O. R., Peng, G.; Ward, S., and Cummings, S.), $446,000.
Exploring developments in 3D printing/scanning: juxtaposing with traditional manufacturing methods to produce a range of digitally fabricated customizable objects. 2012. FBE Internal Grant. (Demirbilek, O. R., and Carnemolla, P.), $15,735.
UNSW Major Research Equipment & Infrastructure Scheme grant 2009: ‘State of the art high tech three dimensional scanning and printing equipment for the FBE Design Research Lab’ (Demirbilek, O. R., Ward, S., Park, M., Fowkes, A. and Lowe, R), $219,500.
UNSW Major Research Equipment & Infrastructure Scheme grant 2008: ‘High tech equipment for developing and fitting out the FBE Experimental Design & Research Lab (FBE ED&R Lab)’ (Demirbilek, O. R., Máté K., Carthey J., Fletcher, G., Lowe, R., Spehar, B. and Longbottom, C.), $150,000.
FBE Funding for Research Cluster Initiatives 2007, ‘Encouraging Sustainable Consumption in Urban Communities: Designing Future Scenarios for Product Sharing Facilities’, (Demirbilek, O. R., Ramirez, M., and Nawangpalupi, C.), $5,000.
AHURI 2007: ‘ The Efficient Use of Dwellings and Land by Older Home Owners. Unpacking scale for the different design professions: understanding the various representations and misrepresentations of human scale’ (Judd, B., Olsberg, D., Demirbilek, O. R., and Quinn, J.), $208,887.
FBE Faculty Research Grants Program 2007: ‘Understanding the Self-Directed Research Process in the Graduation Year in All UG Programs Within the Faculty of the Built Environment’ (Demirbilek, O. R., Katrina, S.), $4,000.
UNSW 2005 Learning and Teaching Awards 2005: ‘Equipment and cutting edge hardware to facilitate the faculty’s multi-disciplinary research projects using interviewing, focus group sessions, and oral history’ (Quinlan, A., Corkery L., Marshall, N., Starfield, S., Evans, C., Demirbilek, O. R., Watson, B., and Zhou, P.), $14,961.
FBE research infrastructure block grant 2004 (Dunn, K., Gibson ,C., Shaw, W., Thompson, S., and Demirbilek, O. R.), $13,938.
Awards and Achievements
Utzon Lecture Series 2016, Public Lecture, Colliding Worlds: Health, Well Being, Design and Built Environments, August 2016
Cite International des Arts residency in Paris UNSW/COFA 2012: creative arts research project on sacred geometry and wearable designs
Runner-up, Young Designer of the Year Award 2000, Sydney Morning Herald
Finalist, Designex’99 Symbol Design Competition, Istanbul 1999
2nd prize, SISECAM Decorative Glass Pane Competition, Istanbul 1998
Honourable Mention, SISECAM Decorative Glass Pane Competition, Istanbul 1998
1st prize, Ministry of Forestry, National Emblem Design Competition, Ankara 1993.
Contributed to the atmospheric slide show with images of "Lace Collar". Research endeavours of the Built Environment DO Design Research Collaboration Cluster - celebrating 4 years of DO Design Research Collaboration. Aug 2015 – place: Since I Left You, 338 Kent St, Sydney.
SALON/Dantel - Invited to exhibit three necklaces and two printed silk scarves. SALON/Dantel is a part of the 2nd Istanbul Design Biennial Parallel Event Program. Curated by Gijs Stork and Manon Schaap, in collaboration with Özlem Yalım Özkaraoğlu - Exclusively exhibited at the Adahan Istanbul Hotel, Istanbul, November 1 - December 14, 2014.
Interwoven | DesignEx 2014, 28-30 May 2014. Exhibited a Lace Collar and a Process Presentation Board - The DIA stand at DesignEx 2014 has launched the DIA Textile Practice Group's Interwoven Exhibition where 18 artists/designers exhibited one piece and showcased their design process. The exhibition was entitled "Process to Product". Exhibitors' proposals incorporated digital imagery capturing their process and product, to contribute to an exhibition that aims to inspire bespoke design conversations. The exhibition was curated by Gitte Lindberg McGloin and Claire Beale.
DO | Visual Symposium: in the mist of knowing, part of the Powerhouse Museum’s ‘Sydney Design’ and presented by UNSW BE’s Design Research Collaboration, this exhibition was a curated collection of 20 industry and academic designers’ work transformed into a 3D visual symposium. Place: Since I Left You 338 Kent Street Sydney, 21 August 2013 - Sydney 2013
SacredGeoms, jewellery and sculpture exhibition, 2012, curated by Juliana Bartulin, 4-5 February, Balmain Watch House, Sydney (with Carnemolla, P.)
Reflec[emo]tions: Animating Research: Flesh / contour / line in Tactile Imagination 2007: Design Research Processes Exhibition, curated by Tom Loveday, Sydney, UNSW College of Fine Arts (with Quinlan, Yip, M., and Pin, R).
Interacting Design Interpretations: Research:Learning:Emotion. Exhibition at the Connected 2007 International Conference on Design Education, 9 - 12 July 2007, Sydney, University of New South Wales (with Quinlan, A., Yip, M., Pin, R., Marshall, N., Watson, B., Evans, C., Corkery, L., Starfield, S., and Zou, P).
OSRAM New Ideas in LED Luminaire Design Show 2001 (Exhibition of three different lamp designs). OSRAM Australia Pty Limited, AV Jennings Building, Pennant Hills, NSW.
Sydney Morning Herald Young Designer of the Year Award, Exhibition of all Finalists, Sydney Design Week 2000: Powerhouse Museum.
Designer’s Odyssey’98 Exhibition, TÜYAP Fair Convention and Congress Centre, 11-15 November 1998, Istanbul - Beylikdüzü.
Geoms & 3D Manufacturing - Exhibition / Open Studio. Solo Exhibition. Cité Internationale des Arts, Atelier 2053. 19 - 20 December 2012. 18, rue de l'Hôtel de Ville, 75004, Paris.
Professional Affiliations and Memberships
The Design Society member since 2015
IFA International Federation on Ageing member since 2013
Design Institute of Australia member since 2012
Industrial Design Educators national Network member IDNN since 2007
Member of the Include Network, Royal College of Art, London/UK since 2004
Member of the European Academy of Design, Salford/UK, since 2001
Member of CIB/TG19: Designing for the Ageing Society, Building Research Institute, Tatehara/Japan, since 1998
Member of METU BILTIR/EÜT, Industrial Design Production Division, Ankara/Turkey (1999-2000)
Member of the Industrial Designers’ Society of Turkey - ETMK, Ankara/Turkey since 1991
Professional Practice and Consulting
Founder and Director of Oona Design.
In the Media
Margie Sheedy. Where the jobs are for postgraduates. The Sydney Morning Herald, August 23, 2014.
Included in the Virtual Design Museum of Industrial Design Turkey since 2011 -This is an initiative aimed at creating a memory on Turkey’s industrial design.
24 Hours The Arts Diary - Exhibition. The Sydney Morning Herald, February 1, 2012, p. 9.
COFA Talks: Art, Design and Healing. May 3, 2011,
"Lab talk / FBE Design Lab – Factory of the mind". 2010. Uniken, Issue 58, Sept./Oct. Sydney: UNSW. p. 2.
"Learning the ropes". 2008. Curve Magazine, special issue on Design Education, October Issue 25, pp. 30-33.
Viviane Stappmanns, 2008. Working the space. Discover Peugeot – Driven, July 2008.
Packer S. 2008. Welcome to the office of the Future. Future Living. Spring 2008,
"Opinions of leading design figureheads for the australiandesign.org initiative" - Australian International Design Awards, August 2008
Australian Design Awards, 2008. 50th year Yearbook. p. 166-167.
Australian Design Awards Yearbook. 2007. p. 90-91.
Interview with Stephen Lacey. 2007. The interview has been published in “Fresh Heirs: design students are leading the way with cutting edge creations - Looking at the institutions shaping them” The Sun-Herald. July 1, pp. 8-9.
Interview with Career FAQs for the “Industrial Design” book. 2007. Michelle Hespe, Teaching NSW/ACT- Career FAQs Pty Ltd
Interviewed for the Oral History Program: “Female Designers” at the Middle East Technical University, 2004. Ankara, Industrial Design Program in December.
“Universal Design and Accessibility in Design”. 2002. The Comfort Zone. ABC Radio National (Australia). Interview by Catherine Freyne, Journalist. 10 October 2002, Sydney.
“Milan Furniture Exhibition and UNSW student works exhibited” 2001. WM magazine (Australia). Interview by Clare Masters, Journalist. 7 August 2001, Sydney.
TASA... Magazine No:3. News section about the winner of the Logo Design Competition for the Ministry of Forestry in Turkey. Endüstriyel Tasarımcılar Meslek Kuruluşu Yayın Organı. 1994
“Special Design Considerations Regarding the Elderly Population in Turkey”, 1998. interview by M. Nisancioglu from BBC World Service, 4 November 1998, Ankara.