Design Research




Project Kingston Africa aims to create opportunities for interaction between Britain and Africa and support the knowledge exchange between Africa, Kingston University and the wider community. The project is formed of practitioners, curators and academics. Project Kingston Africa has a fluid team structure and welcomes collaborators interested in exchanging expertise and knowledge.


Kingston University Team

Professor Catherine McDermott, Project Leader
Professor Catherine McDermott is Course Director MA Curating Contemporary Design, in collaboration with the Design Museum. Author and contributor of several books and publications on design history, she has made a major national and international contribution to the contemporary curating of design. Catherine is the driving force behind The Materials Project.


Simon Maidment, Head of School
Simon Maidment is Head of School (FADA) and Course Director BA Product and Furniture Design at Kingston University. Trained at the Royal College of Art in Furniture Design, Simon won a Commendation for his thesis on Perceived Qualities and Associations of Materials. From 1992 to 1994 he was Project Manager with Tom Dixon's Space and a visiting lecturer at the University of Plymouth. Since 1993 Maidment has run his own design consultancy SAM Design Ltd undertaking projects with several internationally renowned design companies.


Professor Jean-Noel Ezingeard
Jean-Noel Ezingeard joined Kingston as dean of the Faculty of Business and Law in 2007. He was previously Professor of Processes and Systems Management and Academic Dean (Associate Dean for Faculty) at Henley Management College.
His first degree was in Engineering Science from Ecole Centrale de Lille, an Engineering Grande Ecole. He later obtained an MSc in Advanced Manufacturing Systems and his PhD from Brunel University. His doctoral research was on performance evaluation techniques for Information Systems.
Before joining Henley, Jean-Noel was a lecturer at Brunel University and Course Director for the Special Engineering Programme. He has developed workshops on Information Systems and Business Processes Management for companies such as TotalFinaElf, Canon, IBM, ISS, and Lloyd’s of London. He is also a regular speaker at conferences in the UK and overseas and a visiting professor at the Lille Graduate School of Management and Henley Management College.


Dr David Stokes

Dr Stokes is Director of Entrepreneurship and Associate Director of the Small Business Research Centre at Kingston University. Widely quoted and published in the field, he combines an academic and a practical involvement with small and medium-sized enterprises and entrepreneurship and has a management career that has spanned both the private and public sectors. As director of West Focus, a consortium of seven universities*, he has responsibility for the development of entrepreneurship education amongst students and staff of all disciplines. He has previously led a management buy-out and developed a portfolio of small enterprises over time.
Dr Stokes is co-author of a number of books in the field, has had numerous journal articles published, is a member of the editorial board for the Journal of Research in Marketing and Entrepreneurship and is a reviewer for a number of business and marketing journals. He is currently chair of the Higher Education Entrepreneurship Group of the South East Development Agency, which includes some 23 universities.


Carl Clerkin, Visiting Designer

Carl Clerkin graduated from Furniture Design at The Royal College of Art and now works from his studio in East London. He shares his time between public commissions, such as the adaptation of ‘Long Crawly Thing’ for seating at Bowes Museum and designing products. Clerkin has exhibited his work extensively at design fairs and museums. In 2010 Carl co-founded the design company All Lovely Stuff with Ed Ward.


Marilyn Martin, Visiting Professor, former Head of Collections, South African National
Marilyn is a curator, writer and former Director of the South African National Gallery, Cape Town, South Africa. In 2002 she was admitted to the Legion of Honour of the Republic of France at the rank of Officer. She was a member of the National Arts Council from 1997 to 2004, and a trustee of the Arts and Culture Trust from its inception until 2007. Marilyn has curated exhibitions of South African art in Mali, Denmark, France, the USA and for the 2002 São Paulo Biennale. She was co-curator for the exhibition Picasso and Africa, which was held at the Standard Bank Gallery and the Iziko South African National Gallery in 2006. Marilyn lectures throughout South Africa and was appointed Visiting Professor linked to the Curating The Contemporary Research Group in the Faculty of Art, Design & Architecture, Kingston University, Kingston upon Thames, UK in 2007.


Candice O’Brien, Project Manager
Candice is an independent South African curator, researcher and writer with a theoretical background in art history and visual communication.  She recently completed the MA in Curating Contemporary Design at Kingston University in partnership with the Design Museum and is currently Project Manager for the Africa Materials Project.

African Collaborators


Ryan Rode, Wola Nani
Ryan joined Wola Nani in 2005 as Income Generation & Business Development Manager... He brings with him more than 11 years experience in the NGO sector, more specifically in the field of entrepreneurial training and counselling. Ryan has four Cum Laude Certificates from Potchefstroom University and three Diplomas in Business Management Studies. He is also an accredited business advisor and aims to increase the number of Wola Nani client’s benefiting from the Income Generation Projects.


Moira Jones, Wola Nani
Moira Jones assumed responsibility as Programme Director of Wola Nani in 2005. Since graduating from the University of Cape Town, she has worked in the government and the NGO sector (as well as a brief spell in the corporate sector). Moira has worked in community service organisations in fields which will serve her well in her position at Wola Nani. To mention the most significant examples - she has worked in the health education field, focusing on reproductive health of youth and adult women and also in the youth sector focusing on entrepreneurial training & development. In the government sector she has worked for the Department of Health and the Department of Social Services. Moira sees her strength as being able to make a constructive difference in the lives of people through her daily work.


Frances Potter, The New Basket Workshop 
Frances Potter comes from a legal background in human rights and housing. She has long held a passion for craft artisans and their products; she was a key figure in establishing Aid to Artisans South Africa Trust in South Africa and latterly she co-founded The New Basket Workshop. Since 2002 she has collaborated with UNESCO and other craft supporting organisations in various ways, including as a judge for the Award of Excellence in West Africa. Her work has exposed her to the problems confronting many craft producers in some of the poorest parts of the world and in trying to find solutions to the difficulties they confront in managing and maintaining regular sales. 


Lupane Women’s Centre Bulawayo, Zimbabwe.

Manager - Hildegard Mufukare.
Marketing Officer - Seluleko Ndlovu
Training Officer - Rejoyce Moyo.


Raphael Chikukwa, Deputy Director National Gallery Zimbabwe
Raphael Chikukwawas born in Zimbabwe and has worked mainly as an independent curator for the past ten years, before joining the National Gallery of Zimbabwe as its curator of Contemporary Art. In 2011 he was appointed Deputy Director. Chikukwa was awarded the 2006 - 2007 Chevening Scholarship, and now holds an MA Curating Contemporary Design from Kingston University, London, where he is currently conducting his PhD. Raphael has curated exhibitions such Visions of Zimbabwe, Manchester Art Gallery, 2004; African Heroes, Imperial War Museum North, 2006/2007; Face to Face, HIFA, National Gallery of Zimbabwe, 2004; Siyaphambili, National Gallery of Zimbabwe, 2000 and most recently the first Zimbabwe Pavilion at the 2011 Venice Art Biennale.



Project Kingston Africa