Dr Rohan Lulham is a senior research fellow at the Design Innovation Research Centre. His research covers the areas of design, environmental psychology and criminology, with particular research interests in affect and design, correctional design practice, and social innovation. He has expertise in social science statistics, while qualitative methods are also a feature in most of his research. He is currently leading projects that seek to bring innovation to correctional design practice as well as a program of research exploring the possibilities for utilizing Affect Control Theory in design research and practice.
Rohan’s background reflects his research interests. Rohan studied psychology receiving his honors for an innovative research project in the area of human factors design (see Lulham & Burt, 1999). He practiced as a psychologist within the juvenile justice system for over ten years before completing a PhD in Architecture at the University of Sydney. His PhD research developed Affect Control Theory (Heise, 2007) for understanding the impact of physical settings on people’s impressions and behaviour in social situations. The research specifically investigated the impact of differences in setting design on staff-detainee interaction in juvenile detention centres. Before joining the DOC research centre, Rohan was a crime prevention consultant and a senior research officer at the NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research.
Can supervise: YES
Affect and design
Innovation in correctional design practice
Affect Control Theory
Grant, E, Lulham, RA & Naylor, B 2017, 'The use of segregation for children in Australian youth detention systems: an argument for prohibition', Advancing Corrections Journal, no. 3, pp. 117-136.
In 2016, the Australia Federal Government called a formal public inquiry under the arrangement of a Royal Commission to investigate the care and custody arrangements of children under detention orders in the Northern Territory. The NT youth detention system has been shown to be over reliant on segregation as a behavior management tool which has likely resulted in the abuse of children in their care. This paper examines literature on the use of segregation to explain the progressively degenerating behavior of the children in custody and the likely negative physical and psychological impacts to the children involved. The paper calls for the prohibition of segregation of children arguing that a paradigm shift in the youth detention system to a model employing non-institutional care with trauma informed practice needs to be made.
Are salesclerks seen as better, more powerful, or more active when they drive Mustangs? What about entrepreneurs? What about driving a mid-sized car? Intuitively we have ideas about these, but much of the research on the affective nature of products is on purchasing, desires, and self-fulfilment. Drawing on symbolic interactionism, we argue that people's association with products has some basis in the impression management of their identity. For this to occur there must be some cultural consensus about the way that products modify identities. Drawing on affect control theory's methodology and equations, we measure the goodness, powerfulness, and activeness of several products, identities, and the associated product-modified identities to explore how products function as affective modifiers of identities. We find consistent effects across several types of technology products whereby products pull the modified identity in the direction of the products' affective qualities. Support is established for the affect control theory equations that predict how traits modify identities as also having utility for predicting how products modify identities. This suggests that the opening questions can be answered empirically by measuring cultural-specific sentiments of the identity and the product and by developing equations to predict the identity modification process.
This paper examines the relationship between physical design and risk within modern correctional practice. It seeks to identify the potential risks and paradoxes of the current emphasis on considering correctional design primarily as a means of reducing security risks. We suggest that innovation in correctional design is required that embeds meanings that both support the goals of security risk management, but also the goals of reducing reoffending risk and promoting desistance. Drawing on a case study of the design and evaluation of a correctional education facility, we contend that innovative correctional design more broadly can be a stronger force for managing risk to promote desistance in corrections.
Symbolic interactionism is one of the few social psychology perspectives that recognizes the important role of physical artifacts, including consumer products, in social life. Consumer products are artifacts people can use to maintain the expressive order within social life – the order that is embedded within the shared meanings of a culture. As a formal theory of symbolic interactionism, affect control theory emphasizes culturally-shared affective meaning, the impressions produced within social events, and identity processes that rely on those cultural meanings and social events. We contend that affect control theory provides a framework for understanding and researching how consumer products influence people's social experience and interaction. First, we specifically explore how affect control theory's concepts of affective meaning, identity modification, and impression management can be applied to understanding consumer products. Building on this foundation we then consider how affect control theory might also contribute to three new research directions: social interaction with consumer products, affective design of consumer products, and the prosumer identity created from consumer products. Our conclusion is that affect control theory provides sociologists with a means of exploring the important and fascinating questions that emerge when we consider people's symbolic interaction with consumer products.
Clancey, G & Lulham, RA 2014, 'The New South Wales property crime decline', Current Issues in Criminal Justice, vol. 25, no. 3, pp. 839-851.
On 12 September 2013 the New South Wales (NSW) Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research (BOCSAR) released the latest crime statistics for NSW. According to these statistics, the substantial decline in property crime in NSW that started in 2001 continues. Falls of 60-70 per cent in the rate of burglary, motor vehicle theft and different forms of robbery have occurred between 2000 and 2013. Little attention has been given to this great property crime decline in criminological and wider media publications. Given the substantial human and financial savings associated with these declines, this limited attention is disappointing. This Contemporary Comment provides a brief (and necessarily limited) overview of recent property crime trends in NSW, Australia and the wider Western world, before giving a tentative estimate of the savings derived from this property crime decline in NSW. Calculated using the Australian Institute of Criminology's costs of crime values (Rollings 2008), our preliminary estimate of the savings to the NSW community related to the drop in property crime in the last 12 years is A$5.15 billion dollars. We conclude by reviewing some of the explanations offered for the crime decline and urge that greater consideration be given to why these falls have occurred in the hope that such insights might inform future criminal justice and crime prevention policies.
Butler, LA, Goodman-Delahunty, J & Lulham, RA 2012, 'Effectiveness of pretrial community-based diversion in reducing reoffending by adult intrafamilial child sex offenders', CRIMINAL JUSTICE AND BEHAVIOR, vol. 39, no. 4, pp. 493-513.View/Download from: Publisher's site
To investigate whether diversion to a pretrial community-based diversion program reduced sexual recidivism in adult intrafamilial child sex offenders, 208 offenders assessed for treatment between 1989 and 2003 were monitored for periods ranging from 2.8 to 18 years. Participants accepted for treatment (n = 88) were compared to those who declined (n = 120). After applying propensity score analysis to control for selection bias, Probit regression analysis and Cox proportional hazards regression were used to estimate rates of desistance between the groups. Although differences were not statistically significant, estimated rates of sexual reoffending were lower and time taken to sexually reoffend was longer in the diverted than the undiverted group. An overall effect size for treatment was large (OR = 0.52, 95% CI = 0.18, 1.5), and examination of the recidivists in the treatment group supported inferences of positive treatment effects. Limitations of this study are examined, and future directions for intrafamilial sex offender treatment are discussed.
Camacho Duarte, OL, Lulham, RA & Kaldor, LJ 2011, 'Co-designing out crime', CoDesign: International Journal of CoCreation in Design and the Arts, vol. 7, no. 3-4, pp. 155-168.View/Download from: Publisher's site
This paper discusses the co-design process developed in the Winter School, a course run by the Designing Out Crime (DOC) research centre at the University of Technology, Sydney. Projects undertaken in this course address crime prevention from a holistic, designerly perspective that contrasts with traditional approaches such as crime prevention through environmental design. The design collaboration at the Winter School involves partner organisations, the DOC team and students, all of whom work together to develop innovative design concepts that improve community well-being and safety. This paper illustrates, using three project examples, the advantages and challenges of applying the co-design process in the domain of socially responsive design.
Operator performance on the tiller-motor system was investigated in a field survey and in a tracking simulator. Boat operators in Study 1 reported both control difficulties and discomfort, when using their tiller-motor system. Participants in Study 2 operated a tiller-motor simulator of a boat navigating a river over a 20min period. Directional and speed control performance was found to be poor, particularly on the first trials and under emergency conditions. These results support the suggestion that the incompatible nature of the control/response relationship in tiller-motor systems can cause operator difficulties. The dimensions of the simulator were systematically varied and found to influence operator shoulder extension, and ratings of exertion and discomfort. Recommendations for tiller-motor system design and installation are offered.
Lulham, R, Munro, T, Bradley, K, Kashyap, K & Tomkin, D 2018, 'Local Context: Social Practices' in Wener, R & Chesla, E (eds), Towards Humane Prisons- A Principled and Participatory approach to Prison planning and design, International Committee of the Red Cross, Geneva, pp. 99-105.
Lulham, RA, Camacho Duarte, OL, Dorst, K & Kaldor, LJ 2012, 'Designing a Counterterrorism Trash Bin' in Ekblom, P (ed), Design Against Crime: Crime Proofing Everyday Products, Lynne Rienner Publishers, Inc, Boulder and London, pp. 131-146.
In this chapter, we present a case study and analysis of the process of designing and developing a counterterrorism trash bin (CT bin) led by the Designing Out Crime Research Centre (DOC) at the University of Technology, Sydney.
Sugiyama, T, Lulham, RA & Moore, GT 2007, 'Evaluating Informing Change: The Wilkinson Architecture building' in Nasar, JL, Preiser, WF, Fisher, T & Salama, AM (eds), Designing for designers: lessons learned from schools of architecture, Fairchild Books, pp. 218-230.
Thurgood, C, O'Donnell, M, Peppou, G, Lulham, R & Bucolo, S 2016, 'A Tool to Bridge Design Innovation Research and Practice: The Project Experience Map', Proceedings of the 20th DMI: Academic Design Management Conference: Design Research Meets Design Practice at the Inflection Point, Academic Design Management Conference, Design Management Institute, Boston, USA, pp. 1486-1502.
Design is reaching out to business and society as an approach to innovation. Consequently, there is a need for collaboration between research and practice: if we want to assure quality of design practices and to build knowledge in these new domains, we need to be able to conduct research into their application and trace these processes as they fold through longitudinal research. The outcomes from these collaborations are often documented in formal reports on other deliverables for partner organisations, and scholarly publications for the researcher; however, the speed and nature of design projects and research processes means critical learnings and opportunities for new knowledge are often lost. Thus, there exists a need for high quality, reliable knowledge capture and transfer methods for the establishment of design practice and research in these new domains. In this paper we offer a new tool, the Project Experience Map (PEM), to assist in this process. The PEM shares the visual layout and principles of an existing design tool, the customer journey map; however, instead of depicting the story of a customer interacting with an organisation, we argue that the PEM can be put to an entirely different use: collating data and insights from design projects.
Thurgood, CM & Lulham, R 2016, 'Exploring framing and meaning making over the design innovation process', Proceedings of DRS 2016 International Conference: Future–Focused Thinking, Design Research Society International Conference, Design Research Society, Brighton, UK, pp. 1779-1794.View/Download from: Publisher's site
It is well established that key to achieving innovations is to innovate on
meaning; however, most discussion is limited to the meaning of the end product to
the user. We argue that meaning changes should be explored throughout the design
process. We contend that framing is intrinsically related to the creation of new
meaning due to its capacity to provide a new standpoint from which to approach
problems and subsequently direct novel solutions. We provide an analysis of framing
and meaning making by studying three design innovation methods that span social,
product, and business design. We arrive at a common model of framing in which we
explore how meaning changes are initiated and in what form they manifest. We
contend that the act of framing creates new meaning by providing a new
interpretation of the problem (to the designer) and/or an interpretation of the
solution to the user.
Munro, T, Tomkin, D, Lulham, R, Bradley, K & Kashyap, K 2015, 'Evaluating a new high security teaching environment', The Pen, the Hammer or the Mouse: Addressing recidivism through education.' Australasian Corrections Education Association Conference, Australasian Corrections Education Association, Hobart.
Lulham, R, Thurgood, C & Shank, D 2015, 'An affective tool to assist in designing innovations', Interplay: Proceedings of the 6th International Congress of International Association of Societies of Design Research, International Association of Societies of Design Research, IASDR, Brisbane, pp. 1361-1379.
While cognitive models of the design process have long dominated, many design innovation
approaches advocate the importance of exploring affective concepts such as emotion,
meaning and lived experiences in the creation of innovations. We suggest the capacity to
think abstractly – to question, make connections and broaden understanding based on affect
and meaning – is a fundamental skill for the abductive problem solving characteristic of
expert designers. There are, however, few tools to promote questioning and reflection based
on affect within the design innovation process. We see a need for such tools in design
innovation workshops, particularly for non-designers who are less experienced with this type
of thinking. We prototype a novel creativity tool for exploring affect within design
innovation processes. It utilizes Affect Control Theory's dictionaries of affective meanings
for social events to explore affective space. The dictionaries contain standardized affective
ratings for a range of concepts. These ratings allow the linking of concepts that have similar
affective properties. The initial creativity tool prototype is illustrated within Dorst's (2015)
Frame Creation design innovation method. We envisage the tool being one tool among a
range used for the analysis of themes and the development of frames within design
Lulham, RA & Shank, DB 2015, 'Products as affective modifiers of social identities: Managers and retirees with iPads and mustangs', Bi-Annual Conference of the International Society for Research on Emotion, Geneva.
Do salesclerks seem better, more powerful and lively when they have iPhones? Previous research has considered what affective qualities encourage people to buy products (Reed et al, 2012), and how to design products with these qualities (Desmet and Hekkert, 2007), but little research asks about how products change the perception of individuals. Using an affect control theory framework of how traits and emotions alter affective impressions of social identities (Averett and Heise, 1987), we explore whether a select number of products modify people's impressions of business identities. We seek to first determine if affective impressions of business identities are modified when they are associated with products, and then examine whether affect control theory's trait modifier equations are predictive of the product amalgamated identities.
Through Amazon Mechanical Turk, we collected usable data from 249 US participants (4 unusable) who each rated a subset of fifty concepts on evaluation, potency, and activity (EPA). We selected six business identities – Manager, Unemployed Person, Salesclerk, Retiree, Entrepreneur, and Scrooge. Products selected included four mobile phones, four personal computers, and four types of cars. Lastly, we measured 72 amalgamated concepts created by combining each business identity with each product (e.g., Manager with a Mobile Phone).
We found that products systematically modified business identities. The influence of products on business identities were greater on the potency and activity dimensions, than on the evaluation dimension. We also found support for the utility of the current affect control theory trait modifier equations in predicting our observed product modified identities. Trait equation predictions were very similar on the evaluation dimension, and quite similar on the potency and activity dimensions.
The findings from this initial study are supportive of additional research examining a greater range of identity and product c...
Lulham, RA, Tomkin, D, Grant, L & Jewkes, Y 2015, 'Risk, design and innovation in correctional practice', 17th Annual International Corrections and Prisons Association "Managing risk in contemporay correctional systems", Melbourne.
Lulham, RA 2013, 'A theory of affective experience', DS 75-7: Proceedings of the 19th International Conference on Engineering Design, Design for Harmonies, Vol.7: Human Behaviour in Design, International Conference on Engineering Design (ICED), The Design Society, The Design Society, Seoul, Korea, pp. 207-216.
Theory that informs and invigorates designers in how to think about, research and understand human experience is increasingly important to the development of the field of design (Demir, Desmet & Hekkert 2009). In this paper I seek to contribute to the discourse in this area by presenting Affect Control Theory (Heise 1979, 2006) as an explanatory theory with substantial utility to the area of affect, emotion and design. Affect Control Theory is a theory of social interaction that suggests our desire to maintain affective meanings about the world is central to explaining and understanding how we feel, what we do and the emotions we communicate in social situations. In this paper I describe the Affect Control Theory framework and then start to open up its potential for research, practice and understanding in design. I suggest the theory's key premises of impression formation and affective control, coupled with the freely simulation program Interact, could be the basis of exciting developments to the area of affect, emotion and design.
Lulham, RA & Kaldor, LJ 2012, 'Creating alternative frames for a retail security problem: An application of Dorst's Frame Creation model', Consilience and Innovation in Design, Proceedings and Program vol. 2, International Association of Societies of Design Research, International Association of Societies of Design Research, Shibaura Institute of Technology, Tokyo, Japan, pp. 4636-4647.
This paper describes and reflects on the application of Dorst's Frame Creation model  to the problem of retail theft from fitting rooms in a project with a large department store retailer. The project was the core design task for three students in a 13 week elective offered in the Master of Design course at the University of Technology Sydney. Through applying the frame creation model in this project what initially presented as a shallow, simple problem emerged as being linked to broader themes in the business. In this broader context the design team was able to identify themes and create a frame which opened up opportunities for resolving the problem. This project highlighted the potential value of looking beyond the normal frames of security practice to explore the opportunities for loss prevention in the broader themes and drivers in the organizational and business context.
Tomkin, D, Wong, JL & Lulham, RA 2012, 'Smart Retail Shelf', Designer.
The Smart Retail Shelf is the result of collaboration between Woolworths and the Designing Out Crime (DOC) research centre at UTS and its partners. Designed for high cost cosmetic products, the shelf is innovative in that it seeks to both reduce theft and increase sales of these products. The design attracts attention to the shelf which both serves to increase natural surveillance opportunities (& perceived risk of offending) while also accentuating the positive qualities of the products.
Kashyap, K, Klippan, L, Lulham, R, Munro, T, Bradley, K, Tomkin, D, McKay, C & Rowden, E University of Technology Sydney 2017, Court-Custody Audio Visual Links: Designing for equitable justice experience in the use of court custody video conferencing, pp. 1-64, University of Technology Sydney.
The aim of the project is to develop strategies to improve the experience of all participants involved in Audio Visual Link appearances between court and correctional facilities in the juvenile and adult jurisdictions. The project represents Stage 2 in a program of work undertaken by the UTS Design Team for the Justice Department's AVL Project Group. In Stage 1 basic ergonomic and technical recommendations for AVL Studios in custodial contexts were developed, through a thorough literature review and user testing. In this project, Stage 2, we extend and build on this work with a focus on designing better, more equitable AVL experiences in the NSW justice system. A holistic system based approach was employed to consider the technology and infrastructure at both ends of the conversation (court and custodial contexts), as well as supporting information to guide defendants within the process.
Lulham, R, McGregor, F, Klippan, L, Munro, T, Bradley, K, Tomkin, D & Kashyap, K Australian Government 2017, Reframing the purpose, practice and place of juvenile detention in the Northern Territory., Submission to the Royal Commission into the Protection and Detention of Children in the Northern Territory, pp. 1-50, Royal Commission into the Protection and Detention of Children in the Northern Territory, Canberra Australia.
It is clear that for real and lasting change to occur and to be able to create a respectable youth justice system in the NT, a thorough re-evaluation of the purpose, practice and place of detention is required.
This submission supports such a re-evaluation, by presenting some findings from our collective experience and expertise related to detention design and research. We provide a summary of literature that helps build an understanding of the current state of dysfunction in the juvenile detention system. Then, drawing on our own experiences working in this context, we suggest a new way of framing juvenile
detention that allows and encourages young people to flourish.
We offer this perspective for the Commission's consideration to illustrate that there are many opportunities through which the NT juvenile justice system could be reshaped, rather than to provide definitive or exhaustive conclusions about the way that this should be done.
Munro, T, Lulham, R, Bradley, K, Tomkin, D & Kashyap, K University of Technology Sydney 2017, Re-designing Community Corrections Spaces and Accommodating Family Video Visits., pp. 1-60, University of Technology Sydney.
The purpose of this project is to research, co-design and
prototype more effective staff-client interaction spaces and a
service to enable families and friends to have video contact from
Community Corrections Offices with prisoners across New South
The prototyping location for the project is Campbelltown
Community Corrections Office. Through a collaborative process,
a framework and processes were developed for a Family Video
Contact service in Community Corrections Offices that is
supported by a volunteer service. We developed design concepts
for the reception & waiting area, large interview room and a
multipurpose group room spaces at Campbelltown Community
Corrections Office (CCO). These spaces were designed to better
enable and support the current functions of CCOs as well as the
Family Video Contact function. This report seeks to succinctly
describe the project and clearly articulate the various concepts
developed in the project.
Lulham, R, Kashyap, K, Rowden, E, Munro, T, Bradley, K, Tomkin, D & McKay, C University of Technology Sydney 2016, Audio Visual Link Suites in Custodial Contexts: Basic ergonomic and technical recommendations., pp. 1-32, University of Technology Sydney.
The purpose of this project is to provide initial ergonomic and technical recommendations for custodial AVL suites. The recommendations are intended for use in assessing current facilities and contributing to the design of new AVL facilities in juvenile and adult custodial facilities. The research and testing was focused on AVL suites used to connect a person in custody with a court for a legal appearance. This included the use of the AVL suite to connect a person in custody with a legal practitioner, but contact with a health practitioner or other type of professional visit was not considered. Similarly, visits from family and loved ones was outside the scope of this work.
The recommendations were developed using a combination of review of academic and industry practice literature relevant to AVL facilities and the testing of general configurations of an AVL custody suite using a full-scale adjustable mock-up. A summary of each of these methods is provided in the attachments.
Lulham, RA, Munro, Bradley, K, Tomkin, D, Wong, J & Kashyap, K University of Technology Sydney 2015, Intensive Learning Centre building evaluation, University of Technology Sydney & Corrective Services NSW partnership project, no. 3, pp. 1-63, University of Technology Sydney.
This building evaluation assesses the performance and quality of the Intensive Learning Centre (ILC) at Mid-North Coast Correctional Centre (MNCCC) as a space for intensive 21st century learning in a maximum-security prison. The
MNCCC Intensive Learning Centre is an education facility consisting of four classrooms, a library, amenity area, staff office and landscaped grounds including multi-level timber decking, a yarn circle, walking track and gardens. Most of the furniture and buildings were constructed by Correctional Service
Industries. It is designed to operate with forty inmate learners, five educators, a correctional officer and an education manager. This report focuses on the evaluation of the ILC facility against relevant functional performance criteria and the original design intentions, with recommendations for the design of the current and future Intensive Learning Centre facilities. We include summaries of the assessment of technical and process performance as appendices.
Lulham, RA, Tomkin & Wong, J University of Technology Sydney 2015, Learn to Work: Work to Learn Report, University of Technology - Corrective Services NSW partnership project, no. 2, pp. 1-46, University of Technology Sydney.
The L2W-W2L initiative is an exciting development within CSNSW that further integrates and establishes the role of industry and education staff around the Justice Department's vision for 'a just and safe society'. This project report seeks to articulate the key components required to support the L2W-W2L initiative in three pilot industries sites.
The document is the result of an extensive process of research, collaboration and refinement with CSNSW oversees, educators, inmate employees and managers. It draws on the experience and knowledge within the organization and in the broader literature to articulate key themes and strategies to establish the L2W-W2L initiative in the three pilot centre industries. These themes and strategies were further refined and endorsed by staff from each centre, and by CSNSW management, through a full day workshop and document review.
This report includes an implementation framework building on the discussion in the workshop. Regardless of the quality of the strategies, the desired outcomes for the initiative are unlikely to be achieved without appropriate implementation planning and resourcing. With the current momentum and energy around the project, it is important that this planning and implementation of the project occurs is as soon as practicable to build on this progress
Lulham, RA & Rayment, M Designing Out Crime research centre, University of Technology Sydney 2014, Operation Out & About City of Canterbury, no. 1, pp. 1-50, University of Technology Sudney.
Bradley, K, Munro, T, Lulham, R, Tomkin, D, Klippan & McGregor, F University of Technology Sydney 2012, Intensive Learning Centre Concept Report, University of Technology and Corrective Services NSW partnership project, no. 1, pp. 1-37, Designing out Crime research centre, University of Technology Sydney.
NSW Corrective Services (CSNSW) engaged the Designing Out Crime (DOC) research centre to research and develop design concept for the development, design and construction of Intensive Learning Centres (ILC) for their correctional facilities. DOC compiled a UTS design team with expertise in architecture, industrial design, design thinking, environmental psychology and correctional environments. The central task for the design team is to respond to the design brief with a design concept that embodies the program principles and can be delivered by corrective services within the project parameters.