Design School: After Boundaries and Disciplines

Paul A. Rodgers, Craig Bremner (Eds.)

by Paul A. Rodgers (University of Strathclyde, UK), Marco Petroni (Politecnico (Milan), Università della Campania (Naples)), Rachel Cooper (OBE Lancaster University), Babette Allina (Rhode Island School of Design (RISD)), Tim Marshall (The New School in New York City), Nelly Ben Hayoun , Will Holman , Peter Lloyd Jones , Justin McGuirk (Design Museum London), Maya Dvash , Clive Dilnot (Parsons School of Design and The New School in New York City), Constantin Boym (Pratt Institute), Amaresh Chakrabarti (Indian Institute of Science (IISc), Bangalore), Mark Roxburgh , Peter Childs (Imperial College London), Lou Yongqi (College of Design and Innovation, Tongji University), Silvio Lorusso (Institute of Network Cultures of Amsterdam, Willem De Kooning Academy), Giovanni Innella (Advanced Institute of Industrial Technology, Japan), Agata Jaworska , Helen Charman (V&A, London), Craig Bremner (Charles Sturt University, Australia)

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An important contribution to the institutions of design and how they need to transform to fully embrace the idea that design can particpate in changing the conditions of our lives.

Tim Marshall
The New School, NYC, USA

By examining the contemporary situation of the Design School from a global perspective, this book explores how the structure of design learning and teaching, research and practice, is being transformed by a number of internal, external, and contextual factors and the implications of these factors for future iterations of the Design School.

Exploring contemporary design education, this book asks whether Design Schools are shaping a new type of designer, or if tomorrow’s designers will emerge from other professions such as business, health care, education, and computing, where design ‘thinking’ is now regularly applied.

The book is proposed at a time when governments and markets across the world are reshaping education. In a time of rapid and intensive change, it looks internationally at the shape of the Design School of the future. The book has been developed from a series of summits that explored the future of the contemporary Design School informed by international perspectives from high level invited speakers from design education, culture and industry who were asked:

* How can a Design School in the age of the Anthropocene best prepare future designers for this complex world?
* How can the Design School maximize the potential opportunities suggested by this future, uncertain world at a time of rapid and intensive change?
* Having changed the planet how should the Design School react to the planet changing us?

The three summits reflect three significant turns in the contemporary Design School. The first focused on the current issues surrounding the Design School from the academic perspective. The second summit examined the increasingly intensive relationship between industry and Design Schools. The third summit focused on the increasingly close relationship between the Design School and the Cultural Sector.

The book includes essays from the expanding landscape of the Design School, including educational providers, the design museum sector, the international design festival circuit and influential practitioners engaged in design education. The essays in this book provide a valuable, comprehensive examination of the future of the Design School and render a unique forecast of its probable trajectory.

Chapter 1. Introduction

Chapter 2. Design School: Design in the Age of Digital Capital

Chapter 3. Design School: Undisciplined and Irresponsible

Chapter 4. Design Schools of Thought: Educational Turn

Chapter 5. Design Schools of Thought: Industry Turn

Chapter 6. Design Schools of Thought: Cultural Turn

Chapter 7. Alterplinary Design School

Chapter 8. Design School: A Future Charter




Paul A. Rodgers is Professor of Design at Imagination, Lancaster University. He is also the Arts and Humanities Research Council (UK) Design Leadership Fellow (2017 – 2020). He has undergraduate and postgraduate degrees in design from Middlesex University, London and a PhD in product design assessment from the University of Westminster, London. He has published extensively in all of the major design journals (e.g. Design Issues, Design Studies, The Design Journal, CoDesign) and design conferences (e.g. Design Research Society, European Academy of Design). He is the author of 9 books including The Routledge Companion to Design Research (Routledge, Oxon, 2015). Professor Rodgers is an Editorial Board Member of the Design Studies journal and an Editorial Board Member of the International Journal of Design Creativity and Innovation. He is a founding member of the Design Disruption Group who strive for positive change in health and social care and elsewhere.

Craig Bremner is Professor of Design at Charles Sturt University. For some time he was also Professor of Design at the University of Southern Denmark. Prior to this joint position he was Professor in Design Pedagogy at Northumbria University UK, and Professor of Design at the University of Canberra, where he was also Dean of the Faculty of Design & Architecture. His research deals with developing methods to discover how and why we don’t know much about the idea of design, as well as finding ways to clarify the reason why “not-knowing” is an essential and valuable beginning point of practice.

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Bibliographic Information

Book Title

Design School: After Boundaries and Disciplines





Number of pages


Physical size

236mm x 160mm


19 B&W

Publication date

July 2019