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Archives and Special Collections Centre (ASCC) – Project to Enrich Practice-led Teaching, Learning and Research
University of the Arts London is home to seventeen unique cultural collections and archives focused on film-making, printing history and graphic design. These include the Stanley Kubrick Archive, the Catherine Arthur Collection, Decorated Books from The Netherlands and a Zine Collection of 2000 publications. After a winning bid to the UAL Enquiry Through Innovation Programme, the students of the MA Design Management and Cultures Course at LCC worked collaboratively with the artist, curator and critic Peter Suchin, archives staff and myself to bring the experience of the LCC Collections and Archives alive through a practice-led project. The unique archive materials provided extraordinary insights into the creative processes of the artists and makers, as the students themselves created their own contribution to the archive as a cultural legacy of their time in London.
Open Eyes Economic Summit
Organised by the Foundation of Economy and Public Administration (FGAP) and hosted by the ICE Congress Centre in Krakow, Open Eyes Economic Summit brings together Polish and international representatives of business, public sector, government and non-governmental organizations and the worlds of academia, culture politics, journalism and public relations. Under debate was the value of intellectual potential, innovation and creativity in relation to business, start-ups, marketing, science, NGOs and students.
DMI Academic Design Management Conference
The Design Management Institute (DMI) Academic Design Management Conference (ADMC16), hosted by Massachusetts College of Art and Design (MassArt) brought together academia, industry and government researchers and practitioners to discuss The Inflection Point – Where Design Research Meets Design Practice. New forms of collaboration and knowledge transfer are changing the course of companies, industries, economies and governments through connection, combination, cooperation and collision. I survived the peer-review process and delivered a research paper presentation on Wellbeing by Design within the conference track on Society (Design and Design Management for Social Innovation).
Zamek Cieszyn: Designing Possibilities
Located in a remarkable area of cultural tourism in Poland, Zamek Cieszyn (formerly Silesia Castle of Art and Enterprise) is all about solving problems though design and transforming our lives for the better. Design has the power to increase the competitiveness of businesses, institutions, towns and regions as well as support the development of tourism and innovative enterprise. Through Research, Exhibitions and an Enterprise Club, the Castle exposes colleagues, local businesses and government to regional/ international expertise in media, design, architecture, craft and enterprise. For the 12th anniversary celebrations, I joined a panel debate and delivered a talk on the new economy.
Culford Scholars Programme
Culford is a boarding and day school located in Suffolk (England) that believes learning should be challenging, enriching and fun. As part of the Annual Scholars Programme, I was invited to talk about Creativity, Design and Innovation as Catalysts for Transformation and Change. How can design be engaged to support wellbeing and positive change in business and society? The Scholars Programme brings academics and speakers to the school as a way to inspire Culford students to reach their full academic potential.
Creative Leadership: Presentation at the Saatchi Gallery for Europe Talks
Based in The Netherlands, Europe Talks hosted a one-day event for entrepreneurial individuals to gain insights into culture and enterprise in London. I delivered a talk at the Saatchi Gallery on Creative Leadership – the Female Touch which explored the shifting dynamics of the business landscape and the qualities needed to lead in changing times.
London Design Festival: LCC Design Research Exhibition
London Design Festival is a month long celebration of creative talent in the city. As part of the festival, the Design Research Exhibition celebrated the inventiveness and breadth of design research undertaken by the community of staff at University of the Arts London / London College of Communication. I was one of 60 academics and associates showcasing projects, artefacts, platforms and practices from a variety of commercial, cultural and historical contexts.
Research at the Intersections of Design + Management and Academia + Industry (DESMA)
DESMA held their 2016 meeting at the Institute for Design Innovation at Loughborough University London. The discussion focused on new ways to grow a vibrant and sustainable community of practice across Europe where members can share knowledge and continue to support collaboration between academia and practice. As one of the facilitators for the day’s events, my role was to help in framing the variety of perspectives, exchanges and insights of the day. The DESMA network of researchers, universities and industry partners is funded by the European Commission’s Marie Curie Actions.
One Day Two Delays: London Exhibition and Education Event by Kathryn Best and Peter Suchin
Hosted by And Event Space and the Royal College of Art Society with support from University of the Arts London/London College of Communication, this one-day exhibition took the form of a structured exchange between myself and Peter Suchin, Artist, Curator and Critic. As writers and practitioners of the visual arts, we presented a range of textual responses to each other’s visual work. Conceptual triggers were used to destabilize what is tacit or implicit in the work and open up the received images to unintended or unpredictable modes of address. The participation of the audience led the discussion into the relationship between writing, creative practice, collaborative exchange and new ways to challenge the gallery space both experientially and environmentally.
WIPO/UNITED NATIONS INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE ON INNOVATION AND CREATIVITY OF WOMEN
Under the Honorary Patronage of Anna Komorowska, the President of the Republic of Poland’s Wife, this 7th annual conference on Women’s Contribution to Innovation and Creativity focused on the business opportunity of design for regional and small-to-medium enterprise development. Innovation and women’s empowerment are rarely discussed in the same context but each has essential value for human progress. Under discussion were ideas for how creativity and innovation can impact and improve women’s wellbeing, empowerment and gender equality. I made a speech and took part in the panel discussion on design and enterprise. The Conference was organized by: United Nation’s World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), the Patent Office of the Republic of Poland (PPO), Warsaw Stock Exchange and the Office for Harmonization in the Internal Market (Poland).
WELLBEING BY DESIGN: A DESIGN CHARETTE FOR UK-MEXICO YEAR OF CULTURE
UK Mexico 2015 is a partnership between the British Council, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, the Mexican Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Mexican National Council for Culture and Arts, and Mexican and UK cultural and education institutions. As part of the programme of activities showcasing UK-MX collaborations in culture, education, science and trade, I worked with 200 students and 30 staff from the school of engineering, architecture and health at Tecnológico de Monterrey (Guadalajara/Jalisco). The Charette introduced the research, tools and methods of wellbeing by design, and presented a call to action for students to work in teams as change-makers and entrepreneurs, addressing problems, envisioning solutions, challenging the way things are and reimagining the way things could be.
MIND MEXICO: MEXICO INNOVATION AND DESIGN THINK TANK TEC SESSION
Think Tank Tec hosted by MIND is a multi-disciplinary and designerly forum for discussion and debate on innovation in Mexico. I presented a session on design + management as a catalyst for innovation + enterprise. Starting with the idea that design management was originally a bridge between design and business, the seminar explored the idea of engaging design + management as an approach and ‘toolkit’ that could enable a continuous culture of innovation and instill a more entrepreneurial attitude to organizational change.
Funded by the European Commission F7 and Marie Sklodowska-Curie Actions, the DESMA Network (Design as Driver of Innovation and Competitiveness) is an initiative of 12 partners set up to train a new generation of researchers. The Network engages academia and practice in rethinking the relationship between design and management and acts as an open platform for debate. Experiencing Processes was the contribution I made to the DESMA book which showcases the projects that are reinventing Design Management research in Europe and beyond.
PILOT PROJECT ON EMPOWERING COMMUNITIES, LEARNING COLLABORATIVELY AND IMPROVING WELLBEING
In Luxor I am piloting a project to do with creative enterprise, community empowerment, collaborative learning, tribal wisdom and the role that creativity, design and innovation can play in catalysing the wellbeing of a small community. The city is well known as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is the largest open-air museum in the world and home to both the Valley of the Kings and Hassan Fathy’s 1940 ‘sustainable architecture’ and ‘participatory design’ housing experiment. The pilot project is located within a resilient tribal community where village elders still govern and where strong networks of co-operation and exchange are commonplace.
TANGIBLE LEADERSHIP SERIES: INSPIRING BUSINESS CIVIC LEADERSHIP
INSPIRING BUSINESS CIVIC LEADERSHIP
The Tangible Leadership Series brings together intellects and advocates of business and civic leadership to face the challenges of creating an excellent Ireland and influencing far beyond. Tangible is a beacon of leadership and inspiration for those with passion and talent in the battle for a positive future of peace and prosperity. At the core of Tangible lies collaborative leadership, shared excellence, ‘pay it forward’ and Corporate Social Responsibility. My talk at the first event of 2016 in Howth addresses practical ways to add positive value through Creative Enterprise, Community Empowerment and Collaborative Learning.
European House of Design Management (EHDM)
Expert talk during the collaborative workshop launch of EHDM, a consortium of 6 European partners co-funded by the European Union. The project’s purpose is (1) to transfer design management knowledge, understanding and know-how from the private to the public sector, and (2) to co-design practical tools and training modules for embedding design management practice into European governments.
The World Congress on Information Technology (WCIT)
WCIT is a biannual event offering global perspectives from internationally recognized leaders in government, industry and academia. Delegates from over 90 countries – users, providers, media and academia – come to discuss emerging markets, legal and policy issues, political and economic trends, emerging technologies, ICT user perspectives and business opportunities in the global marketplace. I participated in the Creative Industries track during the Amsterdam Congress, which secured an award from European Best Event Awards (EuBEA) as the best European Congress and Convention of the year.
United Nations Environmental Programme Seminar-Presenter
The International Awards for Liveable Communities (LivCom) rewards cities that are developing international best practice infrastructure projects for better managing the local environment and prioritizing a healthier, more sustainable society. This seminar hosted by the UNEP focused on the role of the UN as an advocate, educator, catalyst and facilitator for promoting the wise use of the planet’s natural assets for sustainable development.
The International Seminar of Sustainable Regions is a meeting place for the interdisciplinary exchange of ideas and experiences on sustainable development. Faced with insufficient water resources, a growing population, increasing tourism and an economy dependent on agricultural exports, this region of Gran Canaria is currently transforming itself into a major integrated system of self-sufficiency and renewable energy. The intent of this annual seminar is to share international best practice, explore new market opportunities for sustainability, secure the commitment of the local population, engage young people in the world of innovation and put the plans into practice.
International Forum Design Awards
An iF Award is an internationally renowned seal of quality for excellent design and covers the disciplines of product, communication, packaging, interior architecture and professional concept. Jury members are international experts brought in to assess, discuss, touch and test each competition entry using a set of clearly formulated criteria as well as each jury member’s individual perspective, experience and feel for future trends. It is the aim of iF (International Forum Design Hannover) to strengthen public awareness of design.
Curitiba Design Week
D Week Talk (Oscar Neimeyer Museum), design leadership workshop (MBA Design and Innovation) and strategy session facilitator (School of Architecture and Design, Pontifícia Universidade Católica do Paraná). The trip was hosted by Centro Brasil Design and Universidade Positivo as part of D Week, the national design integration festival for design, innovation and business.
Gdynia Design Center
Co-funded by the European Union, this 3-year project to support the creative industries included the delivery of design management workshops in Poland and Germany. My role was (1) to co-ordinate the process for the training in Gdynia (2) to introduce the Polish and German clients and case studies (engineering, furniture, product and service design) (3) to moderate the 10 specialist experts and (4) to assist the 30 participants within the 6 interdisciplinary groups.
Public speech delivered to accompany the inaugural ceremony for the position of Research Professor, the Centre for Cross-media, Brand, Reputation and Design Management, and the publication of What Can Design Bring to Strategy? Designing Thinking as a Tool for Innovation and Change.
A speaking tour during Tallinn’s City of Culture celebrations and the launch of the Estonian version of The Fundamentals of Design Management (Disainjuhtimise alused). The book’s translation served government visions to anchor the creative industries as a catalyst for growth and a powerful contributor to the national economy. Events included the “Visible and Invisible Design Management“ Conference (Design Night team and LoovEesti), Design Management Workshops (Design Center and the Estonian Association of Designers), a Talk at the Art Academy, and a book launch during Design Night Festival (Design Centre and LoovEesti).
Design and Economic Growth
How can governments stimulate economic growth and international trade through the creative industries, and specifically through national design capabilities? Commissioned by DDFA (Dutch Design Fashion Architecture), this collaborative research investigation by Inholland and the University of Wuppertal resulted in an SME toolkit for design entrepreneurship and for improving the cultural understanding and business success of Dutch designers entering the German market. The toolkit was also used in India and China.
Clerkenwell Design Week
Talk on Design as an Enabler of Change at the Concept Lounge (hosted by BN Office Solutions). CDW is the UK’s leading independent design festival, located in the ‘creative hub’ of Clerkenwell – an area boasting over 60 showrooms, many creative businesses and more architects per square mile than anywhere else on the planet.
21 Design Stories | Co-curators Krzysztof Bielski and Kathryn Best
Commissioned by The Institute for Industrial Design (IWP), this exhibition formed part of the Polish government’s Design Your Profit initiative (improving the competitiveness of enterprises through design) and used measurable facts and figures to evidence 21 design management success stories. After opening to the public in Warsaw, the exhibition went on to tour 5 cities nationally. Further activities included media interviews, entrepreneurial workshops and curatorial essays.
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