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Anthony Quinn

Reader - Course Leader BA Ceramic Design
Central Saint Martins
Email address
Researcher Research
Anthony  Quinn


Quinn has a broad practice ranging from Education, Design, Writing and Consultancy, working across a range of disciplines and materials. He has a successful design consultancy with clients such as British Airways, Debenhams and Wedgwood. From 2010-13 he acted as project co-ordinator on Firing Up, the Crafts Councils national programme to re-introduce ceramics into the school curriculum, during which we taught 3800 pupils and 150 teachers the key skills of ceramics. He holds the post Professor of Form at the National Academy of Art and Design in Bergen, Norway.

He is the author of The Ceramic Design Course (2006) and the co-author of the Workshop Guide to Ceramics (2012), both published by Thames & Hudson and with Barons in the US. Since 2010 he has collaborated with Horizon Digital Economy Research Institute on the development of a new vision recognition system called Aestheticodes. The mission of Aestheticodes is to encourage beautiful interactions and put the human back into Computer Human Interaction.

In recent years my research practice has become more multi-faceted. These facets tend to inter relate and reflect key concerns within my practice. The Horizon collaboration, which resulted in the Aestheticodes image recognition system, is based on an open source model and encourages a more human approach to computer human interaction through a continuous public demonstration and teaching of how to encode drawings.

This approach is mirrored somewhat in a project I run in Norway in which Design students from Bergen Academy of Art & Design co-design with Inmates of Vik Prison to explore a series of design challenges. The project transforms the team dynamic from suspicion to trust through iterative challenges and a design in real time concept, which means we design with what is to hand and realize ideas as we conceive them rather than research through the internet. These projects reflect my interest in craft and skill and the communication of tacit knowledge through participation and community. I have explored these concepts further in a recent article for called 'Fixing the World through Open Design' in which I explored the political, social and ethical positioning of the open design communities, hack spaces and design movements. My work for the Crafts Council was primarily to build a national network that encouraged the transferring of craft skills from practicing artists to teachers and in turn to their pupils.

Ongoing projects
◾Aestheticodes, ESPRC funded Research in The Wild with Johnson Tiles and Busaba Eathai.
◾Tall Tales, KU Norwegian State Research funding for writing of Draft book about Vik/KHiB prison project.

Grants and awards

(Figures indicate amount awarded to UAL)

Research Outputs

Art/Design item


Conference, Symposium or Workshop item



Current research students

  • Bethan Lewis-Williams, t.b.c. (Lead supervisor)
  • Megan Rowden, The bond between maker, material and the audience (Lead supervisor)
  • Megan Rowden, The bond between maker, material and the audience (Joint supervisor)