Brenda Saris

Programme Manager

PhD. Victoria University of Wellington 
MPhil, MDes. Auckland University of Technology
Dip. VCD. Wellington Polytechnic

Brenda is the Programme Manager for Digital Media, Visual Arts and Music. Brenda’s background is in art direction and graphic design, and she has over twenty years’ experience in the design and advertising industries in NZ, England and Holland. Brenda’s experience as an all-round creative meant she was able to support the strategic initiatives of corporate clients, retailers, manufacturers and high-profile service industries alike. Her teaching centred on enabling students to transition successfully into this commercial context, with a focus on the nexus between typography and illustration for brand identity purposes. 


Brenda's overarching research interests are in sociocultural and historic contexts of creativity, creative design process learning, and transnational education. Her expertise developed through PhD studies is on visual communication design learning practices at a university in China. A research interest related to this, is the question of how to preserve the richness of a ‘physical’ transnational student experience for a Covid ‘online’ context. 

Recent publications

Saris, B. (2020). A review of engagement with creativity and creative design processes for visual communication design (VCD) learning in China. The International Journal of Art & Design Education, 
39(2), 306-338. 

Saris, B. (2018). Crossing cultural boundaries: New Zealand visual communication design (VCD) teachers working with VCD learners in China. New Zealand Journal of Asian Studies, 20(1), 43 – 60. 

Saris, B. (2018). Inside out: Comparison of traditional and collaborative pedagogical approaches for visual communication design students in transition to industry. The International Journal of Design Education, 12(2), 25-38.