Dr Matt Malpass

Course Coordinator MA Industrial Design Programme Coordinator for Product Ceramic and Industrial Design

Central Saint Martins


Dr Matt Malpass is Course Coordinator on MA Industrial Design and Programme Coordinator for Product Ceramic and Industrial Design at Central Saint Martins. Since 2007 he has been active in design research. From 2011 to 2014 he was a Research Fellow in Critical Design in the Socially Responsive Design and Innovation Hub UAL.

Research interests

Critical design, socially responsive design, design led social innovation, design studies, design culture, hermeneutics.

Research statement

My interests centre on critical, socially and politically engaged practice in industrial design. My doctoral work focused on building a taxonomy of critical practice in product design. I continue to conceptualise this field, considering the methods and principles used to establish the critical move through design, questioning critical design's contribution to the design profession and discipline.

My current research questions the use of critical design as a form of public engagement in a context of design-led social innovation.

While my primary interest lies in critical design practice, my research and practice extend into other areas of industrial design. I have an interest in design praxiology; the study of design practice. My work has focused on the use of theatre and performance techniques in the development of empathic design methods. I have collaborated on projects in the field of design and emotion, interaction design and research, carried out for Defra exploring public perception of sustainable consumption. 

I have published in leading design journals including Design Issues (MIT Press) and Design and Culture (Bloomsbury). I have spoken internationally on critical design. I am author of Critical Design in Context: History, Theory and Practices (Bloomsbury 2016).

I am an active member of the DESIS network; questioning what Higher Education and academia can contribute to design led social innovation. I have been on the organising committees for a number of international design research conferences and regularly review for leading academic design journals. I sit on the editorial board of the CoDesign International Journal of CoCreation in Design and the Arts and the Journal of Engineering Design.


Carla Capeto, Space Dramaturgies; Performative Environments in Interactive Art.

Maja Grakalic, Critical and Progressive Design in former Yugoslavia.

Oonagh O'Hagan, The Never-Ending Object: considering theories on desire, could anti-counterfeiting techniques and related technologies influence the design of fashion objects and develop our relationship with them?

Giorgio Salani, Towards a taxonomy of artisanal ceramic tableware: a practice-led enquiry into qualities and values in contemporary British and Japanese pottery.

Selected research outputs