Rachel Jahja

SCD Rachel Jahja
School: School of Communication & Design
Department: Design Studies
Position: Lecturer
Location: RMIT Saigon South
Email: rachel.jahja@rmit.edu.vn

Rachel Jahja is an Australian designer, spatial theorist and educator with a transnational teaching background interested in exploring phenomenological relationships between creativity, self and space.

  • PhD in Design (pending), University of New South Wales, AU
  • Master of Design, Sustainable Design and Humanitarian Living, Design Academy Eindhoven, NL
  • Bachelor of Interior Architecture (hons), University of New South Wales, AU

  • First Year Foundation
  • Interior Design Specialisation
  • Final Year Major Project

  • Ontology
  • Transpersonal phenomenology
  • Psychology
  • Metaphor
  • Transformative learning
  • Reflective practice
  • Design studio
  • Design theory
  • Interior design theory
  • Architectural practice 


  • Jahja, R 2022 (pending), Dwelling in Dwelling: a phenomenological investigation in architects’ reflections on becoming architects and designing their homes, PhD Thesis, University of New South Wales, AU.
  • Baker, R 2013. SDES1107 Embodying Design:  A tertiary design education approach for understanding the relationship between multiple dimensions of place meaning and place making, in Flood, A. & Coleman, K.S. (Eds.) (2014). Disciplines: The Lenses of Learning, Common Ground, Champaign, Illinois: Common Grounds Publishing LLC.University Press. 
  • Baker, R 2013. Bridging Embodied Learning Theory, Place Meaning and the Process of Place Making in Design Studio Pedagogy, in Environmental Design Research Association 44th Conference Proceedings, Rhode Island, NY. 


  • 2016 Performance Collaboration with Artist Yvonne East, Embodiment and Twisted, Floating Bodies, Sydney, Australia 
  • 2015 The Topography in Skin, Digital Image, Drawing Now Exhibition, Sydney, Australia 
  • 2009 The Design Academy Eindhoven Graduation Galleries at Dutch Design Week. The Netherlands 
  • 2008 Storystore Exhibition, Witte Lady Building, Eindhoven, The Netherlands 
  • 2008 Alberto Meda, Sustainability and Water Conservation, The Netherlands 
  • 2008 Sustainable Design Week, Design and Fitness, Zurich, Switzerland 
  • 2008 Design Reuse, DAE, Cordinator Anthony Dunne from Royal College of Arts, The Netherlands 


  • 2020 Self and Space – Pedagogical Practice and Interior Theory, Italian Design Week Presentation, Italian Consulate, Vietnam
  • 2019 Spatial Sensitivities and Contemporary Design, Saigon, Vietnam 
  • 2016 Parsons The New School, Revealng Self as Space Lecture, New York 
  • 2016 Maud Marketting and Design Concepts, Sydney Australia 
  • 2013 Environmental Design Research Association 44th Conference. Heathy and Healing Places Conference, Rhode Island, USA 
  • 2013 DRS // CUMULUS Oslo 2013, The 2nd International Conference for Design Education Researchers, Oslo 
  • 2011 Sydney Design Week, Public Lecture, Embodied Learning Techniques in Tertiary Design Education, Sydney, Australia 
  • 2010 Guest lecturer, Lecture and Workshop (presented in Italian), Architectural principles for mental well being in the urban environment, Tirano Technical School, Italy 

  • RMIT University (Vietnam) | 2021 Research in Authentic Learning Research Grant (10,000 AUD)

Undergraduate level – Design Studies Major Project


  • PhD APA Scholarship | 2011 Australian Postgraduate Award Scholarship (81,000 AUD) 
  • Nuffics Research Scholarship | 2008 - 2009 Netherlands Government Research Scholarship - Masters (23,000 EU) 
  • Duurzaam Eindhoven Design Prize | 2008 Netherlands Sustainable Design Communication Tool Commission - Residential Prize (2,000 EU)


  • RMIT University (Vietnam) | 2019 University Award for Recognition in RMIT Values 
  • UNSW (FBE) | 2016 Faculty Teaching Award for Teaching Excellence (2,000 AUD)
  • UNSW (FBE) | 2014 - 2015 Deans Award for Teaching Excellence x 4
  • UNSW (FBE) | 2014 Faculty Teaching Award for Teaching Excellence (2,000 AUD) 


  • 2015 Mapping the Space In Between - Digital Art Exhibition 
  • 2010 Artichoke Magazine, Issue 31, July-August Publication, Australia
  • 2009 Archikon Magazine, September Publication, Urban Design and Architecture, Poland 
  • 2009 Core 77 magazine (online) featured in the Dutch Design Week Special. Highminded Project 
  • 2009 Design Academy Graduation Publication, The Netherlands 
  • 2008 Alberto Meda, Sustainability and Water Conservation Publication, The Netherlands 

  • Interior Architect & Designer | 2007 - Freelance, Sydney, Australia
  • Cox, Humphries, Moss Architects | 2006 - 2007 Interior Designer, Canberra, Australia 

  • RMIT University (Vietnam) (2017 - Present) School of Communication & Design, Saigon, Vietnam. Program Manager of Design Studies (2018 - 2019) & Associate Lecturer in Undergraduate Theory and Studio
  • UNSW (FBE) (2011 - 2016) Interior Architecture, Faculty of Built Environment, Australia. Course Convenor, Dissertation Supervisor, Lecturer and Tutor in Undergraduate Theory and Studio
  • UNSW (Art & Design) (2011 - 2016) Design Studies, UNSW Art & Design, Sydney, Australia. Course Convenor, Lecturer and Tutor in Undergraduate Studio and Masters Coursework
  • UTS (Interior Spatial) (2011 - 2013) Interior Spatial, UTS, Sydney, Australia. Tutor in Undergraduate Studio
  • Whitehouse Academy of Design (2011) Interior Studies, Sydney, Australia. Course Convenor and Lecturer in Undergraduate Studio