I joined the Open University as a Lecturer in Design in 2008 and became a Senior Lecturer in 2018. In 2019, I became Chair for the Engineering and Innovation AthenaSWAN Silver submission.
Previously was Research Associate at The Hong Kong Polytechnic University School of Design. I've also worked as a design consultant for various agencies and companies in Germany and Hong Kong.
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)
My research interests include investigations of cultural factors, collaboration and best practice in designing.
There is a synergy between my scholarship and research, both of which aim at understanding and supporting designers and those interested in creative design and making to engage, persevere and succeed even during challenging situations. My unique approach is to uncover and strengthen the designers’ shared values to drive engagement and collaboration.
I currently supervise 2 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. I am happy to supervise PhD students in subjects that broadly align with my interest framed by current and past projects.
Developing student employability through solving real-world problems in collaboration with industry and communities in Yucatan (2019 - 2020)
This British Council Mexico HE Links funded project (£15K) sought to improve Universidad Privado de la Peninsula student’s employability skills through solving real-world problems in collaboration with potential employers in Yucatan, Mexico.
A knowledge exchange network between female Scientists and Entrepreneurs for the development of more inclusive social innovations in Yucatan (2019 - 2020)
This British Council Mexico HE Links funded project (£30K) brought together female scientists and entrepreneurs in Yucatan, Mexico to build a network of women linking their knowledge of scientific advancements with business ideas to pursue social innovations in Yucatan.
Design and implementation of a FabLab in a marginalised district in Monterrey, Mexico (2019),
This British Council Mexico HE Links funded project (£15K) co-designed and co-implemented a FabLab in La Campana-Altamira district with members of the community.
Reducing marginalization and promoting inclusive education with the mediation of digital technology in Higher Education (2018)
This British Council Mexico HE Links funded project (£10K) developed projects that foster inclusive education in marginalised communities (disabled, ethnic minorities and conflicted communities in Mexico).
Developing a sense of community through cross-level engagement between staff and students in creative industries subjects. (2017-2018)
This OU internally funded scholarship project (E&I and eSTEeM and MSQ, £12k) 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 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. I am now 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.
I lead the Annual Show of student work and I am interested in offering real-world employability opportunities for OU design students across all levels of study.
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 actively contribute, maintain and manage contributions of others in the areas of design education, design research, design engagement and design commentary to our Design Group's Design@Open blog
DRS Design Pedagogy SIG convening group member.
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 and IYEM in Yucatan Mexico.
|Role||Start date||End date||Funding source|
|Co-investigator||01/Oct/2011||31/Mar/2013||LEVERHULME The Leverhulme Trust|
In this project we will study the design activities of UK and Botswana students through constrained tasks and longitudinal observation, identifying differences and suggesting techniques to encourage and support the development of creative, reflective and independent design strategies that are sympathetic to the African context. We will compare the design strategies adopted by UK and Botswana students, and will suggest simple techniques that Botswana students may be taught to encourage and develop reflective thinking. This will have an immediate impact on the OU’s current module as well as future design modules. With the support of Botho College’s senior staff we will also disseminate our findings to educational policy makers within Botswana as a first step in producing a more practical and lasting impact on interaction design education in Southern Africa.
In addition to teaching on Open University modules our academics are engaged in ground breaking research that benefits individuals and society.
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