Disciplinary Encounters Beyond Design

8th June 2017

Beyond Design

This student-led conference and workshop will span disciplines for cross-disciplinary encounters from anthropology, science, service design and visual culture.

Together we will explore how design is expanding its role through its encounters with other disciplines. We aim to inspire cross-disciplinary collisions among participants from different backgrounds to engage in discussion and debate. We will examine the value of these cross-disciplinary modes of thinking and the knowledge this can bring to design and other disciplinary fields. We will critically explore these encounters via epistemology, research methods and through synergy and conflicts surrounding the collaborative process.


Speaker biographies

Dr Adam Drazin is an anthropology lecturer at UCL (University College London), where he coordinates the MA in Materials.Anthropology.Design, and works on engaged approaches to material culture. His main current research interests are design anthropology, and the Irish-Romanian home. He has worked as a design anthropologist in the past for HP Labs and Intel Ireland, and taught anthropology courses in universities and design schools. His work has been published in books and journals including Ethnos and the Journal of Design History. He recently edited, with Susanne Küchler (2015), the volume The Social Life of Materials, about anthropological and ethnographic approaches to materials and materials innovation. He is editor of the journal Home Cultures.

Dr Alison Prendiville is a Reader in Designing for Service, at University of the Arts London. She is a member of the Public Collaboration Lab (PCL) an AHRC funded strategic research partnership between Central Saint Martins and Camden Council and on the Advisory Board for the AHRC DeSIAP (Design for social Innovation in Asia Pacific). Her main research activity is highly interdisciplinary drawing on service design practice, anthropology and co-design methods in health, social care and local government transformation contexts. She is a judge for Ordnance Survey’s Geovation Challenge, an open innovation challenge that focuses on the application of geographic data, societal issues and service design solutions.

She has recently co-edited with Daniela Sangiorgi ‘Designing for Service: Key Issues and New Directions, published by Bloomsbury (2017).


Dr Claire Pajaczkowska graduated from Fine Art at Goldsmiths before going to New York to make 16mm films and to join the collective HERESIES: a feminist journal of art and politics, and producing Sigmund Freud’s Dora which premiered at the Edinburgh Film Festival and at the Berlin Film Festival and is now distributed by LUX. Pajaczkowska was a reader in Psychoanalysis and Visual Culture at Middlesex Polytechnic between 2000 until 2008; a link tutor for Fashion and Textiles; and editor, with Pennina Barnett, of Textile: the Journal of Cloth and Culture. She later became Senior Research Tutor for Fashion and Textiles at the Royal College of Art in 2008, where she tutors and supervises MPhil and PhD research students. Recent publications include Psychoanalysis Beyond the Gaze: From Celluloid to the New Media, The Routledge Companion to Gender and Cinema edited by Hole, K and Kaplan, E,A. (Routledge, London and NYC, 2017); The Thread and the Line in Journal of Visual Art Practice (Taylor & Francis, London, 2015); Making Known: Nine Types of Textile Thinkingin The Handbook of Textile Culture edited by Clark, H and Jefferies, J (Bloomsbury, London, 2015). Dr Claire Pajaczkowska is delighted to present Structure and Pleasure: How Practice-led Research Works Creatively With Disciplines at the LDoc Cross-Disciplinary and Collaborative Design Encounters Conference.


Professor Rob Kesseler is a visual artist, Professor at Central Saint Martins and Chair in Arts, Design & Science at the University of the Arts London. A former NESTA Fellow at Kew and Research Fellow at the Gulbenkian Science Institute, Portugal, he collaborates with botanical scientists and molecular biologists to explore the living world at a microscopic level. Reflecting the way the way in which that the natural world migrates into many aspects of our daily lives his images are translated into a wide range of contexts and media. Kesseler’s work reveals a hidden world lying beyond the scope of the human eye producing work that lies somewhere between science and symbolism, in which the many complexities of representing plants are concentrated into mesmeric visual images. He exhibits internationally and has published an award winning series of books on Pollen, Seeds and Fruit with Dr Madeline Harley and Dr. Wolfgang Stuppy of Kew published by Papadakis. In 2010 they also published a monograph of his work, Rob Kesseler Up Close. He is a fellow of the Royal Microscopical Society, The Linnean Society and The Royal Society of the Arts and President of the newly formed Science and the Arts section of the British Science Association.


If you would like to attend please email ldoc@rca.ac.uk for more information.