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Dr Matt Malpass

Reader in Critical Design Practice; Course Leader MA Industrial Design
Central Saint Martins
Person Type
Matt  Malpass


I am a lecturer and design researcher. I am Course Leader on MA Industrial Design and a Research Fellow in Critical Design in the Socially Responsive Design and Innovation Hub.

My commercial design practice was initially located in the industrial ceramics and pharmaceutical industries.

I am a core member of staff within the Design Against Crime Research Centre at CSM and actively involved in a number of design led social innovation projects in research and consultancy contexts.

I am recognised for design research, where 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 activity 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, my research and practice extend into other areas of industrial design working with a range of commercial and third sector partners.

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, public perception of sustainable consumption, and am active in the DESIS network; questioning what Higher Education and academia can contribute to design led social innovation.

I have published and spoken internationally on critical design, regularly writing and reviewing for leading design journals including Design and Culture (Bloomsbury) and Design Issues (MIT press).

I am in the process of writing the book Critical design in context: history, theory and practices (published by Bloomsbury in 2015).