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Professor John Wood

Staff details

PositionEmeritus Professor in Design
Department Design
Email j.wood (@gold.ac.uk)
Phone+44 (0)20 7919 7777

Background  
My main focus, at present, is the development of a new approach to design practice that we are calling 'metadesign'. My first job at Goldsmiths was Deputy Head of the Fine Art Department (from 1978-1988). After ten years I co-wrote, and ran, an unusually broad, reflective and ethically oriented BA(Hons) degree in design. This programme helped to launch the current Department of Design. Ten years later I wrote, launched and ran the current MA Design Futures programme.

Having studied art in the late 1960's I invented and marketed several energy conservation systems, created some of the first animated holograms, developed electronic toys and invented an authoring software application (IDEAbase). As a solo and collaborating artist my work has been shown in 21 countries including the Australian Biennale (1988). My site-specific installations include a full size fake peep show built in Soho, London (1986). As a performer I recorded four albums and still, on occasion, play in public as a founder member of the cult band 'Deaf School'.

Teaching

MA Design Futures, MPhil/PhD

Areas of supervision

I currently supervise five doctoral students and have been involved in the successful completion of more than a dozen others. Many of the research topics within my supervision have explored new ways to broaden the practice of design, and to render it as a more ecological and ethical discipline. This breadth, and depth, of concern corresponds to my own research in 'metadesign'. It represents widely differing approaches, ranging from the food industry, networks of commercial innovation, to explorations of evolutionary theory, creativity and co-authorship – all within the practice of design.

Research Interests

I have published over 100 papers and articles on ethics and design in the age of over consumption. My first book, 'The Virtual Embodied' (Routledge, 1998) explored the ethical implications of different types of situated practice. My most recent book "The Design of Micro-Utopias; thinking beyond the possible" (Ashgate, 2007) suggests that we can govern ourselves better using 'design thinking'. Just after the new millennium I co-founded the Attainable Utopias Network (see http://attainable-utopias.org) that seeks an alternative to the visionless, choice-based society that designers have helped to develop. I am also co-founder and co-editor of the Journal of Writing in Creative Practice (Intellect Books). This international publication grew from our development of the Writing-PAD Network (www.writing-pad.ac.uk), which currently includes around 50 participating universities. It also reflects my abiding interest in how best to help designers to inform their practice.

Keynote talks (since 2006) 
Wood, J., (2009), - One of Three Keynote Lectures –
'Diversity-of-Diversities', final presentation for the 'Edge of a Dream – Utopias, Landscape and Contemporary Photography' project curated by Virginia Nimarkoh, Goldsmiths, University of London, 31st January 2009

Wood, J., (2009), Keynote Lecture, Metamorphosis of Design Management Symposia, LCC, 30th January 2009

Wood, J., (2008), - Keynote Lecture – 'Synergizing Research Narratives', at the Practice-led doctoral / post-doctoral exhibition and symposium Chelsea College of Art and Design, London, 28-30 October, 2008

Wood, J., (2008), - Inaugural professorship lecture (http://blip.tv), Goldsmiths University of London, Monday 21st October

Wood, J., (2008), - Keynote 'conversation' with Malcolm Smith, Design Director of Arup & Partners, 'Greengaged' event at the UK Design Council, Monday 15th September

Wood, J., (2008), - Keynote Lecture – "Auspicious Reasoning within Education", given at the Interrogations: Creative Interdisciplinarity in Art and Design Research Conference, Loughborough University, School of Art & Design, May 21st, 2008

Wood, J., (2008), - Keynote Lecture – "Auspicious Reasoning; the idea of 'quadratic innovation', given at the Building Futures 'Futures Fair' conference, held by the Royal Institute of Building Architects, 15th May, 2008

Wood, J., (2008), - Keynote Lecture – "Synergy-Cities; a metadesign approach" given at the The Environment Technology Transfer Club (ETTC) and the Industrial Symbiosis Network (ISNet), are both part of the Clean Environment Management Centre (CLEMANCE) based at the University of Teesside as part of their 'Eco Towns: Viable projects, or white elephant? Conference, May 14th, 2008

Wood, J., (2007), - Keynote Lecture - "Towards a 4th Order Design" for the 'Mapping Design Activism' conference at Leeds University, 14th September, 2007.

Wood, J., (2007), - Keynote lecture – "Masters of the Universe", Kunsthøgskolen i Oslo, The Oslo National Academy of the Arts, 7th February, 2007

Wood, J., (2006), - Keynote Lecture – "The Educational Purpose of Creativity - a clash of perspectives", staff conference, Plymouth College of Art & Design, 26th October, 2006

Wood, J., (2006), - Keynote lecture - "Writing for/in Ethical Practice", at the Writing-PAD conference, "Where do we go from here? A platform for past and future initiatives", at Goldsmiths, University of London, 21st September, 2006

Wood, J., (2006), Keynote lecture - "Relative Abundance; Fuller's discovery that the glass is always half full", given at the '100% Sustainable' conference, Olympia, London, 23rd September, 2006

Wood, J., (2006), - Keynote lecture - "Writing for/in Ethical Practice", at the Writing-PAD conference, "Where do we go from here? A platform for past and future initiatives", at Goldsmiths, University of London, 21st September, 2006

Recent consultancy (since 2007)
Wood, J., (2008-9) (CONSULTANT), Arup & Partners, London (details are confidential)

Wood, J., (2008), (CONSULTANT) Ag8 and Ridley Scott Associates), 12th November and 3rd December, 2008

Wood, J., (2008), Chair of Awards Jury - the Iceland Visual Art Awards, September 2008

Wood, J., (2008), (CONSULTANT) Space Doctors and BBC, 9th January, 2008

Wood, J., (2007), (CONSULTANT – as coordinator of the Attainable Utopias Team), Public consultation Exercise on behalf of the United Arts Village, 14th April, 2007 (see http://www.unitedartsvillage.co.uk/consultation/)

Wood, J., (2007), (Principal Investigator), ongoing feasibility investigation in collaboration with the Arcola Theatre Company, under the auspices of the m21 'synergy within metadesign' project, funded by EPSRC/AHRC

Wood, J., (2007), (CONSULTANT), "Fractal Maps for Multi-space Pilgrims" – vision paper invited by the Ministry of Culture, South Korea (The Multi-space City - Gwangju International Culture Hub, Gwangju, Korea), 12th January, 2007

Wood, J., (2007), (CONSULTANT – as coordinator of the Attainable Utopias Team), Public consultation Exercise on behalf of the United Arts Village, 14th April, 2007 (see www.unitedartsvillage.co.uk/consultation/)