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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

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 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, which currently includes around 50 participating universities. It also reflects my abiding interest in how best to help designers to inform their practice.

Publications

Book

Design for Micro-utopias; thinking beyond the possible
Wood, John. December 2007. Design for Micro-utopias; thinking beyond the possible. Ashgate, p. 226. ISBN 9780754646082

Conference or Workshop Item

Diversity-of-Diversities
Wood, John. 31st January 2009, July 3rd, 2008. 'Diversity-of-Diversities'. In: 'Edge of a Dream' project curated by Virginia Nimarkoh. Goldsmiths, University of London, United Kingdom 31st January 2009, July 3rd, 2008.

Changing the Change: A Fractal Framework for Metadesign
Wood, John. 3 July – 10th, 11th & 12th July 2008. 'Changing the Change: A Fractal Framework for Metadesign'. In: Changing the Change Conference. Institute of Biotechnology, Torino, Italy 3 July – 10th, 11th & 12th July 2008.

Session Chair: 'Methods for Digital Art and Design for Sustainable Processes' Colloquium
Wood, John. 8th-10th November 2007. 'Session Chair: 'Methods for Digital Art and Design for Sustainable Processes' Colloquium'. In: Session Chair: 'Methods for Digital Art and Design for Sustainable Processes' Colloquium. University of Plymouth, United Kingdom 8th-10th November 2007.

Dancing with Disorder: Synergizing Synergies within Metadesign
Wood, John. 11-13 April, 2007. 'Dancing with Disorder: Synergizing Synergies within Metadesign'. In: Conference 'Dancing with Disorder'. Izmir, Turkey 11-13 April, 2007.

Progress Presentation to the (AHRC/EPSRC-funded) 'Designing for the 21st Century' Researchers
Wood, John. 19th March, 2007. 'Progress Presentation to the (AHRC/EPSRC-funded) 'Designing for the 21st Century' Researchers'. In: (AHRC/EPSRC-funded) 'Designing for the 21st Century' Researchers. Design Council, London, United Kingdom 19th March, 2007.

Article

Editorial
Lockheart, Julia; Wood, John and Edwin, Marl'ene. March 2012. Editorial. Journal of Writing in Creative Practice, 5(1), p. 3. ISSN 17535190

Editorial
Lockheart, Julia and Wood, John. 2008. Editorial. Journal of Writing in Creative Practice, 1(2), ISSN 17535190

Synergy City; Planning for a High Density, Super-Symbiotic Society
Wood, John. November 2007. Synergy City; Planning for a High Density, Super-Symbiotic Society. Landscape and Urban Planning, 83(1), pp. 77-83. ISSN 01692046

The tragedy of the Thermostat; Solipsistic v. co-created individuation
Wood, John. 2007. The tragedy of the Thermostat; Solipsistic v. co-created individuation. Systemica: Journal of the Dutch Systems Group, 14, pp. 475-490.

Editorial
Lockheart, Julia and Wood, John. 2007. Editorial. Journal of Writing in Creative Practice,, 1(1), ISSN 17535190

Is Kevin Warwick a Dandy? Observation, self-control and the evolution of perception-steering mechanisms
Wood, John. March 2006. Is Kevin Warwick a Dandy? Observation, self-control and the evolution of perception-steering mechanisms. Kybernetes, 35(3/4), pp. 489-496. ISSN 0368492X

The Tetrahedron Can Encourage Designers to Formalise More Responsible Strategies
Wood, John. December 2004. The Tetrahedron Can Encourage Designers to Formalise More Responsible Strategies. Art Design and Communication in Higher Education, 3(3), pp. 175-192. ISSN 1474273X

Book Section

Catalysing Network Consciousness in Leaderless Groups: A Metadesign Tool
Backwell, John L. and Wood, John. 30 November 2011. Catalysing Network Consciousness in Leaderless Groups: A Metadesign Tool. In: , ed. Presence in the Mindfield: Art, Identity and the Technology of Transformation. Lisbon, Portugal: Artshare-Universidade de Aveiro, pp. 36-41. ISBN 978-972-789-356-0

Mapping Network Consciousness: syncretizing difference to co-create a synergy-of-synergies
Backwell, John L. and Wood, John. 2009. Mapping Network Consciousness: syncretizing difference to co-create a synergy-of-synergies. In: , ed. New Realities: Being Syncretic, IXth Consciousness Reframed Conference Vienna, 2008. Vienna, Austria: Springer Verlag, pp. 54-59. ISBN 978-3-211-78890-5

Win-Win-Win-Win: synergy tools for metadesigners
Wood, John. December 2007. Win-Win-Win-Win: synergy tools for metadesigners. In: Tom Inns, ed. Designing for the 21st Century: Interdisciplinary Questions and Insights. Gower Publishing Ltd, pp. 114-128. ISBN 978-0566087370

Relative Abundance; Fuller's discovery that the glass is always half full
Wood, John. 2007. Relative Abundance; Fuller's discovery that the glass is always half full. In: Jonathan Chapman and Nick Grant, eds. Designers Visionaries and Other Stories: A Collection of Sustainable Design Essays. Routledge, pp. 96-116. ISBN 978-1844074136

Culture, Technology and Subjectivity
Blackman, Lisa. 1998. Culture, Technology and Subjectivity. In: John Wood, ed. The Virtual Embodied: Practices, Theories and the New Technologies. London and New York: Routledge, pp. 132-147. ISBN 978-0415160261

Edited Journal

Journal of the Writing-PAD Network
Wood, John and Lockheart, Julia, eds. 2008. Journal of the Writing-PAD Network, Journal of the Writing-PAD Network, .

Journal of Writing in Creative Practice
Lockheart, Julia and Wood, John, eds. 2007. Journal of Writing in Creative Practice, The Journal of Writing in Creative Practice, . 17535190

"Scientific Inquiry" - Journal of the International Institute for General Systems Studies
Wood, John and Forrest, Yi-Lin, eds. 2005. "Scientific Inquiry" - Journal of the International Institute for General Systems Studies, "Scientific Inquiry" - Journal of the International Institute for General Systems Studies, . 1552-1222

REVIEWER: Leonardo Online Journal
Wood, John, ed. 2003. REVIEWER: Leonardo Online Journal, REVIEWER: Leonardo Online Journal, .

The Fourth Door Review
Wood, John and Lowenstein, Oliver, eds. 2003. The Fourth Door Review, The Fourth Door Review, .

The Design Philosophy Papers
Wood, John and Fry, Tony, eds. 2003. The Design Philosophy Papers, The Design Philosophy Papers, .

The Journal of Technology and Design
Wood, John, ed. 2002. The Journal of Technology and Design, The Journal of Technology and Design, .