Professor of Design Studies & Associate Dean of Research
Central Saint Martins
Central Saint Martins
McDonnell was originally educated in engineering at Imperial College London. She practiced as a chartered engineer designing engineering information systems, before holding a series of academic posts in departments of Computer Science. She joined CSM in 2006. She holds a PhD for work on elicitation and computer modelling of design knowledge. For the last 25 years she has published research in information and knowledge representation, design expertise, expertise acquisition, and empirical studies of collaboration in design practice. She is the editor-in-chief of the journal CoDesign.
Design, design processes, creative collaboration.
McDonnell's research interests are in studying design and other kinds of creative practice in natural settings where many competing pressures are at play. The focus of work is on bringing practices to notice: making practices ‘visible’ e.g. the methods in use, the decision-making behaviour, how ideas get introduced and established, the informational bases (sources, uses and quality) that individuals and groups rely on, and the influences of assumptions and norms. The overarching themes uniting different studies are an interest in supporting critical, reflective design practice, enabling user engagement in design, and understanding how effective collaboration occurs. She is currently working on a series of studies of long term creative collaborative practice.
Mike Harkins, Contemporary processes of text typeface design.
Joana Casaca Lemos, Beyond Made in: Exploring made by and empathy as a means to trigger conscious consumption.
Giorgio Salani, Making craft: Towards a global taxonomy. A practice-led enquiry into the production of tableware in British and Japanese pottery.
Elena Brebenel, Can biomimicry help design furnishings for the domestic environment that improve air quality?
I have supervised more than 20 students (within UAL and at other universities) who have successfully completed their PhDs. I am an experienced PhD examiner and examination chairperson (e.g. examined for University of Kent; Imperial College; Birkbeck College and Goldsmiths College, University of London; University of Cambridge; Queen's Belfast; Hong Kong Poly U; University of Grenoble).
UAL students supervised to completion:
Brian Dixon, A Novel Graphic Syntax: An investigation into how a GPS-enabled wayfinding interface can be designed to visually support urban recreational walkers’ situation awareness.
Jane Scott, Programmable Knitting.
Pedro Almeida, Brand Archives: The rescuing of locally specific brand imagery as a graphic design response to the globalization of visual identity.
Annegrete Molhave, Enhancing the transformation of information into diagrammatic construction within scientific learning material for school pupils: a practice-based case focusing on closed-loop cycles.
Claire Tomlins, The Digital Corporate Presence Strategies as part of the Corporate Identity Mix.
Jonathan Milo Taylor, Immersion: A dynamic digital environment for creative interaction with archival sound art material.
McDonnell, Janet (2016) Scaffolding practices: A study of design practitioner engagement in design education. Design Studies, 45 (Part A). pp. 9-29. ISSN 0142-694X
McDonnell, Janet (2016) Gifts to the Future: Design reasoning, design research and critical design practitioners. She-ji: The Journal of Design, Economics and Innovation, 1 (2). pp. 107-117. ISSN 2405-8726
McDonnell, Janet (2015) Becoming a designer: Some contributions of design reviews. In: Analyzing Design Review Conversations. Purdue University Press, Purdue IN, USA, pp. 353-369. ISBN 9781557537232
McDonnell, Janet and Lloyd, Peter (2014) Beyond specification: A study of architect and client interaction. Design Studies, 35 (4). pp. 327-352. ISSN 0142-694X
Atman, Cindy and Borgford-Parnell, Jim and McDonnell, Janet and Eris, Ozgur and Cardella, Monica (2014) Engineering Design Education: Research, Practice, and Examples that Link the Two. In: Cambridge Handbook of Engineering Education Research. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, UK, pp. 201-228. ISBN 9781107014107
McDonnell, Janet (2012) Accommodating disagreement: a study of effective design collaboration. Design Studies, 33 (1). pp. 44-63. ISSN 0142-694X
McDonnell, Janet (2011) Impositions of order: a comparison between design and fine art practice. Design Studies, 32 (6). pp. 557-572. ISSN 0142-694X
McDonnell, Janet (2010) Slow collaboration: Some uses of vagueness, hesitation and delay in design collaborations. International Reports on Socio-Informatics, 7 (1). pp. 49-56. ISSN 1861-4280
McDonnell, Janet (2009) About Designing: Analysing Design Meetings. Taylor and Francis Group, London. ISBN 9780415440585
McDonnell, Janet (2009) Collaborative Negotiation in Design: A Study of Design Conversations between Architect and Building Users. In: About Designing: Analysing Design Meetings. Taylor and Francis Group, London, England. ISBN 9780415440585