As an academic leader, designer, researcher and author I have promoted an interdisciplinary approach to the creative arts and industries. Originally trained as a car designer at Coventry University, I have worked and taught across a range of design disciplines over the past 20 years.
I am the Head of School of Design at the National College of Art and Design, Dublin (NCAD). In my previous role as the Programme Director of Irish Design 2015 (ID2015), I successfully devised and delivered a €5 million government backed programme that exceeded all targets and established a platform for the continued development of design in Ireland.
A former Head of Design & Applied Arts at Edinburgh College of Art, I have taught and managed at a diverse range of institutions – including the School of Textiles and Design at Heriot-Watt University, University of Dundee, Edinburgh Napier University, Central Saint Martins College of Art & Design and the Central Academy of Fine Art, Beijing – with my students winning dozens of international awards.
I am a Visiting Professor at University College Dublin, Aston University and Manchester School of Art.
I have a proven track record of developing and managing projects; including curating national touring exhibitions and events for the Six Cities Design Festival, curating and designing ‘Remodelling Home’ an interactive exhibition commissioned by Architecture + Design Scotland, and creating a recently commissioned piece for ‘The Everyday Experience’ Irish Architecture Foundation at IMMA show. I co-founded the Claystation design collective, and my creative work has been exhibited at numerous international venues including Designers Block Milan, ICFF New York, 100% Design London, IMM Cologne, London Architecture Biennale, MUDAC Lausanne and INDEX Copenhagen.
I have written a number of books including ‘Product Design’ (Laurence King, 2011) and ‘Research Methods for Product Design’ (Laurence King, 2013). I contributed to ‘New Technologies’ (Phaidon, 2009), ‘Mass Production’ (Phaidon, 2009), and ‘Pioneers’ (Phaidon 2009), and edited ‘Thinking Inside the Box: A Reader in Interiors for the 21st Century’ (Middlesex University Press 2007). My most recent book ‘Irish Design 2015 – Making Design Matter’ was published by DCCoI in 2016.
As a Fellow of the Institute of Designers in Ireland, Fellow of the Royal Society of the Arts, Design Museum ‘Designs of the Year’ Nominator, editorial board member of ‘Iterations’ and reviewer for ‘The Design Journal’ and ‘Design Principles and Practices: an International Journal’, I am actively engaged in the international design discourse.
I have throughout my career, advocated the pivotal role of creative learning – be that through public engagement, cultural interventions, curriculum innovation or policy development. I see creative education as having the power to build a platform for change in the wider economic, political and social context.