Contact conference organizers at:
or by the website contact form

The Endless End

Bruce Brown

The State of Design

May 4, Wednesday, 11.30 am

There is a near universal claim that Design can solve all the major challenges facing our 21st century—whether these be social, cultural, environmental or economic. This seems at odds with a counter view that “Designers are…so special…they are everywhere and nowhere. We see the product of their work all around, but they are stateless, undervalued and misunderstood”. This conference’s main theme—“Design seems to have lost its universe of focus” —also reflects the complexity and seemingly chaotic nature of the post-industrial, post-disciplinary, world we now inhabit. As the old orders and systems we have inherited from a first Industrial Revolution dissolve (if not collapse) so we need to establish new orders of practice and fresh systems of thinking through which to forge a coherent belief system for Design—one that is fit for the 21st century. In confronting this challenge we seem, for the moment, to be occupying a transitional space between old and new states. On the one hand we look forward to a world in global transformation yet remain tied to habits and systems learned from the Industrial Revolution. To put this another way—we talk of the future yet act in the past. This presentation will explore the opportunity for Design to shape and communicate a belief system intrinsic to it practice—and vital to the contemporary lives of people.

Bruce Brown is Professor of Design at the University of Brighton and Pro-Vice-Chancellor Research. He is a co-Editor of Design Issues Research Journal (published by MIT press). Recently he was appointed by the UK Funding Councils to chair one of four Main panels in the Research Excellence Framework 2014 being responsible for the quality assessment of research in the arts, design and humanities produced by all UK universities. He is currently a member of the Advisory Board of the UK Arts and Humanities Research Council and has advised international organizations including the Hong Kong Council for Academic Accreditation and the Qatar National Research Fund. He chairs the Portuguese Government’s Fundação para a Ciência ea Tecnologia Research Grants Panel [Arts]. He has served as Trustee and Governor of organizations such as the Art’s Council for England, the Ditchling Museum and Shenkar College of Design and Engineering, Tel Aviv. Before joining higher education he worked as a professional designer being  art director of CRAFTS magazine for the Crafts Council. He specializes in the social and cultural effects of visual memory giving keynote addresses that have included: Design and Ethics (Budapest); the Third International Conference of the Arts in Society (Birmingham); Graphic Memory (Ontario); The Design of Memory (Tel Aviv) and; Memory is the Message (Chicago). Currently he is involved in issues concerning the public benefit and economic impact of research in the arts and design. He is an Honorary Fellow of the Royal College of Art and was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts in 1970.

May 06, 2011


May 05, 2011

Tonight after dinner:

Tonight after dinner:
ead fbaup ua fct id+