Keynote speakers

Prof Janet McDonnell

Somewhere, some day, somehow: Looking for design creativity

Prof Janet McDonnell

The presentation will take its departure from the premises that creativity is ubiquitous and that design creativity is not in the gift of a privileged designer elite. It will focus on examples of unremarkable, normally unnoticed, ordinary behaviour - drawing in non-designers, historical accounts of ‘successful’ everyday design, and the routine creativity manifest in the process of design collaboration. The examples serve as touch points for the roles of constraints in enabling design; the limits to designers’ influence on innovation and the critical role of ambiguity in creative collaboration.

Originally educated, trained and practicing as a chartered engineer, she subsequently held a series of academic posts in Computer Science before joining Central Saint Martins in London where she is Professor of Design Studies and Head of Research. She is editor in chief of the journal CoDesign.

Peter Spence

A Creative's Journey: Maker to Engineer to Designer to Entrepreneur

Peter Spence

Follow a creative's journey from making toys in a grand-fathers workshop to building a startup in Switzerland. Peter has always loved to make. He deeply enjoys the creation process and is driven by solving problems. He believes the most creative and impactful ideas develop at the intersection between design, engineering and entrepreneurship. Peter shares his story and insights into creativity within design from childhood to present. He explores the impact of creativity in the contrasting worlds of design and engineering. The journey continues with a dive into the role of creativity within the fast-moving startup world.

Peter studied at world leading universities in both engineering and the arts. He received his MEng in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Bath (2011) and his MSc and MA from Imperial College London and the Royal College of Art (2014) for his studies in Innovation Design Engineering. Over the last four years he has focused on user centred design and educational technology. He has worked on many cutting-edge products as a consultant and founded his own education startup (2014). Peter has won graduate and social entrepreneurship awards for his work and deeply understands the challenges of launching innovative products.

Prof Darrell Mann

Conscious Creativity: Don't Just Do Something, Stand There

Prof Darrell Mann

A twenty-year research programme reveals the majority of innovation attempts fail on their first day. They fail because the responsible team have defined the wrong problem. A parallel review of the creative literature reveals the large majority focuses on solution generation. The presentation explores the causal links between these two findings, and suggests the need for a sea-change in the way 'creatives' devote their time and energy. In today's ever-more connected, interdependent world, creating answers is easy. The real challenge is finding the right questions: a task that currently lacks meaningful thinking tools and strategies. With two exceptions.

Darrell is head of the global Systematic Innovation Network and the overall architect of the TrenDNA, PanSensic and Systematic Innovation methods. He has been developing, teaching and deploying these tools since 1991 when he was an engineer at Rolls-Royce. Darrell has trained over 12,000 people, including as a Professor at the Universities of Warwick and Buckingham. His work today focuses on innovation strategy, and as such, he works in the Board rooms of many MNC's, helping them to make the transition from an Operational-Excellence dominated mindset to one in which 'Innovation' becomes a core success driver.

Artist’s Talk and Exhibition

Engineered Equanimity: The Machines of Steven Pippin

Engineered Equanimity

Artist Steven Pippin will finish the first day of programme with a brief introduction to his work: Engineered Equanimity - The Machines of Steven Pippin. Then, as part of the welcome reception, delegates are invited to visit the galleries in the art centre where they will be able to view the exhibition.

Image: Ω=1, courtesy of Gavin Brown’s Enterprise, New York

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Design SocietySpecial Interest Group - Design CreativityUniversity of Bath