Design Culture Salon 19: How does the design studio support emergent design practices?

Friday 19 February, 6:30pm,
Clore 55, Victoria and Albert Museum

 For many designers and design educators, the studio still forms the key site for design practice and learning and is often said to facilitate creative processes, not least collaboration and making. Our understanding of precisely how or why the studio can support these forms of labour, however, remains relatively vague. Moreover, the activities that currently constitute contemporary design practice have moved beyond the ‘object’ and into seemingly immaterial practices, such as social design and design thinking. So, how does studio support these new kinds of processes? How can we contextualise and understand novel instantiations of studio? How can sociological or anthropological approaches to studios inform our understanding of situated studio practices?

This Salon will address these questions, among others, through commentary on the new book: ‘Studio Studies: Operations, Topologies & Displacements’, edited by Ignacio Farías and Alex Wilkie. This collection of essays, published by Routledge, examines the role of studios in the production of cultural artefacts, not least those brought into being by designers – a remarkable blind spot in social and cultural research, the accounts of which remain dominated by the ‘creativity’ of privileged individuals or the stimulation of creativity through urban clustering.

Chair: Dr Lucy Kimbell, Director of Innovations and Insights Hub, University of Arts, London.

Professor Daniel Charny, Professor of Design, Kingston University and Director at From Now On
Dr Ignacio Farias, Assistant Professor at the Munich Center for Technology in Society and the Department of Architecture of the Technishe Universität München.
Yiyun Kang, V&A Artist in Residence
Professor Peter Lloyd, Professor of Design, University of Brighton
Dr Alex Wilkie, Senior Lecturer in Design, Goldsmiths, London

This is a free, drop-in event. No need to book.
Directions to Clore 55 here. 


Professor Daniel Charny
is an internationally recognised curator, strategic consultant and lecturer in the field of contemporary design. His specialist background as an industrial designer puts him in a unique position in the curatorial field, as does his strategic and curatorial practice applied in the context of design education. Charny curated major shows for the Design Museum and the Victoria and Albert Museum including ‘Power of Making’ one of the most popular exhibitions in the V&A’s history. Involved in strategic consultancy he led on the Content and Interpretation strategy for the Design Museum London contributing to their successful bid for HLF major projects funding in 2012. Charny has been involved in design education for 20 years including between 1998-2012 at the Royal College of Art where he was Senior Tutor on the Design Products Department.

Dr Ignacio Farías is a senior researcher at the Social Science Research Center Berlin (WZB) and holds a PhD from Humboldt University Berlin. In the field of urban studies, Farías has conducted ethnographic research in three main areas: a) cultural consumption, tourism, and city-marketing; b) cultural production, studio practices, and creative industries; and c) urban disasters, city reconstruction, and governmentality. His publications include Urban Assemblages. How Actor-Network Theory Changes Urban Studies (2009) and articles in journals such as Mobilities, Space and Culture, CITY, and EURE. Revista Latinoamericana de Estudios Urbano y Regionales.

Yiyun Kang was born in Seoul, Korea. She holds a Bachelor in Fine Arts from Seoul National University’s Painting department and a Master in Fine Arts from UCLA’s Design & Media Arts department. Upon completion of her MFA in the United States, Kang worked and taught in Korea for 3 years, subsequently moving to London, where she is currently working and pursuing a PhD at the Royal College of Art. Kang is internationally recognized for her projection mapping installations. Her work has been exhibited in a number of museums and galleries in Europe, Asia and the United States and she has taken part in several residency programmes, including that of Korea’s National Museum of Contemporary Art.

Dr Lucy Kimbell has spent much of her career on design’s fringes, intersecting with other disciplines and contexts including social innovation and policy. Before joining UAL Lucy was AHRC research fellow in Policy Lab in the Cabinet Office (2014-15) and principal research fellow at the University of Brighton where in addition she jointly led projects for the AHRC around social design. Previously Lucy was Clark fellow in design leadership at Said Business School, University of Oxford for five years, where she remains an associate fellow. Lucy co-founded one of the UK’s first digital arts groups and went on to work in digital innovation consultancy before joining academia. As an educator she has taught an MBA elective on design innovation at Said Business School since 2005. She also designs and delivers training in people-centred design for the UK Civil Service and contributes to UAL’s courses including CSM’s MA Innovation Management and its proposed MBA.

Professor Peter Lloyd is Professor of Design at the University of Brighton. His research looks at all aspects of the design process with a particular emphasis on the language used in design activity. He teaches in the areas of design methods, design thinking and design ethics. He is Associate Editor for the journal Design Studies and his research is based on interests that include design ethics, storytelling in the design process and design in the media. Prior to his appointment at the University of Brighton College of Arts and Humanities, Professor Lloyd held the post of Professor of Design Studies at The Open University from 2011 and was a senior lecturer between 2005-2011. Between 1999 and 2005, he was an Associate Professor at the Delft University of Technology, The Netherlands and a Research Fellow at Cranfield University between 1995-1999. You can read Peter’s latest thoughts on design at:

Dr Alex Wilkie is the Director of the MPhil/PhD programme in Design, Co-Programme Leader of the MA: Interaction Design and Co-Director of the Centre for the Study of Invention and Social Process. He has been working at the intersection between design and science and technology studies (STS) for over sixteen years. Alex studied interaction design at the Royal College of Art and gained his PhD in sociology, an ethnographic study of user-centered design, at Goldsmiths. Alex was an original member of, a group who designed and developed the Issuecrawler, an online tool for tracing and visualising controversy on the web and has been a member of the Interaction Research Studio since 2006.


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