I am a Dean of Academic Programmes at Central Saint Martins. In my role, I am very fortunate to work within a team of passionate and dedicated academics and professional practitioners across the programmes for; Performance, Art, Product, Ceramics and Industrial Design, and Jewellery and Textiles. Following a spell of three years as Deputy Dean in the School of Art and Design at Middlesex University and Professor of Socially Engaged Practice, I joined UAL: CSM as Associate Dean for Academic Development in 2016 and took up my position as Dean in 2017.
I have a University wide role as academic lead for UAL on the Management Team of the Shared Campus, a cooperation platform for international education formats and research networks established by 13 leading international arts universities, schools and colleges from across the globe. The platform is designed around themes of local and global relevance with a distinct focus on transcultural issues and cross-disciplinary collaboration. Around our five core themes we co-create a broad scope of activities within education (summer schools, workshops, symposia, festivals) research and cultural production. UAL courses, such as MA Intercultural Practice and MA Performance: Society have recently embedded opportunities for Shared Campus co-operation into their curriculum as a first step towards scaling up access to international co-created learning.
I continue to have a close association with the University of Salford where I have previously held a Professorship and then Visiting Professor role for Creative Community Engagement. This relationship supports an ongoing collaboration with like-minded academics and community activists from London and the North West conurbation of Salford. Together, we have co-designed REBEL (Recognition of Experience Based Education and Learning), a learning reflection and competencies toolkit. The system was 10 years in development, working alongside colleagues from University of Salford, SOLIDAR foundation, Observal (the Observatory of Validated Learning at Universidad Valladolid), La Ligue de L’Enseignement (France), Workers Educational Association (UK), Trade Union UnionLearn (TUC), and the Open Design and Manufacture EU Strategic Network. Current deployments with local authority partners such as Camden Council, are focused on the recognition of citizen contribution and the evidencing transversal and employability competencies for community volunteers. I have a lifelong passion for experience-based learning and community centred self-organisation.
Outside of my professional role I remain committed to a number of long-term collaborative interests that are typically concerned with placemaking and change. I am a member of Ebor Studios, an artists run collective in Rochdale, north Manchester that has developed support and resources for locally based creatives. I am a Director of the Guns to Goods CIC, based at Ebor, concerned with the recycling of metal from guns and other weapons recovered from the criminal justice system, to produce creative outcomes and public works. Many of my current and continuing interests were originally formed from the time of my first Principal Investigator role for an AHRC Knowledge Transfer Fellowship, ‘Supporting Arts and Enterprise Skills in Communities through Engagement with the Local Area’ (AH/G017115/1) that completed in 2012. Since then, all of my research contributions and the extensions that motivate my practice away from academia have been concerned with connecting communities, cultural intermediation, and the arts in urban regeneration. Most recently I was co-investigator on an Erasmus+ Co-operation and Knowledge Alliance programme, “Open Design and Manufacturing in Europe”, where we further developed the REBEL evaluation tool for supporting local capacity building within place-based innovation networks.
I’m energised by the potential that education creates and I love the surprise and new possibilities from how creativity educates. I enjoy every aspect of creative education process and, I paint at the weekends. As these are my passions, I continue to Chair the National Association of Fine Art Educators (NAFAE).
I came to Central Saint Martins expecting a vibrant culture, future facing curiosity, thinking through making, experimental pedagogies and rigorous critical enquiry. It is an inspiring community.
Telephone+44 (0)20 7514 7444