Gordon Young

Gordon Young MA

Principal Lecturer in Design, Regional and Global Engagement Lead


I’m a Principal Lecturer in Design at Sheffield Institute of Arts, Regional and Global Engagement Lead for the Department of Art and Design, and a member of the Department Leadership Team.

I am a product designer and design researcher with an interest in critical design, design for a circular economy and extended product lifespan.

I have held the posts of Course Leader and Subject Group Leader for product design degree programmes and taught across undergraduate and postgraduate design courses. I am currently an external examiner at two UK Universities.

I have worked in design consultancy on a diverse range of projects that include industrial, commercial and consumer products. I have experience of working on consumer electrical goods, medical equipment, retail environments, structural packaging and industrial equipment.


I began my career in industrial design consultancy working on a diverse range of projects. Consulting on both industrial and commercial design, I have worked for clients that include CarnaudMetalBox, IMI Santon, HSBC and Sainsbury's. Projects include consumer electrical and electronic goods, commercial retail interiors, design for manufacture, industrial equipment, process/manufacturing plant and production tooling.

Following my commercial design career, I took an academic role at Sheffield Hallam University, teaching on the Industrial Design Innovation course and becoming the course leader. I then led the development of a new programme in Product Design and took the course leadership for a number of years. Taking a role as a Principal Lecturer, I became the recruitment lead for undergraduate courses in Art, Design, Communication and Media and latterly for the Department of Art and Design.

I am a member of the Department Leadership Team in my current role and provide professional and academic leadership in the Department of Art and Design. I have represented the department internationally and have established partnerships with institutions in China and Taiwan. As Regional and Global Engagement Lead I establish opportunities for the department, its staff and students, to engage with organisations across the UK and internationally.

I have maintained professional design practice during my academic career and have worked on commercial projects for companies such as Marks & Spencer and Gillette as well as projects in the medical sector and for an international charity. I am currently engaged in design research focused on product lifespan and the circular economy with an interest in critical and speculative design.

Specialist areas of interest

Critical Design
Speculative Design
Sustainable Design
Product Design
Design for a Circular Economy
Product Lifespan
Design Futures


Subject area

Product Design


BA (Hons) Product Design
MA Design


Theory Supporting Practice, Professional Design Practice, MA Project


Conference papers

Gwilt, A., Leaver, J., Fisher, M., & Young, G. (2017). Understanding the caring practices of users. In Cooper, T., Braithwaite, N., Moreno, M., & Salvia, G. (Eds.) Product Lifetimes and the Environment (PLATE), Nottingham Trent University, 17 June 2015 - 19 June 2015. Nottingham Trent University: http://www.plateconference.org/understanding-caring-practices-users/

Young, G. Taking good care: investigating consumer attitudes product maintenance. Proceedings of the Product Lifetimes and the Environment conference, PLATE 2017, 9 (9), 442-445. http://doi.org/10.3233/978-1-61499-820-4-442


Young, G. (2015). Critical Care : Smartphone Care Set. http://www.ntu.ac.uk/plate_conference/exhibition/


Young, G. (2018). Critical appliance - Extending product lifespan through critical design. Presented at: Design Principles and Practices Conference, Elisava School of Design and Engineering, Barcelona, Spain, 2018

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