barnes-200x200 image


Associate Professor of Industrial Design
Contact Info

Audrey Barnes’ friends would describe her as an instigator and a risk taker.

She revels in questioning why things are the way they are, and she brings people together to get things done. She uses the design thinking approach to problem solving to create new goods and services and to inspire action in her local community.

In addition to running her own design consultancy, Audrey is an assistant professor and the area head of industrial design at JMU's School of Art, Design and Art History. Here, she created the Bachelor of Science in Industrial Design degree, which was subsequently dubbed “the most cross-disciplinary curriculum on campus.”

Audrey Barnes at workAudrey Barnes at work

Audrey is actively involved in many cross-disciplinary collaborations including the JMU Drones Challenge, The Innovation Exchange and The Applied Research Collaborative, a transdisciplinary group of faculty working to develop a model for sustainable placemaking and engagement with a focus on infrastructure projects. Her research and scholarship range from the development of tools for collaborative interventions to designing and building experimental musical instruments. 

Audrey Barnes with the JMU Drone ChallengeAudrey Barnes with the JMU Drones Challenge

Audrey grew up in the foothills of western North Carolina, where both sets of her grandparents drove 18-wheelers. Her blue collar roots, subsequent education and global travels instilled in her empathy toward a wide range of cultural and socio-economic realities. She holds a Master of Industrial Design degree from Rhode Island School of Design and a Bachelor of Industrial Design degree from North Carolina State University. You can often find her covered in sawdust in the wood shop, teaching her pup Jolene new tricks or playing drums, keys and singing with her band the Hook & Bullet.

Back to Top