Dr Jo-Anne Bichard


  • Dr Jo-Anne Bichard
  • Area

    The Helen Hamlyn Centre for Design


    Senior Research Fellow, The Helen Hamlyn Centre for Design

  • Jo-Anne is a design anthropologist whose research focuses on multi and inter-disciplinary collaboration, engaging users participation in the design process. Jo-Anne was leader of the Work & City lab and co-investigator of Family Rituals 2.0, a multi-disciplinary project exploring how mobile workers maintain family life when away from home and Mapping UK Conveniences (with Gail Ramster) incorporating open data into The Great British Public Toilet Map. She mentored the academic projects in the lab including Creative Citizens (Catherine Greene and Dan Lockton).

    Jo-Anne was Principle Investigator of Robust Accessible Toilets (RATs)  funded by the ESRC's Connected Communities programme; Co-Investigator of Tackling Ageing Continence through Theory Tools and Technology (TACT3) funded by the New Dynamics of Ageing programme and Co-investigator on Welcoming Workplace funded by the AHRC/ESRC Designing for the  21st Century Programme.  

    Jo-Anne has a BSc (Hons) in Social Anthropology from Goldsmiths College, and MSc in Science Communication from Imperial College. She is currently completing her PhD ‘Extending Architectural Affordance; the case of the Publicly Accessible Toilet’ at UCL. Jo-Anne has conducted a number of ethnographic studies of working environments and public spaces including medical research labs, corporate offices and public sanitation environments. She lectures and co-ordinates workshops on design ethnography for a number of RCA post-graduate programmes.

    Jo-Anne co-ordinated the HHCD’s REF submission and is a RCA School Research Leader. She sits on the editorial board of Design Exchange magazine. 

  • Biography

  • Jo-Anne graduated from Goldsmiths College (University of London) with a BSc (Hons) in Social Anthropology. Her final dissertation 'Naked Ethnography: Ethnography in the Nude' was an ethnographic study of an East End Turkish bath that explored the contradictions of the ethnographic method.

    After graduating Jo-Anne joined Goldsmith's department of Anthropology as a researcher for ESRC and MRC funded the Innovative Health Technologies programme. This included a two-year ethnographic study of Neuroimaging laboratories in London  and focused on the perception of imaging technologies both from the perspective of the neuroscientists and patients. During this time, she also completed an MSc in Science Communication at Imperial College London in which her dissertation Enchantments and Controversies in the Age of Post-Modernity: The Brian Image, the Media and the Artefact explored the media’s understanding of neuroscience images.

    Jo-Anne then became a Research Fellow at the Bartlett School of Graduate Studies at University College London (UCL) on the VivaCity 2020  consortium funded by the EPSRC's Sustainable Urban Environments Programme (SUE). She co-ordinated and undertook the research on 'The Inclusive Design of Public Toilets in City Centres' examining public toilet provision in seven English cities. The project went on to involve over 500 people through interviews, focus groups and surveys.

    Jo-Anne joined the Helen Hamlyn Centre for Design in 2006 directing the Include conference programme (2007, 2009, 2011), and has gone on to develop the research symposia (a)Dressing the Ageing Demographic . She leads the work and city lab and co-ordinates RCUK and industrial research funded projects within the lab. Jo-Anne was the Principal Investigator on Robust Accessible Toilets (RATs) that explored the challenge of designing for crime prevention and accessibility in community toilet provision. She was Co-Investigator on TACT3, a multi-disciplinary project of designers, engineers, chemists, social and clinical researchers that investigated the design challenges presented by continence for an ageing population and lead the work package Challenging Environmental Barriers to Continence.

    Jo-Anne was also Co-Investigator of the Welcoming Workplace that looked at challenges confronting those who plan and design offices within the 21st century knowledge economy, providing direction for a more innovative and adaptive design practice, which encompasses the need of older knowledge workers. The research provided the foundation for the co-authored book New Demographics New Workspace with Jeremy Myerson and Alma Erlich.

    Jo-Anne was a member of the i~design3 project. This research sought to provide tools that enable designers to think more inclusively and create innovative products and environments for older people and people with disabilities. i~design was funded by the EPSRC and is undertaken in partnership with Cambridge and Loughborough universities.    

    Jo-Anne’s research interests focus on Design Anthropology within the context of users participation in design through ethnographic processes; how users perceive design and how designers incorporate user experience into their work. She co-ordinates and leads Design Ethnography workshops for SKIP Across RCA, LDOC  and the IE School of Architecture & Design (Madrid) MA summer school programme.

    Her current research themes explore the theory and practice of undertaking ethnographic design research in private environments and the challenges of the absent ethnographer.

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  • External collaborations

  • Visiting and Part-time Lecture:

    • Royal College of Art History of Design Guest Speaker ‘Practical Design Activism’ (2013)
    • Royal College of Art Across RCA Designing Ethnography Organiser & Lecturer (2013)
    • Royal College of Art SKIP post-graduate programme Design Ethnography Organiser & Lecturer (2012)
    • London College of Communication, University of the Arts, Department of Design Visiting Lecturer ‘Professional studies’ (2013)
    • Goldsmiths College Department of Anthropology, Visiting Lecturer MA Anthropological Methods and Introduction to Social Anthropology (2010-2012)
    • Service Design Summer Course Guest Speaker Central St Martins University of the Arts, (2012)
    • UCL, Department of English & Humanities Invited Speaker 'The Physically Disabled Body in the World: Public Space and the Built Environment' (2011)
    • Central St Martins School of Art and Design, University of the Arts Department of Design Visiting lecturer 'Ethical Futures’ (2009, 2010)
    • Bartlett School of Graduate Studies, UCL Visiting Lecturer MSc Environmental Design (2007-2008)

    Keynote and Invited Presentations
    Bichard, J. (2015) ‘Extending Architectural Affordance or How to Spend a Penny’. Around the Toilet. Manchester Metropolitan University. 29 June 2015

    Bichard, J., Yurman, P., Kirk, D. & Chatting, D. (2015) `3 of the Ritual Machines from the Family Rituals 2.0 Project'. HOME|SICK Exhibition, Science Gallery, Dublin, 1 May-19 July 2015

    Bichard, J. & Ramster, G. (2015) Designing Sustainability into Cities; The Great British Public Toilet Map. London Environmental Challenge. Future Cities Catapult. London 16 April 2015

    Bichard, J. (2014) (a)Dressing the Ageing Demographic; Comfort in Living. Innonet Consortium Partner Meet, Borkop, Denmark, June

    Bichard, J. (2014) Interdisciplinary Design; the HHCD Work & City Lab. IMAGINE Sheffield Business School, Sheffield Hallam University, March

    Bichard, J. (2013) Affording excretion: extending the design brief for the accessible toilet; Universalising Design ‘Design for all’ and responding to the manifold nature of embodiment, ESRC Seminar, Westminster, December

    Bichard, J. & Knight G. (2011) The Trouble with Toilets at Toilet Talk: Women's Needs Seminar, Women's Design Service, The Building Centre, London, July  

    Bichard, J. (2011) 'The Role of Older People in Designing' at KT Equal: Empowering Older People to be active researchers, thought-leaders and influencers. Reading Town Hall, January  

    Bichard, J. (2010) ‘Toilet Provision for an Ageing Population’ at KT Equal: Continence Matters, Brunel University, December 

    Bichard, J. (2010) 'The Inclusive Workplace' Business Breakfast DoGA, Norwegian Design Council, Oslo, Norway. November  

    Bichard, J. (2010) Plantonics Satellite Session 'Smarter working for the ageing workforce' in Quality of Life: Social, Economic & Ergonomic Challenges for Ageing People at Work, European Ergonomics Conference, Brugges, Belgium. October  

    Bichard, J. (2010) 'Mobility and Public Amenities' at Age Supportive Built Environments, UK/Canada study tour London Metropolitan University, March 

    Bichard, J. (2010) 'Access to Public Space' at Designing for our future selves - exploring the links between ageing societies & sustainable design UK/Japan seminar in collaboration with the Oxford Institute of Ageing, St Katherine's College, Kobe, Japan. January 

    Professional Activities
    External Examiner: Duncan of Jordonstone College of Art & Design, University of Dundee (2011)

    External Critical Panel: Department of Architecture, University of Cambridge (2010)

    Peer Review for; The Design Journal, The Journal of Engineering Design; International Journal of Disaster Resilience in the Built Environment; Home Cultures; Disability and Rehabilitation; Transportation Research Part C

    Editor: The Design Journal Special Edition on Inclusive Design (2013)

    Editorial Board: Design Exchange (current)

    Member: The Royal Anthropological Institute, Design Research Society (current)

    Mentoring, Judging and Event Organiser
    (a)Dressing the Ageing Demographic Organiser  September / October 2013

    Across RCA Student programme Organiser October/ November 2013

    SKIP Post-Graduate programme Contributor October/November 2012

    RSA Student Design Awards ‘The Good Journey’ Judge (2012)

    Department for Communities and Local Government invited contributor to roundtable discussion on inclusive design research and policy (2012)

    RSA Student Design Awards in collaboration with Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation (Lisbon) Action for Age Judge (2011)

    Include 2011 Conference Director International Conference on Inclusive Design ‘The Role of Inclusive Design in Making Social Innovation Happen’ Royal College of Art

    Include 2009 Conference Director International Conference on Inclusive Design ‘Inclusive design into innovation: transforming practice in design, research and business’ Royal College of Art

    Include 2007 Conference Co-ordinator International Conference on Inclusive Design ‘Designing with people’ Royal College of Art.

    Post Doctoral Student Supervision
    Dr Jonathan Ventura
    Dr Paulina Rojek-Adamek

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  • Publications, exhibitions and other outcomes

  • Books
    Myerson, J., Bichard, J. & Erlich A. (2010) New Demographics, New Workspace: Office Design for the Changing Workforce, Gower, UK

    Hanson, J., Bichard, J. & Greed C. (2007) The Accessible Toilet Design Resource, University College London (UCL), London

    Book Chapters
    Bichard, J. (2015) ‘ExcLOOsion: How sanitary provision is failed by design’ in Korydon Smith, Charles davis and Beth Tauke (eds) Diversity and Design: Understanding Hidden Consequences. London: Routledge

    Bichard, J., Greene, C., Ramster, G. & Staples, T. (2013) ‘Designing Ethnographic Encounters for Enriched HCI in 'Interaction Models and Techniques for Ageing and Impairment'
: Universal Access in Human-Computer Interaction Proceedings of HCI, Springer    

    Bichard, J. & Gheerawo, R. (2010) 'The Designer as Ethnographer: Practical Projects from Industry' in Design Anthropology. Eds. A Clarke & K Dankl, Springer

    Myerson, J. & Bichard, J. (2009) 'Welcoming Workplace: Rapid Design Intervention to Determine the Office Environment Needs of Older Knowledge Workers' in Design for the 21st Century Volume 2: Interdisciplinary Methods and Findings. Ed. T. Inns, Gower, UK

    Bichard, J. & Hanson, J. (2009) 'Inclusive Design of 'Away from Home' Toilets' in Designing Sustainable Cities. Eds R. Cooper, G Evans & C. Boyko. Wiley-Blackwell, UK

    Bichard, J., Langdon, P. & Coleman, R. (2007) 'Does My Stigma Look big in this? Considering the Acceptability and Desirability in the Inclusive Design of Technology Products' in Universal Access In Human Computer Interaction. Coping with Diversity, Springer, Berlin/ Heidleberg,Germany pp 622-631

    Bichard, J., Hanson, J. & Greed, C. (2006) 'Away from Home Public Toilet Design: Assessing user wants, needs and aspirations', in Designing Accessible Technology, Clarkson PJ, Langdon PM & Robinson P. (eds.) Springer, London

    Journals (Peer Reviewed)
    Bichard, J & Gheerawo, R. (2013) ‘Editorial’ Inclusive Design in The Design Journal Special Edition Vol16 Issue 2 pp133-135, Bloomsbury Journals

    Bichard, J. (2013) ‘Leaving the Anthropology Department Behind’ in the Journal of Finnish Anthropology

    Bichard, J. & Knight, G. (2012) Improving public services through open data: The Great British Public Toilet Map in Municipal Engineer

    Bichard et al (2012) Tackling Ageing Continence through Theory, Tools & Technology in Ageing & Society: An Interdisciplinary Journal. Common Ground

    Bichard, J., Hanson, J. & Greed, C. (2008) 'Please Wash Your Hands' in Senses & Society, Vol 3:1, pp 79-84

    Erlich, A & Bichard, J. (2008) 'The Welcoming Workplace: Designing for Ageing Knowledge Workers' in Journal of Corporate Real Estate Vol. 10 No. 4, pp.273-285

    Professional Journals
    Bichard, J., Knight. G. & Greene, C. (2010) 'Tackling Ageing Incontinence (TACT3)' in Access By Design, The Journal of the Centre for Accessible Environments, Spring 

    Gheerawo, R. & J. Bichard. (2008) 'Living Independently: accessing aspirations for kitchen design' in Access by Design: The Journal of the Centre for Accessible Environments Issue 114, Spring 

    Hanson, J., Bichard, J. & Greed, C. (2007) 'Accessible Public Toilets in City Centres: The final Instalment?' in Access By Design; The Journal of the Centre For Accessible Environments Issue 112, Autumn 

    Bichard, J. (2005) 'Inclusive Design of Away from Home Toilets: The Japanese example', Access By Design; Journal of the Centre for Accessible Environments Issue 104, Autumn  

    Hanson, J. Bichard, J. & Greed, C. (2004) 'Accessible Public Toilets in City Centres: The next instalment', Access By Design; Journal of the Centre for Accessible Environments Issue 101, Winter 

    Conference Proceedings (Papers)

    Kunur, M., Langdon, P., Bradley, M., Bichard, J., Glazer, E., Clarkson, J. & Loeillet, J.J. (2015) `Creating Inclusive HMI Concepts for Future Cars Using Visual Scenario Storyboards through Design Ethnography',at HCI International 2015. Los Angeles, California. 2-7 August 2015

    Glazer, E. & Bichard, J. (2015) `A Vehicle for Design Futures: Exploring the experience of driving in the here-and-now to inform an inclusive future' at Design Anthropological Futures. Research Network for Design Anthropology. Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts, Copenhagen, 12-14 August

    Bichard, J. & Yurman, P. (2015) `The Ethnography of Absence: Mapping Emotions' at Design Anthropological Futures. Research Network for Design Anthropology. Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts, Copenhagen, Denmark. 12-14 August 2015

    Kunur, M., Langdon, P., Bradley, M.,  Bichard,, J., Glazer, E., Clarkson, J and Loeillet, J.J. (2015) ‘Creating inclusive HMI Concepts for Future Cars using Visual Scenario Storyboards through Design Ethnography’. Paper presented at HCI International 2015, Los Angeles, California, USA. 2-7 August 2015

    Chatting, D., Kirk, D.S., Yurman, P. & Bichard. J. (2015) `Designing for Family Phatic Communication: A design critique approach' at British HCI 2015, University of Lincoln, 13-17 July 2015

    Kazakos, K., Kirk, D., Durrant, A., Chatting, D., Yurman, P., Bichard, J., Paik, J. (2015) ‘Design led enquiry for mobile lives’. CHI Workshop, Seoul, 19 April 2015

    Bichard, J., Yurman, P., Chatting, D & Kirk, D. (2014) Quotidian Ritual and Work Life Balance; an ethnography of not being there. EPIC Ethnographic Praxis in Industry Conference, Fordham University, New York 7-10 September 2014

    Bichard, J., Jain, J., Kirk, D. & Ladkin, A. (2013) ‘Family Rituals 2.0. Overcoming distance in the work-life balance of mobile workers’ paper presented at University of Vienna   

    Bichard, J., Greene, C., Ramster, G. & Staples, T. (2013) ‘Designing Ethnographic Encounters for Enriched HCI in Interaction Models and Techniques for Ageing and Impairment: Universal Access in Human-Computer Interaction Proceedings of HCI, Nevada, USA, Springer

    Bichard, J & Ramster, G. (2013) ‘Pee-democracy: Opening data to the Great British Public Toilet Map’ in Online Communities and Social Computing, HCI, Nevada, USA, Springer

    Bichard, J & Ramster, G. (2013) ‘New Digital Dynamics of Ageing; Tools to facilitate Policies The Great British Public Toilet Map’, International Association of Gerontology and Geriatrics, Seoul, South Korea   

    Bichard, J. & Knight, G. (2011) 'Finding Public Toilets Through Applications and Open Data' in proceedings for Include 2011, RCA London.

    Bichard, J. & Knight, G. (2011) 'Knowing Where to Go' Proceedings Open Space Open People - Inclusive Design for Getting Out of Doors. Edinburgh College of Art

    Gheerawo, R., Bichard, J., Gaggero, C., Muhammad, Y., Westaway, A. (2010) 'Digital Barriers: Making Technology Work for People' in proceedings for International Association for Universal Design, 2010, Kyoto, Japan. October  

    Bichard, J. (2010) 'Everybody Goes: Designing Age-friendly Public Toilet Provision' in proceedings Cumulus Shanghai 2010 Young Creators for Better City Better Life Conference, Shanghai, China. September  

    Bichard, J. & Myerson, J. (2008) 'The Welcoming Workplace: Meeting the challenges of office design for older knowledge workers' in proceedings of International DMI Education Conference Design Thinking: New Challenges for Designers, Managers and Organizations ESSEC Business School, Cergy-Pontoise, Paris, France, 14-15 April

    Lee Y, Bichard J & Coleman, R. (2008) 'Designing with Users - How? Investigating Users Involvement tactics for effective Inclusive Design Processes' International DMI Education conference, Paris, France

    Bichard, J. (2007) 'Who put the P in Policy: The reality of guidelines and legislation in the design of the accessible toilet' in proceedings for Include 2007, RCA, London, UK

    Lee, Y & Bichar,d J. (2006) 'From inclusive user research processes to universal design outputs: the cases of an inclusive design education programme' Proceedings of IAUD, 2nd International Conference on Universal Design, Kyoto, Japan

    Bichard, J., Hanson, J. & Greed, C. (2005) 'Cognitive Aspects of Public Toilet Design', Human Computer Interaction International, Las Vegas, USA, July  

    Hanson, J., Bichard, J. & Greed, C. (2004) 'The Challenges of Designing Accessible Toilets in City Centres', Proceedings of the 20th Symposium on Toilets, Tokyo, Japan, November 2004, pp55-74

    Hanson, J., Bichard, J. & Greed C. (2004) 'Personas, Narratives and Empowerment: Involving disabled users in the design of accessible 'away from home' toilets in city centres', proceedings of the 30th Congress of International Geographical Union, Glasgow, Scotland, August  

    Hanson, J., Bichard, J., Greed C. & Robinson M. (2004) 'Inclusive Design of Public toilets in City Centres', proceedings of the 2nd Cambridge Workshop on Universal Access and Assistive Technology (CWUAAT) 22-24 March, Cambridge

    Conference Proceedings (Abstracts and Posters)
    Bichard et al. (2011) Tackling Ageing Continence through Theory, Tools & Technology Abstract published in Ageing & Society Inaugural Conference, 8-9 November 2011, University of California, Berkeley, USA

    Bichard, J. & Knight, G. (2009) 'Out of Order: How the lack of public lavatories excludes older people from civic participation'. Abstract published in British Society of Gerontology Annual General Meeting, University of the West of England, Bristol, 2-4 Sept 

    Bichard, J. & Myerson, J. (2008) 'The Welcoming Workplace: Designing for extended working lives' Abstract published in International Federation of Ageing 9th Global Conference 'Ageing & Design' Montreal 4-7 September

    Gheerawo, R. & Bichard, J. (2008) 'Accessing Aspirations - Inspirational Kitchen and Bathroom Design for Older People' Abstract published in International Federation of Ageing 9th Global Conference ' Ageing & Design' Montreal 4-7 September

    Bichard, J, Boyko, C. & Mackay L. (2006) 'Crossing Boundaries: Inclusive design, urban planning and design against crime in Sheffield' Royal Geographical Society Institute of British Geographers Annual Conference, London

    Bichard, J, Hanson, J. & Greed C. (2006) 'Our Toilets; Access Dilemmas in UK Public Washrooms' Association of American Geographers Annual Meeting, Chicago, Chicago, March 

    Bichard, J., Hanson, J. & Greed C. (2006) 'The Inclusive Design of Public Toilets', poster presentation, Healthy Communities: Convergence of Public Health and Sustainability Agendas University of the West of England, April  

    Hanson, J., Bichard, J. & Greed C. (2005) 'Personas, Narratives and Empowerment: Redefining 'reasonable provision' in respect of the inclusive design of 'away from home' toilets in city centres', poster presentation Include 2005 RCA, London

    Book Reviews
    Bichard, J. (2012) Shelia Cavanagh Queering Bathrooms: Gender, Sexuality and the Hygienic Imagination in Social & Cultural Geography Vol.13

    Greed, C. & Bichard, J (2013) 'Ladies or Gents': Gender division in toilets a Review of Shelia Cavanagh Queering Bathrooms: Gender, Sexuality and the Hygienic Imagination in Gender, Place & Culture: A Journal of Feminist Geography Volume 19, Issue 4, 2012

    Toilet Talk (2011) Marie Lenclos, commissioned by the Women's Design Service 

    ‘Desperate Need For Public Loos’ letter The Independent 12/02/2011

    ‘Caught short; London’s public toilet shortage’ BBC World Service 20 March 2009

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