You are here


Dr. Michael Garbutt

Dr. Michael Garbutt


Michael Garbutt, PhD, is a Senior Lecturer at the College of the Fine Arts (COFA), University of New South Wales, where he teaches spatial design, and design history and theory, with a special interest in restorative and therapeutic environments in health care and urban settings. Using mobile eye-tracking technologies in these settings, Garbutt explores the therapeutic potential of the contemplative gaze in physical and virtual environments with a special focus on their applications in residential aged care facilities. 

Garbutt's pen-and-ink and watercolour sketches became well-known to Australian audiences through the Garbutt’s Way series on ABC-TV and in documentaries such as ‘Houses of the Finnish Gods’ and ‘In Search of Sacred Spaces’, on the traditional architecture of Korea. His most recent video work, the Bodyscape series, explores the notion of enfolding in relations between the body, land, and landscape painting.


  • Garbutt, M. and Spehar, B. (forthcoming) 'The Wanton Chase: eye tracking and theories of pictorial composition in landscape painting.'  In Rourke, A. and Rees, V. Researching the Visual: Demystifying ‘the picture that’s worth a thousand words. Common Ground Publishing. Champaign, IL.
  • Garbutt, M. (2013). ‘Hokusai’s Boy: Technology, Tactics and Everyday Enscreenment.’ In Rourke, A. and Rees, V. Building Minds, Forging Bridges: Teaching in a Visually Littered World. Common Ground Publishing. Champaign, IL.

Film Productions

  • Garbutt, M. (design director). Dementia: Night-time Care (2012). Television program and DVD Health Television Network: Sydney and Milton Keynes. In collaboration with Colm Cunningham, Director Hammond Care Dementia Centre, Sydney. Broadcast on HTN, ACC Channels in Australia and the UK.
  • Traynor, V. and Garbutt, M. (senior writer/design director). Dementia: Understanding the Condition (2011). Television program and DVD. Health Television Network. Sydney and Milton Keynes UK Television program and DVD. In collaboration with A/Prof Victoria Traynor, School of Nursing, Midwifery and Indigenous Health, University of Wollongong, NSW). Broadcast on HTN, ACC Channels in Australia and the UK.
  • Garbutt, M. (writer/director). Sexuality and the Older Person (2009; updated 2011). TV program and DVD, published by Health Television Network: Sydney. Broadcast on HTN, ACC Channels in Australia and the UK.


  • Bodyscapes COFASpace, March 2014 in collaboration with Nico Roenpagel and Barbara Merz. Video and mixed media installation
  • Pathways to Auschwitz Newtown Synagogue, September 2011. Solo exhibition of acrylic paintings



Current appointment(s)

Associate Dean (Research Training), UNSW Art & Design
Convenor, Spatial Design Stream