Chairing Craft Connected will be Professor Mike Press. Mike is Professor of Design Policy and Associate Dean of Design at Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art & Design. He has written and researched widely on design, innovation, contemporary craft and the management of creativity, speaking at conferences worldwide. An extensive publishing record includes authorship of three books, including "The Design Agenda: a guide to successful design management" and "The Design Experience". He is also a contributor to BBC television and radio programmes on design.
Mike is no stranger to the process of connecting craft and design to areas of our society not normally associated with such ideas. He was joint director of the Home Office funded Design Against Crime research project from 1999. In January 2005 he was the subject of a profile in The Guardian regarding his views on how design can contribute to crime prevention, and in 2007 authored a major comment piece on CCTV for The Times Higher.
He was a member of the selection panel for the Design Council's Millennium Products, and has been shortlisted for the Sir Misha Black Medal for Innovation in Design Education. He is a former Chair of the European Academy of Design, and a member of the editorial board of The Design Journal. His research and writing spans three areas: design and crime, the future of craft, and co-design. He is also an experienced supervisor and examiner of PhDs in design, and has been an advocate of practice-based approaches to design research.
Garth Johnson, Assistant Professor of Art at College of the Redwoods in California, will be the first keynote speaker at the event. Garth travels the world speaking to people about the resurgence of craft in the USA. His definition of craft is the broadest we have come across and many of his projects connect different parts of the craft spectrum to each other. Garth, who lives and works in Eureka, California, is a craft polymath. A writer, artist, educator, curator, speaker, ceramicist and inspirer of ideas, Garth encourages and provokes his audience to think about craft in different ways. He has written for many magazines including CRAFT, Readymade, FiberArts and Hand/Eye, and his first book, 1000 Ideas for Creative Reuse, was published in November 2009. His blog, Extreme Craft, is read across the globe and has allowed Garth to travel the world speaking to audiences about the diversity and extremity of craft.
His work has also been exhibited internationally and has featured in magazines such as The Observer, Ceramics Monthly, American Craft, Metropolis and The Artist’s Magazine. When he isn’t making his own ceramics he curates other makers’ work. His first exhibition “Renewal Notice” was curated for the 2010 American Conservation Film Festival in Shepherdstown, WV. His second exhibition, “Era Messages” was curated from the permanent collection of the Museum of Contemporary Craft in Portland, Oregon and was on display for six months from January until June of this year.
Lauren Currie, Co-founder and Director of Snook. Lauren has worked as a freelance Service Designer for Designthinkers in Holland, Deutsche Telekom Laboratories (T-Labs ) in Berlin and London-based Future Gov. She is an expert in supporting people to explore their worn-out systems and tired ways of working, before inspiring and guiding them to use their talents in new ways.
With an enthusiasm for service design, public services and working for people, Lauren is focused on changing the lives of Scottish people through design and practical action. People know Lauren as Redjotter: a trailblazing, inspiring innovator and a very vocal advocate for giving the service design sector meaning, evidence and impact.
Prior to being Director of Snook, Lauren worked as a freelance Service Designers for Designthinkers in Holland, Deutsche Telekom Laboratories ( T-Labs ) in Berlin and London-based Future Gov. She regularly talks to design students and graduates nationwide; inspiring and guiding them in using their talents in a worn-out system that doesn’t help them thrive.
As the Director of MyPolice, Lauren is working closely with the Police and the public to ensure the service is the very best it can be. Lauren is currently leading the MyPolice pilot in a prototyping phase with Tayside Police.
Further keynotes and speakers will be announced shortly.