Dr Bernadette Blair
School: Design School
Position: Emeritus Professor in Art & Design Pedagogy
Bernadette Blair has over 35 years experience as a practitioner and design academic. Her academic career spans printmaking, and design disciplines at undergraduate, postgraduate and doctoral level. Awarded her professorship in Art & Design Pedagogy in 2012 she is now Emeritus Professor in the Design School. In her previous role as Director of Academic Development for Studio-based Learning & Teaching she developed and led a unique masters course, aimed at professional designers, combining design practice and theory with design pedagogy.
She is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, an executive member of GLAD (Group for Learning & Teaching in Art & Design), a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts (FRSA), an Associate and Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (HEA) and a member of the Special Interest group (SIG) in design pedagogy at the Design Research Society. She is also a reviewer for the National Teaching Fellowship Scheme (NFS) in art, design & media and a reviewer internationally for both journals and conference submissions in the sector.
Bernadette's research interests are around the understanding and interpretation of formative and ipsative feedback in art and design pedagogy, the role of drawing in design, the role of 'studio' and interdisciplinarity in art & design education and practice. Together with her seminal doctoral work on the studio critique her work has been disseminated in the UK, USA, Australia, South Africa, Canada and Europe through keynote and conference presentations together with an authored range of articles, papers and chapters on pedagogies in studio practice.
Yorke, M.Orr, S. Blair, B. (2013 ) Hit by a perfect storm? Art & Design in the National Student Survey. Studies in Higher Education
Blair, B. (2012) Elastic Minds? Is the interdisciplinary /multidisciplinary curriculum equipping our students for the future – A case study. Art, Design & Communication in Higher Education, 10:1. Pp:33-50
Blair, B. (2011 ) "At the end of a huge crit in the summer, it was 'crap' and I was gutted" in Inclusive Practices, Inclusive Pedagogies – Learning from Widening Participation Research in Art and Design Higher Education; Bhagat, D & O'Neill, P (Eds) pp 159-175 (Excerpted from ADCHE article in 5(2). 2006)
Blair, B. (Sept.2010) Perception, Interpretation, Impact - An examination of the learning value of formative feedback to students through the design studio critique. Lambert Academic Publishing. Germany. ISBN 978-3-8383-8834-2
Blair,B; Cummings, A; Dunbar, T; Hayward, D & Woodman, J. (2008). Bauwow -A model for creative practice, thinking, learning, research and innovation in the 21st Century in The Student Experience in Art and Design Higher Education: Drivers for Change. Ed. Drew, L. Group for Learning in Art and Design (GLAD) JRA Publishing: Cambridge. P.65-95 ISBN: 0-9547111-7-3
Blair, B.(2008) The understanding and Interpretation of verbal formative feedback in international student learning. In N. Houghton (Ed.) Enhancing Curricula: using research and enquiry to inform student learning in the disciplines. Proceedings of 4thInternational Conference. New York April 2008.Centre for Learning and Teaching in Art and Design. (CLTAD) p.276-296 ISBN: 978-0-9560382-0-3
Blythman, M.Orr,S. Blair,B.(2008) 'Critiquing the Critique' A 2 year ADM-HEA funded project. http://www.adm.heacademy.ac.uk/news/subject-centre-news/critiquing-the-crit
2006 Doctorate in Education, The Institute of Education, University of London. 'Perception, Interpretation, Impact - an examination of the learning value of formative feedback to students through the design studio critique'.
Blair, B. (2006)" At the end of a huge crit in the summer, it was 'crap' - I'd worked really hard but all she said was 'fine' and I was gutted." Art, Design & Communication in Higher Education. 5 (2) pp. 83-95.
Funded Research Projects
February 2011- April 2012 Commissioned by GLAD to carry out research into art and design students understanding and interpretation of questions in the National Student Survey (NSS) with Professor Mantz Yorke and Professor Susan Orr. Match funded by the ADM-HEA. Report published and presented at the annual GLAD conference – 'it started with a KIS' 25 April 2012, Kingston University and report published nationally.
September 2010 - September 2011 Project Director in a 6 institution ADM-HEA/JISC 1 year project on OER (Open Educational Research). £5,000.00. Final report published May 2012 March 2010 - March 2011 1 year £5,000.00 funded ADM-HEA project - An Examination of art and design student formative assessment and feedback - its relationship to learning outcomes and learning experiences. http://www.adm.heacademy.ac.uk/networks/networks-summer-
Massachusetts Institute of Technology -- invited speaker at Project-Centered Learning Symposium, 'Looking at and sharing the UK experience within a Transatlantic context'. Presentation on 'Managing Teams: A Perspective of Project Centred Learning in Art, Design & Media' http://workshop2008.techtv.mit.edu/
Teaching areas & responsibilities
2008-2012. Director of Academic Development for Studio-based Learning & Teaching / Course Director for MA Design with Learning & Teaching in Higher Education
2012- Supervisor and examiner for PhDs.
- 2012 - 2013PhD examiner for two external and one internal viva and theses
- 2011 - presentExternal Examiner, University College, Falmouth
- 2011 - presentExternal Examiner, Plymouth College of Art
- 2010 - presentGLAD Executive Committee Member
- 2009 - 2011Member, Art, Design & Media Reference Group (ADM-HEA)
- 2009 - 2013Progression & Award External Examiner for Design, Southampton Solent University
- 2009External Assessor, London College of Fashion
- 2007External Panel Member, Falmouth College of Art & Design
- 2007External Panel Member, City College and University of East Anglia
- 2007 - 2011External Examiner, University of Hertfordshire
- 2007External Advisor, Art & Design Review, Chelsea College of Art & Design
- 2007External Panel Member, Camberwell College of Art
- 2006External Advisor, Cambridge School of Visual & Performing Arts, University of Hertfordshire - Validation of Dip HEs in Graphic Design & Illustration and Fashion Design
- 2005 - 2008External Examiner, University of Northumbria
- 2004 - presentFellow, The Royal Society of Arts
- 2003External Examiner, Middlesex University
- 2003 - 2007External Advisor, University of West England
- 2001 - 2005External Examiner, Middlesex University
- 2001 - 2006External Examiner, Surrey Institute of Art & Design
- 2000 - 2004External Examiner, Lincoln University
- 2000 - presentFellow, Higher Education Academy (FHEA)
- 1996 - presentMember, National Drawing Network for Art & Design
- 1995 - presentMember, Designers & Art Directors of Great Britain (D&AD)
Educational and professional qualifications
- 2006Doctor in Education University of London, Institute of Education
- 1993MA in Art & Design Education University of London, Institute of Education
- 1972MA in Printmaking Wimbledon School of Art
- 1970Diploma in Graphic Printmaking Regional College of Art, Bradford, Yorkshire
Conferences & events
Invited Keynote Speaker at 'The Big Talk' at Ontario College of Art and Design (OCAD) Toronto – 16 May 2012. 'I understand what I mean but how do I know my students do?' – the critical role of the studio crit in art and design education
Blair, B. Orr, S & Yorke, M 'Erm, that question…. I think I probably would've just put some in the middle and sort of moved on to the next one, because I think it's really unclear' How art and design students understand and interpret the National Students Survey Launch presentation and printed report – GLAD Annual Conference 25/04/12
Conference organiser/coordinator for 'It started with a KIS' GLAD annual conference, FADA, Kingston University. 25 April. 2011
Keynote Speaker at 'Students as Partners in Learning' conference at University College Falmouth (13th Dec.) 'I understand what I mean but how do I know my students do?' - An examination of student formative assessment and face to face feedback & its' relationship to students' learning experiences
Keynote Speaker at 20/20 Design Vision, DEFSA (Design Education Forum of South Africa) International conference, University of Johannesburg - September 7-9 An examination of student formative assessment and face to face feedback in studio-based design education and its relationship to students' learning experiences.
'Elastic Minds? Is the interdisciplinary/multidisciplinary curriculum equipping our students for the future – A case study'. Research presentation at 5th CLTAD International conference 'Challenging the Curriculum: exploring discipline boundaries in art, design and media'. Berlin, 12-13 April
'Perception, Interpretation and Impact of Formative assessment on Students.' Keynote at ADM-HEA 'A Space for Assessment' Kingston University – London May 24-25
'Lost in Translation? – an examination of the perception, interpretation and impact of verbal feedback on international design students in the UK.' Paper presented at ConnectED 2nd International Conference on Design Education. Sydney, Australia. Conference paper published on CD. 28 J'
'The perception, interpretation and impact of formative assessment on international design students in the UK'. Final Project presentation at 5th Biennale Northumbria/EARLI SIG Conference 'Assessment for Learners'. Northumbria UK, 1-3 September
'An Examination of student formative assessment and feedback & its relationship to learning outcomes and the student learning experiences.' ADM-HEA Creative Learning and Teaching Seminar - The National Glass Centre, Sunderland 25/26 November.
'Critiquing the Crit' Invited to present my research to BA & MA art and design staff at Buckinghamshire New University – High Wycombe campus - 16/11/10
Organiser and presenter at 'A Space for Assessment' a two day symposium for art and design ADM-HEA/ Kingston University http://www.adm.heacademy.ac.uk/events/a-space-for-assessment?type=All&year=2010&came_from=http://www.adm.heacademy.ac.uk/events/adm-hea-events
Referee of conference/journal articles - CLTAD for 2010 conference in Berlin
'Critiquing the Crit' 'Invited to present my research at Northumbria University –to academic art and design staff
Blair,B. 'What do you mean? – an examination of international design students perception, Interpretation and impact of verbal feedback in the UK.' ( ISSOTL) International Society for Scholarship in Teaching and Learning.– 'Solid Foundations, Emerging Knowledge, Shared Futures' conference. October 22-25, Bloomington Indiana USA http://issotl09.indiana.edu/
Blair, B. Lost in Translation: The understanding and Interpretation of Verbal Feedback by International Students in Art and Design. IPED - 4TH International Inquiring pedagogies conferenc Research beyond Boundaries', Academic Communities without Borders 14 - 15 September 2009, Coventry University, UK
Blair, B. 'Art and Design Education in the UK' Keynote Presenter at the Official Opening of Aigaia School of Art and Design, Nicosia, Cyprus. Mar. 2009.
Blair, B. Blythman, M. Orr, S. 'Critiquing the Critique' at ' Measuring Unique Studies Effectively ( MUSE) conference hosted by the Savannah College of Art and Design USA – 9-11 Feb.
Blair.B. 'The understanding of verbal formative feedback in international student learning: A Kingston University Fellowship Scheme project' presented at 'Out of the Studio: celebrating art, design and media learning and teaching'. Arts Institute at Bournemouth /Art, Design & Media Subject Centre.
Blair, B. Hayward,D. Presentation of 'Bauwow - A model for creative practice, thinking, learning, research and innovation in the 21st Century' at The Student Experience in Art & Design Higher Education: Action for Change conference (GLAD) – Nottingham Trent University. Sept.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology -- invited speaker at Project-Centered Learning Symposium, 'LOOKING AT and sharing the UK experience within a Transatlantic context'. Presentation on 'Managing Teams: A Perspective of Project Centred Learning in Art, Design & Media' http://workshop2008.techtv.mit.edu/
Kingston University Teaching Fellowship bursary researching 'The understanding of formative feedback and assessment in international student learning'.
Blair. B. 'Perception of Self and its' impact on verbal formative feedback in design student learning.' Paper presented at Flux: Design Education in a Changing World. DEFSA International Design Education Conference. 3-5 October. Cape Town, South Africa. http://www.defsa.org.za/download.php?view.43
Member of Conference organizing Committee – CLTAD (Centre for Learning and Teaching in Art & Design). Member of the organization team for International conferences in Lisbon, Portugal, 2006, New York, 2008 and Berlin, 2010.
'Interpretations of assessment: a study of students' understanding of the assessment criteria through the practice of formative feedback'. In A. Davies (Ed.) Enhancing Curricula: towards the scholarship of teaching in art, design and communication in higher education. Proceedings of 2nd International Conference. London: Centre for Learning and Teaching in Art and Design. (CLTAD)
Critiquing the Critique. A series of presentations on my research findings at: CLTAD (Centre for Learning & Teaching in Art & Design) Nov.06 Kingston University. Jan. 07 University of Brighton - CETLD centre. Jan. 07 http://cetld.brighton.ac.uk/events/berni-blair-on-critiquing-the-crit The Arts Institute at Bournemouth. Jan. 07 University of Plymouth. Feb. 07 Leeds College of Art & Design pedagogy workshop Mar. 07 University of the Arts, London. Mar. 07
External Reviewer for the Schools of Graphic Design and Illustration provision at the Arts Academy University, San Francisco. June 17-19
External Reviewer for MA Creative Practice, The Hull College Group (Hull and Harrogate) The Open University - January 14/15
Reviewer for HE Academy National Teaching Fellowship submissions in Art & Design
Invited External Reviewer for all Design units, Faculty of Design, Swinburne University, Melbourne Australia (Dec. 1-2) (1 of 4 international reviewers – 1 from USA, 1 from Australia, 1 from China and myself from UK)
Referee for ADCHE journal submission. 9.2
Reviewer for Art, Design and Communication in Higher Education journal edition. 6:3
Grants, funding and awards
- 2008 - 2010'Critiquing the Critique' a 2 year ADM-HEA funded project
Research groups & programmes
External research supervision
- 2013Internal examiner of PhD thesis
- 2013External examiner for 2 PhD theses
Loughborough University & Coventry University
- 2011External examiner of PhD thesis
Swinburne University, Melbourne, Australia
- 2011External supervisor for a design PhD
Cape Peninsular University of Technology, Cape Town, South Africa