I joined the Open University as a Lecturer in Design in 2008. Before, I was Research Associate at The Hong Kong Polytechnic University school of Design. I've also worked as design consultant for various agencies and companies in Germany and Hong Kong. I have earned my PhD from The Hong Kong Polytechnic University in 2008. I wrote my thesis on 'Design patterns for cross-cultural collaboration'. My research interests remain in this area.
Ph.D. Design Patterns for Cross-Cultural Collaboration: The Hong Kong Polytechnic University (2008)
Dipl.Des/MDes in Communication Design: Burg Giebichenstein, Halle, Germany (2002)
2003: Participant in the Exhibition “Times like these” with the video installation “Alltagsmutationen - Mutations” Goethe Institute, Arts Centre, Hong Kong
2001: Junior Award "Best German Book Design 2000" with the book "Koerpertransparent", Deutsche Buch Guilde, Frankfurt, Germany
2000: Participant in the Exhibition "Village Gutenberg" " with the video installation "…und wieder", Mainz, Germany
IxDA - Interaction Design Association
DRS - Design Research Society
My research interests include investigations of cultural factors, collaboration and best practice in designing.
There is a synergy between my teaching and research, both of which aim at understanding and supporting novice designers to engage, persevere and succeed in challenging situations. My unique approach is to uncover and strengthen the designers’ and learners’ shared values to drive engagement and collaboration.
I currently supervise 3 PhD students, with one completed supervision. Andreas Peter looked at prototyping in design collaboration and graduated in 2015. Iain Aitchison investigates curricula development in design education. Tanveer Ahmed considers the inequalities in fashion design education. Irene Watson as Crisis Shelters and how a community dialogue can support participation and solutions co-creation. I am happy to supervise PhD students in subjects that broadly align with my interest framed by current and past projects.
This OU internally funded scholarship project (E&I and eSTEeM, 6k) aims to pilot and evaluate four innovative programme level engagement events that aim to create a community of learners across a qualification.
This OU internally funded research networking event (RAS and eSTEeM, 6k) aimed at identifying pathways for collaborative research between NOUN and the OU to address Nigeria’s challenges in developing locally relevant and high quality interactive ODL applications to teach STEM subjects at a distance.
This OU internally funded scholarship project (eSTEeM, 6k) looks at learners' engagement with the online design community 'Open Design Studio' across the Design and Innovation qualification at the Open University.
Unite: Novice interaction design behaviour in different cultures (2011 - 2013)
This Leverhulme funded project (86k) investigated novice interaction design behaviour in the UK and Botswana. We conducted protocol studies to investigate patterns of behaviour and diary studies to look at socio-cultural factors in designing in both cultures. Background information about this project can be found here.
This EU funded project investigated 'Architectural and Design based Education and Practice through Content & Language Integrated Learning using Immersive Virtual Environments for 21st Century Skills'. More information can be found at http://archi21.eu/.
This JISC funded project looked at the development of a virtual design studio space to support student learning throughout the Design programme of the Open University. More information can be found at the Atelier-D website and at JISC.
In long term projects, I try to further develop various design patterns collections. I set up several wikis to encourage academics and professionals, who had experiences with collaboration across cultures, learning design or self-directed learning, to share recurring problems and success stories in design patterns format.
I maintain several Wikis on design patterns
- in Learning design
In my teaching, I am involved, to some degree, in all our core Design and Innovation Qualification modules. I took part in the production of the groundbreaking Design Thinking module - U101, and I am now presentation chair for U101. I was presentation chair for Design and Designing - T211 until 2012. I was part of the production team of the third level module Innovation: Designing for change - T317.
I am interested in the design of innovative learning technologies, such as the OpenDesignStudio or CompendiumDS, and investigate the effectiveness of those in teaching and learning.
Previously I have gained teaching experience in Hong Kong, at the Hong Kong Polytechnic University, and in the CONVIVIO international interaction design summer school in Romania.
I was Academic Advisor for 3 interactive stories shown on OpenLearn that are based on a 3-part BBC documentary 'Brits Who build the World' broadcasted in 2014.
I activlty contribute, maintain and manage contributions of others in the areas design education, design research, design engagement and design commentary to our Design Group's Design@Open blog
I have worked with Botho University in Botswana, and made links to NOUN, the National Open University of Nigeria. I maintain links to several German Higher Education Institutions around distance design education and work with Tec de Monterrey in Mexico.