Category Archives: Design Research Centre

    FixFair is taking to the streets of Kingston to show how Open Design can benefit users and communities and engender a “Made in Kingston” ethos.

    Inspired by the “FixPerts” model, FixFair will see a panel of designers and dedicated workshops visiting the high street, market squares, estates, schools and care homes of Kingston to increase sustainability and improve lives.

    From fixing broken household goods to ‘hacking’ or adapting existing products in innovative ways, FixFair will bring the solutions to the problems, helping people excluded economically, those with care of child commitments, and those with physical and mental challenges.

    By collaborating with local schools and community groups, FixFair will enhance creative skills and encourage community engagement, while promoting the Faculty’s central ethos of “thinking through making.”

    For more information and to find out how to support the project, check out FixFair’s Spacehive page.

    MA Open Weekend

    We would like to invite you to the Design School’s MA Open Weekend 2016, an excellent opportunity to find out about postgraduate study at Kingston.

    The exhibition will be a visual walk-through of our unique course structure in which students develop their personal practice within an interdisciplinary working environment.

    Located at our Knights Park Campus, the exhibition will begin with a private viewing on Saturday 4 June between 1.00pm and 7.00pm (invite only), and then open to the public on Sunday 5 June from 1.00pm until 5.00pm.

    We look forward to seeing you there.



    mark harris whitechapel 2 LowRes

    Mark Harris, Senior Lecturer in Illustration and Fine Art is showing at a major London Show this summer: The London Open 2015 – Whitechapel Gallery triennial exhibition. Sculpture, painting, performance, moving image, photography, printmaking and many other media and practices showcase some of the most dynamic work being made across the capital in 2015.

    From a record number of 2,133 applicants, 48 artists have been selected by a panel of high profile art world figures, including writer and critic Ben Luke, artist Angela de la Cruz, collector Nicoletta Fiorucci, gallerist Jake Miller and Whitechapel Gallery curators Daniel Herrmann, Eisler Curator and Head of Curatorial Studies and Poppy Bowers, Assistant Curator.

    ‘Celebrates all that is most vital, most striking, and most radical about the capital’s emerging art scene, is as madly varied as it is exuberant’             

    The Times 


    Rebecca Ackroyd, Holly Antrum, Ryuji Araki, Salvatore Arancio, Zehra Arslan, Alex Baczynski-Jenkins, Sam Belinfante, Karl Bielik, Isha Bohling, Jane Bustin, Jodie Carey, Ben Cove, Sam Curtis, Nelmarie Du Preez, Alexander Duncan, Tim Ellis, Adham Faramawy, Gaia Fugazza, Marco Godoy, Lothar Götz, Athene Greig, Buster Grimes ,Mark Harris, Emma Hart, Dominic Hawgood, Mary Hurrell, Lucy Joyce ,Dominic Kennedy, Sophie Mackfall, Damien Meade, Guy Patton, The Grantchester Pottery, Heather Power, Mary Ramsden, Sarah Roberts, Julie Roch-Cuerrier, Mitra Saboury, Lizi Sanchez, Laura Santamaria, Frances Scott, Eva Stenram, Tim Stoner, Roy Voss, Caroline Walker, Dominic Watson, Demelza Watts, Ben Woodeson, Madalina Zaharia.

    See more of Mark’s work here:

    IMG_8242a LR

    Sorcha O’Brien: 2nd Fundació Història del Disseny and Alfaro Hofmann Collection Research Grant for the Study of Domestic Appliances

    Dr Sorcha O’Brien, Senior Lecturer in Design History & Theory in the School of Art and Design History, recently travelled to the Alfaro Hofmann Collection in Valencia, Spain, to study their extensive collection of 20th century domestic electrical appliances. Dr O’Brien was awarded the 2nd Research Grant for the Study of Domestic Appliances on the Vacuum Cleaner by the Fundació Història del Disseny and the Alfaro Hofmann Collection, for her research on the importation and use of vacuum cleaner in post-war Ireland.

    About the Collection:
    The Alfaro Hofmann Collection is a private collection of domestic electrical products, with about 400 appliances currently exhibited in their permanent exhibition space in Godella, outside Valencia. The collection is based on more than 30 years of collecting by interior designer Andres Alfaro Hofmann (pictured above with Dr. O’Brien), as a complement to his design practice, Studio Alfaro Hoffman, and includes a specialised library of texts, catalogues and references on the domestic habitat and domestic appliances. (link:

    About the project:

    Dr. O’Brien’s research project focuses on the meaning and use of domestic electrical appliances in post-war Ireland, where the Electricity Supply Board’s rural electrification project facilitated the wide-spread availability of such products in rural Ireland for the first time. These appliances were associated with ideas of freedom and liberation from drudgery for housewives in other countries, and the vast majority available in Ireland during the 1950s and 1960s were imported from the United Kingdom, Germany, Sweden and the United States. The project looks at the extent to which they held the same meanings for rural housewives in the conservative, religious environment of 1950s Ireland, where the role of women in the home was enshrined in the Constitution, and the extent to which this changed with the end of protectionist policies in the 1960s. Her research is sponsored by the Modern Interiors Research Centre (link: and the School of Art and Design History (link:


    Image from Disobedient Objects, an exhibition at the V&A, which looks at how everyday objects have been the vehicle for social change. The exhibition runs until Fed 2015. Image from Disobedient Objects, an exhibition at the V&A, which looks at how everyday objects have been the vehicle for social change. The exhibition runs until February 2015.

    The results of the REF have been made public and the Faculty of Art, Design & Architecture, through its submission to Unit 34 (Art and Design: History, Practice and Theory) has done very well.

    A particular strength in the Faculty’s REF submission was the quality of its outputs. Of the staff research outputs that were submitted,  24% were judged to be “world leading” or 4* quality, and 48% to be “internationally excellent” or 3*.

    Using this metric Kingston ranks 19th out of the 84 Art and Design submissions for quality of research outputs, putting it ahead of other major institutions.

    Factoring in all three categories–staff outputs, research environment, and impact, art and design at Kingston University has achieved an overall grade point average of 2.93 ( highest ranked 3.51) placing us 35 out of the 84 institutions submitting to Art and Design. Of the nine units submitted to REF by Kingston University, Art and Design: History, Practice and Theory was the highest rated unit.

    The University also improved its performance from the RAE. Sixty per cent of Kingston University’s overall submission has been rated as world-leading and internationally excellent (4* and 3*), a 100% improvement on the results of the RAE in 2008. The best performing units of assessment in the university are Art and Design: History, Practice and Theory; Allied Health Professions and Nursing; English Language and Literature; Philosophy; Business and Management Studies; and, Computer Science and Informatics.

    This means that Kingston University has risen to 72nd from 91st in 2008, which puts us ahead of Brunel, Coventry, Oxford Brookes and Hertfordshire universities.

    This research assessment result secures the Faculty’s reputation for research both within the University and externally. This is immensely important and something we should be rightly proud of.   Congratulations to all the staff who have contributed such hard work to the submission, in particular Professor Fran Lloyd and the Research Office team who put in many, many hours to ensure that the Faculty achieved such a good result.

    For full results, subject rankings and institutional comparisons please see: