Prof. Dr. Sarah Owens is a design educator and researcher. She has been working at the Zurich University of the Arts (ZHdK) for over a decade, where she is currently Professor and Chair of Visual Communication.
In teaching, research and consulting, she adopts an inquiry-based approach that borrows from anthropology: one that attends closely and commits fully to the people and phenomena she encounters, thus allowing for joint conversations to unfold. She has edited and contributed to several volumes on design research and theory and has spoken widely on design and visual culture. She has also participated in or led more than a dozen research projects.
Her research work is characterised by an interdisciplinary approach and an expanded approach to design. Through her research projects, publications and activities, she contributes significantly to creating a new, more inclusive and diverse notion of (Swiss) design. Her discursive practice shapes both the public and a new generation of young designers.
During her fellowship at Akademie Schloss Solitude, she developed a platform for design theory and explored an expanded definition of design as the center of all human activity.