MA Design Studies (Distinction)

Central Saint Martins College of Art & Design


Postgraduate Certificate in Learning and Teaching in Art and Design (Distinction) 

Centre for Learning and Teaching in Art and Design, University of the Arts London


BA (Hons) Industrial Design, Transport (2:1)

Coventry University



Head of the School of Design and Professor of Design

National College of Art and Design, Ireland

January 2017 – present

As Head of the School of Design I am responsible for the academic leadership and development of the School. A member of the college management team I have helped develop the college’s new ‘bold and curious learning’ strategic plan and HEA compact, leading a number of compact projects including research and innovation. I am responsible for the financial management of the School and meeting targets in relation to income, student recruitment, student attainment, non-continuation and student satisfaction. I have introduced industry liaison groups for our programmes, giving staff access to advice from the relevant sectors and enabling them to maintain curriculum currency through an increased emphasis on research, employability and enterprise. I have enhanced our mechanisms for keeping our academic provision ahead of the curve and successfully launched a series of innovative new programmes such as Interaction Design and Service Design.

The School of Design offers the largest range of design degrees in Ireland at undergraduate and postgraduate level. I have led the development and delivery of Studio+, a new institution wide initiative that helps prepare graduates for life after college, by enabling them to work on live commercial, social and cultural projects; undertake industry internships; study abroad; collaborate to produce work; learn from the skills & expertise of students and staff from other disciplines and courses; and work in real-world environments within an additional year of blended learning study.

Between July 2017 and January 2018 I also undertook the additional responsibility of being Acting Director of the institution, overseeing the management of the colleges resources, HEA compact compliance, academic direction, finances and governance in a caretaker capacity.

Programme Director, Irish Design 2015

Design and Crafts Council of Ireland

June 2014 – December 2016

I was responsible for directing this major government backed initiative. The overall goal was to increase the awareness, understanding and use of design in Irish society, and to promote Irish design capability internationally, in order to sustain employment and generate new jobs in the sector. The two-year initiative formed part of the Irish Government’s Action Plan for Jobs. I was subsequently commissioned to develop Ireland the design island – towards a National Design Strategy for the Irish government, a document, which aims to embed design policy within all Government departments and State Agencies in Ireland. Launched in 2017, this landmark publication is the first government design strategy since the iconic 1961 Scandinavian Report.

Major outcomes included:

  • An 11 fold return on investment, resulting in a direct economic impact of €55.44 million
  • 28.5 million people engaging with the programme I curated, including 1.7million exhibition attendees, 24.6 million installation viewers, 17.8k workshop participants, 26.8k talks/symposium attendees, a digital audience of 1.2 million and 130k social media followers and unique website users
  • 6486 Irish designers/companies showcased on the island of Ireland and 476 Irish designers/companies showcased internationally
  • 370 new design businesses registered in Ireland during 2015
  • Over 17,000 designers and 1,500 business professionals receiving design training
  • 80+ corporate and strategic partnerships created
  • Generating sponsorship and philanthropic donations totalling over €5.2 million
  • Dublin awarded the status of 2015 IAD World Design Hub
  • Exhibitions developed with V&A, Design Museum London and Vitra Design Museum

Head of the Faculty of Design and Professor of Design

National College of Art and Design, Ireland

May 2012 – June 2014

I was responsible for the development, validation and successful introduction of a new academic structure and curriculum for the Faculty, and its constituent departments. Helping establish NCAD as a top 100 QS world ranked art and design institution. My duties included balancing a faculty budget during a period of financial austerity and managinga large team of academics, researchers, technicians and administrators, who delivered a diverse range of UG and PG programmes in Ceramics, Glass, Fashion, Jewellery & Metalwork, Medical Device Design, Product Design, Textiles & Surface Design, Textile Art & Artefact and Visual Communication. I was also responsible for developing new interdisciplinary collaborations between the NCAD and University College Dublin helping establish an academic alliance.

I fostered a new research & commercialisation agenda that resulted in a significant increase in annual commercialisation income through the creation of Origin8, a new design innovation hub. I managed a number of major research grants as Project Coordinator or Institutional Lead and Co-Investigator worth in excess of €1 million.

Deputy Head of School, Director of Research and Reader in Design

School of Textiles and Design, Heriot-Watt University

April 2010 – May 2012

As part of a new management team, I helped oversee the development of a research-led school philosophy, motivating staff through a period of radical transition in staffing numbers and profile, curriculum development and growth in student numbers. I was directly responsible for the management and strategic development of the Research and Knowledge Exchange Activities, REF preparations and documentation for the School and Unit of Assessment, resulting in a UK best rating of 100% for impact in the REF. I was responsible for the development of new collaborations between the School and the wider University, such as the Creativity, Design and Innovation research theme; as well as inter-institutional initiatives such as the Scottish Academy of Fashion which received £500k of SFC funding. I was also responsible for authoring and validating a new undergraduate programme in Interior Design run in the Scottish and Dubai Campuses, as well as a new suite of postgraduate programmes that resulted in dramatically improved domestic and international recruitment levels.

Head of Design & Applied Arts and Associate Head of the School of Design

Edinburgh College of Art

Jan 2007 – April 2010

I was responsible for the development, validation, management and delivery of new BA (Hons) and MA/MFA programmes in Design and Applied Arts, including Glass, Interior Design, Product Design and Jewellery & Silversmithing. As Associate Head I was part of a management team charged with creating a new School of Design, with a new academic structure, philosophy and research-led agenda. I helped develop and implement a widening participation strategic project focused on equality and inclusivity. I was also the School of Design’s research coordinator and responsible for the development of interdisciplinary research themes and a number of collaborative national and international networks, helping develop collaboration with the University of Edinburgh in preparation for the institutional merger, as well as the School’s REF planning. I taught and assessed students at the Central Academy of Fine Arts, Beijing as part of an academic partnership with the college, which helped inform the internationalisation and cultural diversity of our curriculum.

Head of Furniture, Product and Interior Design Department

Edinburgh College of Art

June 2003 – Jan 2007

I was responsible for the development, management, co-ordination and delivery of the BA (Hons) and MDes programmes in Furniture & Product Design and Interior Design, as well as the delivery of modules for the BSc (Hons) in Integrated Product Design and MSc in Creative 3D Digital Technologies in collaboration with Heriot-Watt University.

Senior Lecturer in Design, School of Design and Media Arts

Napier University

July 2002 – June 2003

I was the BDes (Hons) Design Futures programme administrator and staff co-ordinator. Teaching responsibilities included tutoring within the BDes (Hons) Consumer Product Design, Industrial Design and Interior Architecture programmes and postgraduate project supervision.

Course Director, BSc Innovative Product Design

Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art and Design, University of Dundee

June 2001 – July 2002

I was responsible for the initial delivery and development of this innovative cross-faculty programme, liaising with staff within the College and the University’s Department of Mechanical Engineering.

Programme Leader, BDes Interdisciplinary Design

Napier University

Sept 1996 – June 2001

I was responsible for writing the programme’s documentation, steering it through validation and the programme’s continued academic development, syllabus and administration. As a BSc (Hons) Industrial Design and BA (Hons) Interior Architecture Module Leader, I was responsible for the modularisation and semesterisation of the design curriculum. As Industrial Liaison Coordinator for the Department of Design. I helped contribute to achieving the highest employment rate for art and design graduates in the UK in league tables.

Visiting Lecturer, MA Design Studies

Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design

Feb 1996 – Sept 1996

I was a studio tutor and research advisor for postgraduate students in the School of Design.


Erskine Fellow

School of Design, University of Canterbury, New Zealand


During my three month long fellowship, I worked with management and teaching staff to develop an academic strategy for the newly established School of Design, using design approaches to support collaborative thinking and co-develop a range of solutions that can co-deliver change.

Director of Design Research

University College Dublin

2016 – 2018

Within this part-time professorial role I was responsible for developing a coherent strategy for design-related research across UCD. I worked with stakeholders across the university and externally in industry and in government/public bodies to articulate the best means to leverage current and future potential in design research across a range of methods, disciplines and themes.

Visiting Professor

Manchester School of Art, Manchester Metropolitan University

2015 – 2017

Visiting Professor

School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, Aston University

2015 – 2017

Visiting Research Professor

National College of Art and Design, Ireland

2014 – 2016

Visiting Research Fellow

School of Architecture, Design and Environment, University of Plymouth

2012 – 2014


2013 – 2016 External Examiner, BDes (Hons) Product and Furniture Design, School of Architecture and Design, University of Ulster

2014 Course Evaluator, BA (Hons) Design (Visual Communication), Waterford Institute of Technology

2014 External Advisor on Periodic Review, BSc (Hons) and MSc Product Design, Aston University

2011 – 2013 External Examiner, MA Visual Communication and MA Textile Design, Norwich University College of the Arts

2009 – 2014 External Advisor and Module Reviewer, School of Arts and Creative Industries, Edinburgh Napier University

2009 – 2012 External Examiner, BA (Hons) Three Dimensional Design, University of Plymouth

2008 – 2011        External Examiner, MA Product Design and MA Design and Visualisation, Birmingham City University


Academic Consultant

Uversity, National University of Ireland

April – August 2016

I developed a strategy and new suite of courses that identified and articulated the core and unique elements of Uversity’s educational proposition. Creating educational structures that combined theory, practice and immersive experiences.

Creative Director


June 2003 – April 2012

I successfully developed, delivered and disseminated a number of innovative participatory and co-design projects, events and creative methods.

Creative Director

Outgang Limited

Jan 2007 – Jan 2009

I was responsible for the creative output and new product development for an award-winning Scottish product design and development company; personal projects included the design of an innovative rotationally moulded chair/stool/lounger.

Freelance Designer

July 1994 – Jan 2007

I delivered training programmes and undertook projects for a number of industry and public sector clients.


Fostering key competence development in second-level students through design learning. Emma Creighton, NCAD2019

Into the Wild: using research through design to generate a toolkit for the evaluation of prototypes in context. Caoimhe McMahon, NCAD, 2018

Playful engagements in product design, developing a theoretical framework for ludio-aesthetic interactions in kitchen appliance. Bahareh Shahri, ECA, 2014


Students under my direct supervision have won numerous awards including: IDI Awards 2018 and 2019, D+AD Global Student Design Award winners and commendations in 2008, 2007, 2006, 2005, 2003, 2002, 2001, 2000, 1999 and 1998; RSA commendations and shortlists in 2004, 2003, 2002, 2001 and 2000 and Bombay Sapphire Glass Design 2008 and 2006; UNDU Professional Graduate of the Year 2005, the Design Week Overall Best of Show at New Designers 1998; Steelcase Design Exchange 2001 and Lighting Association commendations in 2009, 2002, 1998 and 1997.


University of Canterbury, New Zealand, February 2019
Design Camp Conference, Ulster Museum, Belfast Design Week, November 2018
Keynote Debate Moderator and Conversation Presenter at DRS 2018 Limerick, June 2018
Sci-Com, Dublin, December 2017
Design Camp Conference, Ulster Museum, Belfast Design Week, November 2017
IDI Bread and Butter, Dublin, July 2017
Cruinnui na Casca, Dublin, April 2017
Design Camp, MAC Belfast, November 2016
XpoNorth, Inverness, Scotland, June 2016
One Design Week, Bulgaria, June 2016
University of Limerick, April 2016
Research and Innovation Conference, Croke Park, Dublin, March 2016
Belfast Design Week, Lyric Theatre, Belfast, November 2015
Supertalks at London Design Fair, September 2015
WantedxNYC, New York, May 2015
Pecha Kucha Dublin, IDI, April 2015
Offset Creative Festival, Dublin, March 2015
Lifelogging, Science Gallery Dublin, February 2015
Harnessing Creativity Conference, The Dock Leitrim, January 2015


Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts
Fellow of the Institute of Designers in Ireland (IDI)

Chair of Design Educators Ireland

Member of the National Design Forum, Ireland
Member of the DBEI Expert Group on Future Skills Needs (EGFSN) Design Skills steering group
Member of Design Research Society
Member of Design & Emotion Society
Member of the Institute of Designers in Ireland Council 2012-2015

Jury Member
Design Museum Designs of the Year Nominator 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2019
A’ Design Awards Jury Member 2016, 2017 and 2018
Institute of Designers in Ireland Awards Jury Member 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2018
Advisory group member, National Craft Gallery, Ireland 2016
Jury Member, Local Heroes – Scottish Year of Architecture, Design and Innovation 2016
Curatorial Panel Member, Craft Design House 2016
Image Design Awards Judge 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2019
Só Collective Council Member 2016

Editorial board member of Iterations – Design Research and Practice Review
Reviewer for The Design Journal
Reviewer for Design Principles and Practices: an International Journal

Conference Chair
Design Now, Dublin 2015
Cumulus – More for Less, Design in an age of austerity, Dublin, 2013


Available upon request

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s