Jo-Anne Bichard graduated from Goldsmiths College (University of London) with a BSc (Hons) in Social Anthropology. Her final dissertation 'Naked Ethnography: Ethnography in the Nude' was an ethnographic study of an East End Turkish bath that explored the contradictions of the ethnographic method.
After graduating Jo-Anne joined Goldsmith's department of Anthropology as a researcher for ESRC and MRC funded the Innovative Health Technologies programme. This included a two-year ethnographic study of Neuroimaging laboratories in London and focused on the perception of imaging technologies both from the perspective of the neuroscientists and patients. During this time she also completed an MSc in Science Communication at Imperial College London.
Jo-Anne then joined the Bartlett School of Graduate Studies at University College London (UCL) as a Research Fellow on the VivaCity 2020 consortium funded by the EPSRC's Sustainable Urban Environments Programme (SUE). She co-ordinated and undertook the research on 'The Inclusive Design of Public Toilets in City Centres' - this looked at public toilet provision in seven English cities. The project went on to involve over 500 people through interviews, focus groups and surveys and produced The Accessible Toilet Resource.
Jo-Anne is the centre's academic research lead and is responsible for co-ordinating all the centre's UK Research Council funded studies.
Jo-Anne is the Principal Investigator on Robust Accessible Toilets (RATs) funded by the ESRC's Connected Communities programme that is looking at the challenge of designing for crime prevention and accessibility in community toilet provision. She is also Co-Investigator on Tackling Ageing Continence through Theory Tools and Technology (TACT3) funded by the New Dynamics of Ageing funding programme. TACT3 is a multi-disciplinary project of designers, engineers, chemists, social and clinical researchers and is lead by Brunel University.
Jo-Anne was Co-Investigator of the Welcoming Workplace, funded under the EPSRC and AHRC Designing for the 21st Century programme. The research looks at challenges confronting those who plan and design offices within the 21st century knowledge economy, and will provide direction to a more innovative and adaptive design practice, which encompasses the need of older knowledge workers. The research provided the foundation for the co-authored book 'New Demographics New Workspace' with Jeremy Myerson and Alma Erlich.
Jo-Anne is a member of the i~design3 project. This research seeks to provide tools that enable designers to think more inclusively and create innovative products and environments for older people and people with disabilities. i~design is funded by the EPSRC and is undertaken in partnership with Cambridge and Loughborough universities.
Jo-Anne is registered at UCL's Bartlett School of Graduate Studies as a PhD student in Architectural Studies and is currently writing up her thesis on an ethnographic study of how public convenience design excludes users.