Research & publication


This page regards my academic publishing and theoretical works. My research explores information architecture, design thinking, human-centered design, strategy design, design ethics and education. For more than the last decade most of my research and theory has been accomplished with Terence Fenn

Take a look at Research Gate for a detailed view of all my scholarly publications.

I conduct the majority of my academic research through the Faculty of Art, Design and Architecture at the University of Johannesburg (UJ)  in the Multimedia Department. Prior to this I was a Research Affiliate with the Visual Identities in Art and Design Research Centre (VIAD)

While with VIAD I participated in the On Making practice-led research programme which culminated in an edited volume and the chapter I contributed: From Practice to Discipline 

For the 2012 / 13 year I was the chair of the Research Grants Committee for the IA Institute and was a member of the same grants judging panel in 2008, 2009 and 2010. For both 2006 and 2011 I received the Research Grant award from the IA Institute (the former with Tegan Bristow and the latter with Terence Fenn).




“The Design of Socially Sustainable Ontologies”

J Hobbs and T Fenn. Journal of Philosophy and Technology. 32, 745–767.


“Nurturing Critical Citizen Designers: Applying Strategic Models for Reflective Practice”

T Fenn and J Hobbs. In (eds) Costandius, E. & Botes, H. Educating Citizen Designers in South Africa. Sun Press. 141-160. 2018


“Conceiving and Applying Relationship Models for Design Strategy” 

J Hobbs and T Fenn. ICORD 1, 6th International Conference of Research into Design. 2017.


“Experience-led Design Strategy”

T Fenn and J Hobbs. Design Management Academy. 2017


“The User Experience Landscape of South Africa” (report)

J Hobbs, M Pretorius and T Fenn. Self published. 2015


“The User Experience Landscape of South Africa” (paper)

M Pretorius, J Hobbs and T Fenn. SAICSIT. 2015


“Wicked Ethics in Design”

J Hobbs and T fenn. DEFSA. 2015


“The Firma Model: A Meta-framework for Design Research, Strategy and Critique”

J Hobbs and T Fenn. Cumulus Conference. 2015


“The Firma Model: A Tool for Resolving Complex Societal Problems”

J Hobbs and T fenn. DEFSA. 2015


“The design behind the design behind the design”

J Hobbs. Human Experience Design. Presented at the IA Summit. 2015

View the presentation translated into Japanese by Soyeon Lee


“The New Architecture”

J Hobbs. BCS IT Strategy 2014. 2014


“In 2014, brands will need to be digital first- and we need to help them change”

J Hobbs. DigitalArts. 2013


“Navigating indeterminacy through the application of journey design” 

J Hobbs and T Fenn. Design Development Research Conference, Kumasi, Ghana. 2013


“Applying user journey design to resolve complex design problems”

T Fenn and J Hobbs. GIDEC, 2013


“Preparing undergraduate design students for complexity: A case study of the Johannesburg Art Gallery project”

T Fenn and J Hobbs. GIDEC, 2013


“The information architecture of meaning-making”

J Hobbs and T Fenn. First presented at the 2013 IA Summit Baltimore, USA “Academics and Practitioners Round Table: Reframe IA” and published in “Reframing Information Architecture” Resmini, Andrea (Ed.). 2014 Springer HCI series.


“Pervasive Information Architectures as Architectures of Meaning for Complex Cross-channel Systems”

J Hobbs, A Resmini and T Fenn. Academic workshop. Pervasive 2012, Newcastle, UK. 2012


“Bridging the divide”

Hotel Yeoville Terry Kurgan. Fourthwall Books, 2013.


“The Information Architecture of Transdisciplinary Design Practice: Rethinking Nathan Shedroff‟s Continuum of Understanding” 

Hobbs J and Fenn T. Design Development Research 2012 Conference Proceedings. 2012


“Teaching the Design Thinking of Information Architecture”

Hobbs J and Fenn T. Pervasive Information Architecture: Designing Cross-Channel User Experiences Resmini A and Rosati L. 2011.


“A Role for Information Architecture in Design Education: Conceptualising Indeterminate Problems in Design Thinking”

Hobbs J and Fenn T. DEFSA South Africa. 2011.


“A Role for Information Architecture in Design Education: Developing Innovation Through Structured Thinking”

Hobbs J and Fenn T. DEFSA South Africa. 2011.


“From Practice to Discipline”

On Making: Integrating Approaches To Practice-Led Research in Art and Design. The Research Centre, Visual Identities in Art and Design, Faculty of Art Design and Architecture, University of Johannesburg. 2010


“Maturing a Practice”

Hobbs, J., Fenn, T., & Resmini, A. 2010. Journal of Information Architecture. Vol. 2, No. 1.


“Sex, Drugs and UX”

UX Storytellers. 2010. Editors: Jan Jursa, Stephen Kover and Jutta Grunewald.


“Designing for developing contexts”

ASIS&T (American Society for Information Science and Technology) Bulletin, August / September 2006.


“Am I an Information Architect?”

Information Architecture Institute 2007.


“An Introduction to User Journeys”

Boxes and Arrows 2006.


“Journeys, Needs and Trust: A Volkswagen Case Study”

Boxes and Arrows 2006.


“How Far is the Promised Land?”

Marketing Mix, 2005.


“The illusion of Consistency”

Enjin Magazine, 2005.


Various articles on the old jh-01 website, 2000 – 2008

Various ‘How to write HTML” articles for the MWEB iTutor series, 1998

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