Dr Paul Micklethwaite
School: Design School
Position: Senior Research Fellow
Paul's primary interest is in the impact of the sustainability (social and ecological) agenda on the theory and practice of design. He is also interested in emerging modes of design practice such as social innovation and open design, especially when they take design and designers into unfamiliar domains. He is a specialist in Design for Sustainability – its theory, research and practice. As an educator, researcher and practitioner Paul is interested primarily in how the contemporary sustainability agenda challenges all facets of our visual and material culture. He is also experienced in social research and research ethics in art and design. His PhD investigated the research question 'What is design?'
Paul collaborates with sustainability- and design-led organisations, companies and manufacturers on knowledge transfer and research projects, for example Remarkable Pencils Ltd. and Greenworks. Project funders have included DTI / TSB, British Council Korea, British Council China, ERDF, HEIF II, London Remade. He has also organised and chaired design research dissemination events and 'sustainable design' and 'sustainable business' training events for the design professions.
Paul edited the 2009 and 2010 issues of KIOSK, the Faculty's annual publication of art, design and architecture.
- The Ecology, Environment, Culture Network
- Twitter: @micklethwaite
- The DESIS UK Network
- What Affordance Affords, Technische Universität Darmstadt, Germany
- London Doctoral Design Centre (LDoc) profile
Research interests and expertise:
Design for Sustainability
Design for Development
Sustainability and Design History
Research Ethics in Art & Design
Selected key research outputs:
Micklethwaite, P. (2014) Immaterial Culture? The (Un)Sustainability of Screens. In: Maxwell, R., Raundalen, J. & Vestberg, N. L. (eds.) Media and the Ecological Crisis. New York: Routledge. pp. 19 – 39. ISBN 978-0-415-70923-1.
Chick, A. & Micklethwaite, P. (2011) Design for Sustainable Change: How design and designers can drive the sustainability agenda. AVA Academia.
Massey, A. & Micklethwaite, P. (2009) Unsustainability: towards a new design history, with reference to British Utility. Design Philosophy Papers, Issue 2 (Design History Futures - Part 1), October.
Micklethwaite, P. & Chick, A. (2005) Remarkable Pencils Ltd: Breaking out of the green niche. Design Management Review, 16 (3) Summer.
Micklethwaite, P. (2005) Discussing art and design education: themes from interviews with UK design stakeholders. International Journal of Art & Design Education, 24 (1), Spring.
Chick, A. & Micklethwaite, P. (2004) Specifying recycled: understanding UK architects' and designers' practices and experience. Design Studies, 25 (3), pp 251-273.
Teaching areas & responsibilities
Course Director - MA Sustainable Design
Course Director - Graduate Diploma Creative Practice
Design School PhD Director
- 2016External Examiner, PhD Lincoln University
- 2014 - presentExternal Examiner, MA Design, University for the Creative Arts
- 2014External Examiner, PhD Lancaster University
- 2013 - presentExternal Examiner, MA Creative Practices for Sustainability, Plymouth College of Art
- 2013External Examiner, PhD Loughborough University
- 2012 - presentDESIS-UK Network Member
- 2012 - presentMember, Faculty Research Ethics Committee, Kingston University
- 2011External Examiner, Professional Doctorate (Design), University of Northumbria
- 2007 - presentEPSRC, Peer Reviewer of Research Bids
- 2007 - 2012Chair, Faculty Research Ethics Committee, Kingston University
- 2006 - presentAHRC, Peer Reviewer of Research Bids
Educational and professional qualifications
- 2002PhD, Department of Design University of Huddersfield
- 2001PGCert Social Research & Evaluation University of Huddersfield
- 1997MA Innovation Studies University of Huddersfield
- 1995BA(Hons) Philosophy / English University of York
Conferences & events
September 2014: Invited speaker, 'Making Futures: Beijing' (Session 2: Material Worlds), a Pop-up Forum in Dashilar, Beijing, during Beijing Design Week
November 2013: Invited speaker, 'What Affordance Affords', International Conference organised by GOTO (Genesis and Ontology of Technoscientific Objects), Technische Universität Darmstadt, Germany
June 2013: Invited Speaker, 'Sustainable Design Lernen', Institute of Design Research Vienna, Austria
February 2013: Panel Member, 'Design Activism' V&A Design Culture Salon, London
May 2012: Invited speaker, The Ecology, Environment, Culture Network Symposium, Trondheim, Norway
October 2010: 'Embedding Sustainability in Curricula, A Teaching and Learning Conference', Plymouth College of Art
January 2008: Keynote presentation. UK-China Low Carbon Production & Green Consumption Forum, Chongqing, China
January 2008: Invited lecture, Chongqing University, Chongqing, China
January 2008: Invited lecture, Sichuan Fine Arts Institute, Chongqing, China
Conference abstract reviewer:
June 2016: The 50th Anniversary Design Research Society (DRS) conference
September 2015: 'Making Futures IV: Craft and the (re)turn of the maker in a post-global sustainably aware society'
September 2013: 'Making Futures III: Interfaces between craft knowledge and design: new opportunities for social innovation and sustainable practice'
September 2011: 'Making Futures II: The Crafts as Change Maker in Sustainably Aware Cultures', Plymouth College of Art
September 2011: 'Design Activism and Social Change', Design History Society annual conference, Barcelona
September 2009: 'Making Futures: The crafts in the context of emerging global sustainability agendas', Plymouth College of Art
July 2008: 'Undisciplined!', Design Research Society Conference, Sheffield Hallam University
July 2008: 'Changing the Change: An international conference on the role and potential of design research in the transition towards sustainability', Turin
Green Growth Business Development Bootcamps (2011). Funder: Capital Enterprise Ltd. Role: Co-development and delivery of a series of 3 half-day events for start-ups in London's green economy.
Ecobuild (2011, 2012) Role: Project manager / coordinator of Kingston University stands.
"Increasing the sustainability of contract and office furniture manufacture and supply" (2006-08). Funder: DTI Technology Programme. Partners: British Furniture Manufacturers Ltd., Greenworks. Role: Leader of two work packages, on Product Service Systems and Green rebranding.
Green Growth seminar series (2006). Delivered as part of the KU / London Remade partnership project 'Inspired Recycling' (2004-06). Funder: ERDF. Role: Co-development and delivery of a series of 6 full-day events for start-ups in London's green economy.
"Inspired Recycling" (2004-06). A KU / London Remade knowledge exchange partnership project, funded by ERDF. Role: Project officer and enterprise case manager.
Remarkable Pencils Ltd (2003) A knowledge exchange / research project to develop 'green' rebranding strategy. Funder: Landfill Tax Credit Scheme. Partners: Dragon Brands. Role: Research assistant.
Research groups & programmes
- Ruth Carney
- Jack Champ
- Hafize Nur Sılay Emir
- Helen Goodwin
- Ninela Ivanova
- Mylene Petermann
- Purva Tavri
Micklethwaite, Paul (2012) Book Review of: 'Open design now: why design cannot remain exclusive' by Bas van Abel, Lucas Evers, Roel Klaassen and Peter Troxler. The Design Journal, 15(4), pp. 493-496. ISSN (print) 1460-6925
Massey, Anne and Micklethwaite, Paul (2009) Unsustainability: towards a new design history with reference to British utility. Design philosophy papers(2), ISSN (online) 1448-7136
Micklethwaite, Paul (2008) The narrator is an Englishman, recently returned from China: or, internationalism & sustainability. KIOSK(2), pp. 16-19. ISSN (print) 1755-9626
Micklethwaite, Paul (2005) Discussing art and design education: themes from interviews with UK design stakeholders. The International Journal of Art & Design Education, 24(1), pp. 84-92. ISSN (print) 1476-8062
Micklethwaite, P and Chick, A (2005) Remarkable Pencils Ltd: breaking out of the green niche. Design Management Review, 16(3), pp. 23-28. ISSN (print) 1557-0614
Chick, Anne and Micklethwaite, Paul (2004) Specifying recycled: understanding UK architects' and designers' practices and experience. Design Studies, 25(3), pp. 251-273. ISSN (print) 0142-694X
Micklethwaite, Paul (2015) Immaterial culture? The (un)sustainability of screens. In: Maxwell, Richard , Raundalen, Jon and Vestberg, Nina Lager, (eds.) Media and the Ecological Crisis. Abingdon, U.K. : Routledge. pp. 19-39. (Routledge research in cultural and media studie, no. 67) ISBN 9780415709231
Micklethwaite, Paul (2009) Delivering on the promise: success and failure in academic knowledge transfer. In: Corrigan, Nicola , Sayce, Sarah and Taylor, Ros, (eds.) Sustainability in practice: from local to global: making a difference. Kingston upon Thames, U.K. : Kingston University Press. pp. 201-207. ISBN 9781899999446
Chick, A. and Micklethwaite, P. (2004) 'Closing the loop' - the role of design in the success of six small UK recycled product manufacturers. In: Bhamra, Tracy and Hon, Bernard, (eds.) Design and manufacture for sustainable development 2004: 1st - 2nd September 2004 at Burleigh Court, Loughborough University, UK. Bury St Edmunds, UK : Professional Engineering Publishing Limited. pp. 249-262. ISBN 1860584705
Conference or Workshop Item
Micklethwaite, Paul (2007) Delivering on the promise: a discussion of success and failure in knowledge transfer projects. In: Sustainability in practice: from local to global: making a difference; 06 - 07 Sep 2007, Kingston upon Thames, U.K.. (Unpublished)
Chick, A and Micklethwaite, P (2004) 'Closing the loop': the role of design in the success of six small UK recycled product manufacturers. In: 3rd International Conference on Design & Manufacture for Sustainable Development; 01 - 02 Sep 2004, Loughborough, U.K..
Micklethwaite, P and Chick, A (2004) Remarkable Pencils Ltd: developing a 'recycled' brand. In: International Conference on Innovation by Brand and Design; 11-12 Nov 2004, Seoul, South Korea. (Unpublished)
Chick, A and Micklethwaite, P (2004) www.inspirerecycle.org: inspiring design-led recycled product innovation. In: Futureground: Design Research Society International Conference; 17-21 Nov 2004, Melbourne, Australia.
Micklethwaite, Paul (2003) Design means different things to different people. In: 5th European Academy of Design Conference; 28 - 30 Apr 2003, Barcelona, Spain.
Chick, Anne and Micklethwaite, Paul (2003) "Recycled tigers' teeth?": obstacles to UK designers specifying recycled products and materials. In: 5th European Academy of Design Conference; 28-30 April 2003, Barcelona, Spain.
Chick, A and Micklethwaite, P (2002) Obstacles to UK architects and designers specifying recycled products and materials. In: Design History Society Conference; 3-5 Sep 2002, Aberystwyth, Wales. (Unpublished)
Design for Sustainable Change: How design and designers can drive the sustainability agenda.