About me

I am Professor of Design and Head of the Art & Design Department at Sheffield Hallam University, England. We have over 50 Academics on our permanent staff and around 1500 students. I’ve been at Sheffield since 1991. My previous job was head of the Art and Design Research Centre from 2004-2009. I’m also Director of Sheffield Institute of Arts which provides the public face and some of the academic direction for our work in Design, Media Arts, Fine Art and Communication.

In the recent UK Research Assessment exercise we had a very good result with half of our work being recognised as internationally significant or world-leading (3 star and 4 star) .

My own research is concerned with the role of tacit knowledge in design, arising from our experience of research projects in which designing plays an instrumental part in investigations into problems in other disciplines. I have taken an active role in the development of practice led research and doctorates in design and the creative disciplines.

Until 2009 I was Chair of the Council of the Design Research Society the only international society open to researchers in every area of designing and every country.

My main teaching role is in the MA Design Programme. This is a multi-disciplinary programme with a mixture of students from the UK, Europe and further afield. I am lucky to work with a very motivated and talented group of students who are also very enjoyable company. I am also very lucky to work with some outstanding PhD students and early-career researchers.

At the moment I am also doing quite a lot of work on practice-based research methods, which I prefer to think of as Investigative Designing, and I have given talks about this subject to groups of postgraduates and academics in a number of universities, including our own Research Supervisors Training Programme. I am working on ways to support the development of design leadership skills and the application of design thinking to service delivery, particularly in healthcare.

Outside Academia I am very interested in the development of cycling as a mainstream form of transport which can be seen in my cycling blog, Seven League Boots, and I am occasional maintenance man and webmaster for The Stillpoint Practice, a large complementary healthcare practice in Sheffield run by my partner, Isobel Stevenson,

(the photo was taken in my office by Lesley Lee from our marketing department, she needed an image in a hurry for a press release or something and snapped me on her cameraphone. Thanks Lesley. The background colour is my office wall with a little help from GIMP to create the light to dark)

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