Category: Design comment

  • Back to the Future: can we nurture transformational design?

    Back to the Future: can we nurture transformational design?

    A few months ago, I was asked by the journal of the Town and Country Planning Association to write a short article as part of the TCPA’s 125th anniversary. Back in 1898 the TCPA was instrumental in promoting the Garden Cities/New Towns concept and today remains a forum for more radical thinking in urban and […]

  • Adventures in design: a curiosity-driven career

    Adventures in design: a curiosity-driven career

    Taking the plunge to study for a career in any field is a bold and purposeful step in life. To pursue a creative career takes perhaps an even bolder leap of faith when the array of potential work roles is so diverse and constantly evolving. Design roles today are no exception. More younger adults are […]

  • New design module! T190: Design practices

    New design module! T190: Design practices

    The Design Group are delighted to announce our new introductory design module –  available for study in October 2024! T190: Design practices is a foundation in design practices that introduces principles and skills from topics in different creative and design disciplines. These skills and principles are applied throughout the module in a series of design […]

  • Concerning the Spiritual in Design

    Concerning the Spiritual in Design

    Having visited 78 Derngate in Northampton with students and tutors on the design courses last month, I was inspired to return to my studies of Charles Rennie Mackintosh (1868-1928) and the Glasgow Four. 78 Derngate, a small terraced house near one of the old town gates, was originally built in 1815.  The interior, extensively remodelled […]

  • The Many Hidden Aspects of Mending

    The Many Hidden Aspects of Mending

    According to WRAP (2012), around 166 million items of clothing could be worn again if they were repaired yet nearly 350,000 tonnes of clothing were discarded as residual waste in 2021. If more clothing were to be repaired around 13.9 kg of carbon emissions per garment would be saved (Bevilacqua et al., 2011) which could […]

  • Food, shelter and re-designing home

    Food, shelter and re-designing home

    As a new resident in Milton Keynes, I’ve brought along my decades-long curiosity about how people live day to day and how they organise themselves in different places and cultures to meet needs for food and shelter. Since neither can be guaranteed for all people anywhere in a world of deepening inequality, designers committed to […]

  • Lessons from a Santaless Sleigh

    Lessons from a Santaless Sleigh

    Having been asked to provide a Design Blog just ahead of Christmas, I wondered how I might combine this yuletide timing with my design research. I have been working on both research and teaching pieces that explore the product, service and system design impacts of emerging electric and autonomous vehicle technologies. That’s not very Christmassy. […]

  • Presenting Futures Literacy to the Scottish Government

    Presenting Futures Literacy to the Scottish Government

    One of the things we get to do now and again as academics is to speak to governments and politicians in policy areas we are interested in. This year, the OU in Scotland contributed to the Royal Society of Chemistry event Science and the Parliament event. This brings together scientists, business, politicians, and government to […]

  • Anxiety and Optimism: Designs on Barbenheimer.

    Anxiety and Optimism: Designs on Barbenheimer.

    As an 11 year old in the early 70s, I was fascinated by the idea that the tiniest components of everything in the world, (including ourselves), had within them the power to obliterate the planet. I read avidly about the structure of atoms, and what they had the potential to unleash. The Cold War fuelled […]

  • Excavating smart city knowledge politics

    Excavating smart city knowledge politics

    Since its inception over a decade ago, the smart discourse and its promoters have been incredibly successful to the extent that now many cities identify themselves as smart cities.  While there is no single definition of a smart city, in broad terms such developments are based on digital infrastructures comprising sensors and data hubs which […]