The Professor in Design Cultures at Middlesex University School of Art & Design delivers his inaugural lecture.
Designing Culture and the Cultures of Design: the Production & Consumption of Cultural Space
Graeme will present the evolution of his work through a selection of thematic research projects originating in arts lab/arts centre movements and the design of cultural buildings and space, and their role in the consumption and production of art and culture. The social production of cultural space will be further explored through an overview of studies of accessibility and urban design, mixed use design, and creative spaces – including mega-events and festivals. Arising from this, a critique of the fragmented art & design cultures and rationales that have influenced our relationship with cultural production and space at every level will be presented through this research and through techniques he has developed in his work. This includes mapping cultural assets and visualisation of the urban experience and participatory engagement methods with user and host communities. Finally, this will lead onto current research projects on living with socio-cultural and environmental change, notably Hydrocitizenship, and Graffiti Art & the City.
Graeme is Professor of Design & Urban Cultures in the School of Art & Design having joined Middlesex in June 2013. He was previously Chair in Design at Brunel University and since the late 1990s he has been founder-director of research centres and institutes in London and Maastricht universities in the field of cities and urban culture. He was formerly Head of Research and Professor of Cultural Studies at Central St Martins, University of the Arts London and prior to his academic career he was for 6 years co-director of an inner city arts centre (Inter-Action) in north London with a strong tradition of community arts and innovation in performing and media arts and in urban regeneration. This included working in Liverpool post the 1984 riots, in youth training workshops in Huddersfield, and in Ashkelon resettlement centre Israel - as well as co-directing/touring the London Fusion Orchestra jazz rock ensemble. He started his career in government (Home Office) and industry (energy and transport) in the UK, Africa and Middle East. He has undertaken research for arts and cultural agencies, the OECD and ‘creative cities’ - including successive studies for the UK Culture Ministry and Arts Councils on the impact of the national lottery on cultural provision and access; on culture regeneration and measuring value; and on creative industry and ‘digital’ clusters.