Author Archive

Design lessons from the pandemic

As the UK sets out plans for an end to lockdown the question for many of us is what life will look like in the new, post-lockdown, normality. Designers in particular can, and should,

Design education in the open

In the recently published edition of the Open Arts Journal, Nigel Cross, Emeritus Professor of Design and myself have written a review of design education at the Open University in the past 50 years

Why is design education white?

UK Black History Month is drawing to an end and this year, in particular, with all of the events that led to Black Lives Matter protests I have, once again, found myself reflecting on

Celebrating Student Work

The OU Design Student Annual Exhibition 2020, launched online on June 25th with an event attended by more than 80 students and staff at which two designers talked, Ben Sippel on Design in Lockdown

Makerversity: the changing face of independent design work

A few weeks ago some OU design academics plus regional and part-time staff signed up for a tour of the “Makerversity” located in the bowels of Somerset House in London. Makerversity is, undoubtedly, the

Creating a womens’ network

Part of our trip to Mexico in December was focused on a British Council project to aid the creation of a network for women in science and business on the Yucatan peninsula. A series

Engineering design on show

The Engineering Design Show in the Coventry Ricoh Arena last week provided a great opportunity for Design academics Nicole Lotz and Georgy Holden to see companies showing state-of-the-art design engineering as well as to

Design for democracy

Dockland Democracy When design academics at the OU were planning visits with students, without consciously realising it, all of the visits chosen were to statement buildings on the waterside in reclaimed dockland areas. Following

Making a (political) design statement

The past weekend saw several members of design@open venturing to Scotland to meet up with students for visits to two iconic buildings, the V&A Dundee and the Riverside Museum, Glasgow. Both buildings have a

The MAC Belfast: building and thinking

Belfast’s contemporary art gallery, the Metropolitan Arts Centre, affectionately known as The MAC, designed by Hackett Hall McKnight, is an interesting building, opened in 2012 it sits on a site that is strangely shaped,