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VCUQatar Presents Towards a Post-disciplinary Practice: Design Education in Cultural Crisis

October 23, 2012

As part of the Crossing Boundaries Lecture Series, Virginia Commonwealth University in Qatar presents a lecture by British designer and technology researcher Matt Ward entitled Towards a Post-disciplinary Practice: Design Education in Cultural Crisis on Wednesday, 24 October, 2012 at 6:00 pm at the atrium at VCUQatar.

In his lecture Ward will investigate the development of a post-disciplinary approach to design within higher education. “Drawing on a range of projects, briefs and workshops developed at Goldsmiths over the last ten years I shall propose a radical pedagogy that looks for a new role for design in the 21st Century.”

Ward will also conduct a workshop with faculty at VCUQatar on critical design as an approach to design education where he will focus on two factors: definitions, approaches and benefits to critical design education; and curriculum development – how to structure a curriculum to support a critical approach to design. “I met Matt Ward two years ago at the suggestion of Fiona Raby, a speaker at VCUQatar’s last Tasmeem conference. I was truly impressed by his students’ works which is undergraduate level. It is critical and conceptual as well as high quality,” said Line Christiansen, director of the Foundation program at VCUQatar. “My interest in Matt’s visit is to draw from the knowledge and experience that he has gained with his critical design courses and stir a debate and hopefully an interest in understanding critical design.”

Ward is a lecturer in Design at Goldsmiths (University of London) where he runs the undergraduate Design program. He’s a dedicated educator, teaching across undergraduate, postgraduate and research programs on both theoretical and studio courses.

His research spans a wide range of interests from speculative design to radical pedagogy. He’s a practicing designer, writer and founding member of DWFE; a post-disciplinary, sub-dogmatic, semi-fictional design syndicate. DWFE’s work searches for meaning in the construction of the extraordinary; they design activities, actions and incidents that reconfigure people’s relationships to their habitual environments.

Ward holds three international patents on the work he did at NCR’s Advanced Research and Development Department (The Knowledge Lab) on the emerging contexts of the Internet of Things and Urban Computing. Ward has been a research affiliate to MIT Media Lab, The Auto-ID Centre and Interaction Design at The Royal College of Art. He has acted as a consultant for a range of organizations; Nokia, Sony, Diageo, Dentsu and the Design Council. He lectures internationally on a design, technology and education, writes a blog [http://sb129.wordpress.com/] and takes a lot of photographs [www.flickr.com/mattward].

VCUQatar’s Crossing Boundaries Lecture Series reflects the cross-disciplinary nature of the featured speakers who are representatives of excellence in creative and innovative thinking.

‘Towards a Post-disciplinary Practice: Design Education in Cultural Crisis’ is the second in the series of five lectures and will be presented on 24 October at 6:00 pm at the atrium at VCUQatar. The lecture is open to the public.

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