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Dr Matt Malpass

Course Coordinator MA Industrial Design
Central Saint Martins
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Researcher Research
Matthew  Malpass


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.

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.

Grants and awards

(Figures indicate amount awarded to UAL)

  • Erasmus+ - Key Action 2 - Knowledge Alliances, Open Design and Manufacturing: OD&M


Current research students

  • Roxanne Alves Leitão, Codesigning Support Solutions for Victims of Cyberstalking and Abuse: reclaiming privacy and safety on the Internet of Things (Lead supervisor)
  • Carla Capeto, Space Dramaturgies; Performative Environments in Interactive Art. (Lead supervisor)
  • Maja Grakalic, Critical and Progressive Design in former Yugoslavia. (Lead supervisor)
  • 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? (Lead supervisor)
  • Giorgio Salani, Towards a taxonomy of artisanal ceramic tableware: a practice-led enquiry into qualities and values in contemporary British and Japanese pottery. (Lead supervisor)
  • Christina Skarpari, Design tools which facilitate inter-communal dialogue and activate engagement with local vernacular culture, for better coexistence (Lead supervisor)