Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


School of the Arts, English and Media


The shift of production of material artefacts to digital and online making has been greatly disruptive to material culture. Design has typically concerned itself with studying material cultures in order to develop a better understanding of the ways people go about shaping the world around them. This thesis contributes to this space by looking at an emerging form of artefact generation in digital and online making, namely, visual communication design in online information warfare. Developing understanding of participation in this space reveals possible trajectory of working with material culture as it increasingly becomes digital and online.

Marshall McLuhan wrote in 1970 that “World War 3 is a guerrilla information war with no division between military and civilian participation” (p. 66), anticipating ubiquitous symmetrical capacity of users as both producers and consumers of information through communication technology. This space has emerged as our digital and online environment, and prominent in this environment are images with characteristics of visual communication design. It appears that the trajectory of visual communication design from the late 19t h century is moving toward ubiquitous making and exchanging of visual communication, as anyone with a smartphone can make an internet meme with worldwide reach and influence.



Unless otherwise indicated, the views expressed in this thesis are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of the University of Wollongong.