DDR4 PANEL Biographies


Dr David Durling
David Durling is Director of the Advanced Research Institute, Staffordshire University, UK. His education was in furniture and industrial design, with a PhD in design education. He has practised design and conducted applied research across various fields including specialist science laboratory planning. Recent research has focused on designers' personality and creativity. Durling has held several professional positions. He is Chair of the international Design Research Society, and edits its popular 'Design Research News'. He was a member of the assessment panel for Art & Design for the UK Research Assessment Exercise 2001, and has co-chaired various conferences such as 'Doctoral Education in Design' 2000 and 2003; and 'Common Ground' 2002. He is Co-Chair of the 'Futureground' conference to be held at Monash University, Melbourne in November.

Hilary French
Hilary French is Head of the School of Architecture & Design at the RCA. She was trained as an architect at the Architectural Association in London and has worked in London and Paris in private practice as an architect and interior designer. In the 1990s she completed a Masters degree in History of Modern Architecture at the Bartlett, UCL. Before her appointment at the RCA in 1998 she was employed as a senior lecturer at Kingston University, School of Architecture and as a visitor to other architecture and design courses.

Her first book, Architecture a Crash Course (Simon & Schuster 1998) an outline history of architecture aimed at people with no knowledge of the subject, has been translated into eight languages worldwide, since its first publication in Britain and America. Research is ongoing into the design of urban housing and the relationship between the inhabited spaces of the interior and urban formal typologies. The exploration focuses on the relationship between architectural theory and practice, especially in public sector provision and the relationship with the commercial sector. Outcomes are intended to relate to the experience of the non-specialist audience. Other research interests include exploring ways that designers learn and specifically the use, through computer databases, of visual resources for designers and researchers. Details of research at the RCA can be found via < http://www. rca.ac.uk>

John Chris Jones
Of the many writings of John Chris Jones his book ‘Design Methods’ is one of the most important, first published in 1970, it the 1992 version is still in print. He first became involved with design methods while working as an industrial designer for a manufacturer of large electrical products in Britain in the 1950s. He set up one of the first labs in British industry that was devoted to the then newly emerging discipline of Ergonomics, where he set to work redesigning the engineer's design process itself so that intuition and rationality could co-exist, rather than one excluding the other.

The 1962 Conference on Design Methods, initiated by Peter Slann and John Chris Jones, led to the formation of the Design Research Society. The post-graduate course in design technology, which Professor Denis Harper and John Chris Jones initiated at the University of Manchester in 1963, was one of the first of its kind. He was later appointed first professor of design at the Open University, UK.

Alongside the idea of design as the drawing of objects that are then to be built or manufactured he views designing as the process of devising not individual products but whole systems or environments; and as an educational discipline that unites art and science and perhaps can go further than either; and now the idea of designing ‘without a product’, as a process or way of living in itself.

A recent book of John Chris Jones is, 'the internet and everyone' (ellipsis 2000) is, among other things, an anthology of his work. The website includes an extensive bibliography (compiled by Tom and Claire Mitchell) a collective cv of the people with whom he has worked, and a 'digital diary' of his current thoughts. One can keep in touch with it by subscribing to 'daffodil', the website news letter. . He received an Honorary D Litt at the University of Salford in 2002 and an Honorary Professorship at the Department of Product Development, University College, Antwerp,in 2003

Denis O’Brien
Denis is a Creativity Advisor at Ringi , Ltd. His professional work includes the concept design of the Control Complex at New Scotland Yard and the Security Control Room for the Bank of England. He founded the European Intelligent Building Group. He helped the formation of the Human Interaction Group of The British Computer Society and he has invented group processes for the creation of consensus decision-making and structured debriefing. He is visiting examiner on The Design Futures MA course at Goldsmiths College, University of London. He is a tutor on the Open University Business School MBA: Creativity, Innovation and Change: B822.

His consulting interests lie in fostering active leadership, organisational creativity and the development of learning communities. His blend of advice comes from many intellectual roots: ergonomics, cybernetics, creativity, community formation, research management, complex system evaluation and appraisal: design methods… all tinged with ‘practicality’. Over 30 years he has run 100’s of ‘Brainstorms and workshops’.

Frank Peters
Frank Peters is Chief Executive of The Chartered Society of Designers. He joined the Society in 1975 s a Licentiate Member and progressed to Membership in 1985. He began practice as an Exhibition Designer in 1975 and went on to develop and manage Creative Facility group, a comprehensive creative consultancy working in exhibition, interior and graphic design, advertising, public relations and language consultancy. Following a period of advising the Society in the mid 90s he took over as acting Director in 1997 and was later appointed as Chief Executive. During his tenure he has been instrumental in developing membership strategies based on professional practice and has overseen the set-up of The Design Association with a remit to accredit design practice. As well as managing the Society's day-to-day business he is heavily involved in advising members on business and commercial matters and now sits on the government steering committee seeking to establish a Sector Skills Council for design within the Creative and cultural Industries sector. The CSD website is http://www.csd.org.uk for information on membership.

Professor Mike Press
Mike Press is Chair of the European Academy of Design. Formed in 1994 the EAD promotes the publication and dissemination of design research. The Academy has to date hosted five international conferences, and is headed by a committee of leading academics from across Europe, as well as from the United States and Australia. Mike Press is currently Head of the Art & Design Research Centre at Sheffield Hallam University. In the UK’s official national assessment of research – the 2001 Research Assessment Exercise it secured a rating of 5 - the highest rating awarded, and only one of 10 Universities securing a 5 for Art and Design. Professor Press is co-organiser of the Conference series ‘Pixel Raiders’ dealing with digital media and tacit knowledge within craft processes. His latest book “The Design Experience” was published last Autumn by Ashgate. From April he will take up a new post as Head of Gray’s School of Art in Aberdeen.

Alec Robertson
Alec is Publications Officer of the Design Research Society Council, a Committee member of the RCA Society, a member of the Chartered Society of Designers (UK) and a Fellow of the UK Royal Society of Arts. He is a postgraduate external examiner and teaches postgraduate and undergraduate design students. He has been a tutor on the Design Management Course at the Royal College of Art, London, and design courses at University of Ulster. He is currently a Principal Lecturer in the Department of Imaging and Communication Design at De Montfort University, Leicester.

His interests include conceptual modelling for design forecasting, multimedia product 'specification', dissemination problems of design research, and '4D Design'. He is an advocate of the ‘Research Exhibition’ as an alternative to the conventional ‘Research-Paper’ for the design research community; the ‘designs-survey’ for the ‘designing’ design researcher along with the conventional ‘literature-survey for scientific and humanities design researchers: and ‘design practice as a ‘research method’.

Alec has organised several conferences and events. The first major conference he organised was 4D Dynamics in 1995 - DDR1, followed by DDR 2 – The Design Research Publication in 1998, and DDR3 - The Interdisciplinary Quandary in 2002. DDR4 – ‘Reflecting, Refreshing, Reuniting and Renovating’ is his latest venture to try and build bridges between the design and research communities. The website Cyberbridge-4D at http://www.dmu.ac.uk/4dd, includes some archives of these conferences.