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Prof Rebecca Sinclair MArch, BArch(Hons)

Deputy Pro-Vice Chancellor

CoCA - Research Office

Sinclair is the Director-Academic at CoCA and has full overview of all creative arts programmes in the college. She draws on her background in architecture and design, combined with her pedagogical understanding, to treat curricular and pedagogical initiatives as design projects, with the learner at the centre. She is particularly interested in culturally informed pedagogies and how they might lead to unique approaches to disciplinary fields. Alongside pedagogical research, she explores the interplays of architecture with other fields, seeking to provide new insights on thinking about building, space and inhabitation, with a particular focus on gender, fashion and performance.



  • Master of Architecture - University of Auckland (2001)
  • Bachelor of Architecture (Honours) - Victoria University (1995)

Research Expertise

Research Interests

I have two distinct areas of research interest.

The first is in the area of creative pedagogical research, using design-led innovation. I have led significant change projects in the College of Creative Arts, drawing on academic experience design, which uses design thinking and design process to explore the design of curricula, delivery and systems from a user-experience perspective, in order to respond to 21st century learners; incorporate Māori perspectives in a central, rather than peripheral way; and rethink spaces for learning.

The second is in my 'home' field of architectural history and theory, where I explore the peripherals of architecture - what might be seen as incidental to it. I am interested in reintroducing the feminine voice into architectural understandings by examining texts by female writers of the twentieth century in order to supplement the established architectural canon of male thinkers and writers. I also investigate the intersections of fashion and architecture as a productive site for thinking about the way space is inhabited and 'lived'.


21st Century Citizenship, Design – for Commerce, Community and Culture

Area of Expertise

Field of research codes
Architectural History and Theory (120103): Architecture (120100): Built Environment And Design (120000):
Creative Arts, Media and Communication Curriculum and Pedagogy (130201): Curriculum and Pedagogy (130200):
Design Innovation (120302): Design Practice and Management (120300):
Education (130000):
Interior Design (120106):
Studies In Creative Arts And Writing (190000)




fashion theory

feminist theory


user experience

academic experience design

Research Outputs


Sinclair, RA., & Tapiata, J. (2016). Toi Rauwharangi and the pōwhiri framework: Māori perspectives underpinning art and design curriculum development at Massey University, Wellington, New Zealand. Journal of Australian Indigenous Issues. 19(1-2), 132-146 Retrieved from http://www.swin.edu.au/jaii
[Journal article]Authored by: Sinclair, R.

Creative Work

Sinclair, RA., & Kapica, NM. (2014). Bachelor of Design with Honours revised curriculum and pedagogy—College of Creative Arts academic experience design project.. Wellington: Massey University—College of Creative Arts
[Design]Authored by: Sinclair, R.


Sinclair, RA. (2012). Massey University College of Creative Arts Self Study for National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD).
[Commissioned Report]Authored by: Sinclair, R.


Sinclair, RA. (2015, June). Creativity and Education. Presented at Forum of Creativity and Film Art. Museum of Classical Books, National Library, Beijing.
[Conference Oral Presentation]Authored by: Sinclair, R.
Sinclair, RA. (2010). Is-land spaces: Language imagination and spatiality in the autobiographies of Janet Frame. In M. Chapman, & M. Ostwald (Eds.) Imagining: Proceedings of the 27th International SAHANZ Conference. (pp. 372 - 377).
[Conference Paper in Published Proceedings]Authored by: Sinclair, R.


Sinclair, RA. (2014, September). "Creative futures and the delightful possibilities of “if”: Creative journeys in art, design and fashion.". In World of Wearable Art Designers Symposium: Wellington City: An Incubator for Creativity. Presented at Te Papa—Soundings Theatre. : World of Wearable Art and Wellington City Council.
[Oral Presentation]Authored by: Sinclair, R.