Originally trained as a fine artist, John devised electronic toys and interactive installations, before adapting his approach to inventing, writing and performing. He still plays and records with the 1970s cult band Deaf School. He was Deputy Head of the Fine Art Department for ten years before writing what is now the BA(Hons) Design (1989) and, subsequently, our first MA programme (Design Futures, 1995). At the time, their breadth, and their focus on ecological and ethical issues, was rare. Arguably, their radicalism helped to inspire the way the current Design Department has developed and matured.
In recent years John has supervised half a dozen PhD researchers at Goldsmiths and acted as an external examiner for five PhD candidates and two masters programmes in other universities. In collaboration with Dr. Julia Lockheart and others (Royal College of Art & Central St. Martins), John initiated the international Writing-PAD Network and its ‘Journal of Writing in Creative Practice’ (Intellect Books), which they have co-edited since 2008. The mission behind both ventures is to encourage studio practitioners to see writing as more than a scholastic discipline constrained by the truth-seeking aspects of ‘research’. Rather, we continue to develop methods that also harness talking and writing as a purpose-driven and practical aspect of design thinking.
John has worked as a visiting professor in Japan, Korea and Thailand and given keynote lectures in other countries. He has published over a hundred and fifty articles, papers and chapters, and acted as an editorial board member of international journals in UK, Germany, USA, Australia, Taiwan and Korea. He is currently writing his fourth book, which will explore new possibilities in governance and design thinking. Much of his research into metadesign can be accessed via the Metadesigners webpage: http://metadesigners.org
Recent Keynote Talks
- Wood, J., (2016), Keynote talk: "Some Criteria for Mapping Consciousness in Living Buildings", as part of the CAADRIA conference at Melbourne University, April, 2016 (the conference theme is based on my book "Designing Micro-utopias"
- Wood, J., (2016), Dean's Lecture, Melbourne Uni, April 2016
- Wood, J., (2015), Keynote talk, Nordes Conference, Design Ecologies 2015: Challenging Anthropocentrism in the Design of Sustainable Futures
- Wood, J., (2015), Keynote talk, "Undivided Mind" symposium, Plymouth, 2015
Recent Book Chapters
- Wood, J., (2017), "From Products to Relations: Adding jeong to the metadesigner’s vocabulary", chapter for Handbook of Sustainable Product Design by Jonathan Chapman, Routledge, ISBN-10: 1138910171, ISBN-13: 978-1138910171
- Wood, J., (2016), "A Quadratic Model of Consciousness", a chapter for a forthcoming book The Undivided Mind, (ed. Jane Grant), part of the Consciousness Reframed series, to be published by Intellect Books.
- Wood, J., (2015), "Collective Metamorphosis; a combinatorial approach to self-transformation", a chapter for Transformation Design (ed. Wolfgang Jonas), BIRD (Board of International Research in Design, BIRKHÄUSER).
- Du Noyer P. (2013), Deaf School: The Non-Stop Pop Art Punk Rock Party (pp. Vii-X). Liverpool: Liverpool University Press
- Wood, J., (2013), “Metadesigning Paradigm Change: an ecomimetic, language-centred approach”, a chapter in Handbook of Design for Sustainability, edited by Stuart Walker & Jacques Giroud (Berg), 2013
- Wood, J., (2012), Creativity & Biodiversity; towards a Synergy-of-Synergies, paper in the Journal of Advances in System Sciences & Applications, Editor, Prof. Jeffrey (Yi Lin) Forrest, An official journal of the International Institute for General Systems Studies, Vol. 12, (3), pp. 232
- Deaf School (2017) VINYL ALBUM: Let's Do This Again Next Week, (Deaf School Music - London)
- The Clang Group (2016) VINYL ALBUM: ‘Practice’, (Domino Records), WIGCD372, UK 2016
- Deaf School (2015) CD ALBUM: Launderette, (Deaf School Music - London)
- The Clang Group (2015), 10", EP, (Domino Records), RUG639T, Europe,
- Deaf School (2011), CD “Enrico & Bette” (Deaf School Music - London)
- (2017) Collaborative installation ‘The Machine for Saying Sorry’ with composer John Lunn and artists Alma Tischlerwood and Sara Willets, Art House, Lewisham. https://vimeo.com/247695736
- (2017) Soundtrack for film by Alex Forsey & Alma Tischlerwood
- (2014) Heat-guided laser installation within Alma Tischlerwood’s exhibition ‘Madame Lavoisier’s Drawing Room’, at Bildersaal & Artothek, Munich, Germany
Conference or Workshop Item
Backwell, John L.
Backwell, John L.