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Paul Atkinson

Paul Atkinson FRSA, FHEA

Professor of Design and Design History

Summary

I studied Industrial Design at The University of Teesside and then worked in industry as an in-house designer, a design manager and then as a director of a design consultancy. I later gained a Masters Degree in the History of Design from Middlesex University and a PhD from the University of Huddersfield. I have spoken at a number of international conferences around the world on Design History, Design Theory and Design Practice, and have written books and had articles published in a number of international design journals.

  • About

    I am an industrial designer, design historian and design educator. I trained initially as a mechanical and production engineer before studying Industrial Design at The University of Teesside. I then worked in industry as an in-house designer, a design manager and then as a director of a design consultancy. When I became a design educator I studied the History of Design at Middlesex University. My work on the social history of computing technology eventually led to a PhD from the University of Huddersfield. I have spoken at a number of international conferences around the world about Design History, Design Theory and Design Practice, have written books and had articles published in a number of international design journals. My most recent significant publications include the books ‘Computer’ (Reaktion, 2010) and ‘Delete: A Design History of Computer Vapourware’ (Bloomsbury, 2013).

    My academic research covers a wide variety of subjects, all concerned in one way or another with the relationship between society and technology. The relationship between people and technological artefacts is explored through my writings on the design history of computers. The impact of the society-technology relationship on the design profession is explored through my writings on professional vs amateur design, including work on the history of Do-It-Yourself and Open Design. The future impact of emerging technologies on the nature of design is explored through my practice-based research into Post Industrial Manufacturing.

    Specialist areas of interest

    Design History of Computing, Post Industrial Manufacturing, Amateur vs Professional Design, Open Design

  • Teaching

    Department of Design

    Science, Technology and Arts

    Postgraduate, Product and Furniture

    MA Design, BA Product Design

    Theory Supporting Practice, Design Principles

  • Research

    • Art and Design Research Centre
    • Cultural Communication and Computing Research Institute

    The Spectacle of Computing
    The Design History of the Electric Guitar
    Seabreeze: A creative heritage engagement toolkit

    The Design Journal
    European Academy of Design
    Open Design
    Open Design for Medical Products
    Post Industrial Manufacturing
    Delete
    Computer History

  • Publications

  • Other activities

    Editor, The Design Journal, Routledge/Taylor & Francis
    Editorial Advisory Board Member, Interiors, Routledge/Taylor & Francis
    President of the European Academy of Design
    Executive Committee Member of the International Committee of Design Histories and Design Studies
    International Advisory Board Member of the Computer History Museum (Mountain View, California)

  • Postgraduate supervision

    Julia Keyte: 'The Practices and Circumstances that shape Product Attachment in the Home'
    Raul Pinto: The Possibilities of Biological Processes in the Creation of Products

    Mohd Shahrizal Dolah (2014 ) 'How Many Designers Create Furniture that Allows Meaningful Place-Making in Modern Office'
    Matthew Dexter (2014): 'Open Design and Medical Products: An Open Medical Products Methodology'
    Claire Craig (2014): 'Photography in Care Homes: Methods for a Revealing Practice'
    Karen Gaskill (2011) In Search of the Social: Toward an understanding of the Social Curator
    Isil Onol (2011) Haptic Interaction with Visual information
    Lionel T Dean (2010) FutureFactories
    Paul Micklethwaite (2002) What is Design? An empirical investigation into conceptions of design in the community of design stakeholders.

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