Building on the success of the 15th conference of the European Academy of Design (EAD) ‘What got us here won’t get us there’ where the conference attracted over 300 attendees that simultaneously spanned 5 countries and 4 continents we committed to preserve the welcoming, diverse, rigorous, playful and exploratory culture of the EAD we are thrilled to announce the new leadership team for the EAD going forward.

Joining Leon Cruickshank (Lancaster University, UK) as President of the EAD are Vice Presidents Deana McDonagh (University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, USA) and Heitor Alvelos (University of Porto, Portugal). We are thrilled to welcome Deana and Heitor into these new roles, they bring a wealth of experience and like Leon are very active in the practice of design research themselves as we describe briefly below.

“I am delighted to accept the presidency of the prestigious European Academy of Design, the Academy is passionate about promoting design research worldwide and is keen to nurture new talent across disciplines. We support and act as a critical friend to early career academics and doctoral students in addition to welcoming world leading international research through a joyful, open, deep-thinking approach reflecting the best of design research’   Leon Cruickshank

This is an exciting time for EAD, we are running a seminar in January to explore both the content and form of the design research conference going forward. This will inform the program of events and activities for EAD in the coming five years. Follow us here to stay in touch with EAD news and events, on X or here for Linked In []

Best Wishes from

Leon, Deana and Heitor

President of EAD: Leon Cruickshank

President of EAD: Leon Cruickshank a Professor of Design and Creative Exchange and a founding member of ImaginationLancaster at Lancaster University. His research focuses on the development of open and co-design processes in the private, public and voluntary sectors. Currently he is working on giving communities a stronger voice in an equitable move to sustainability. Past projects include leading the £12 million Beyond Imagination project and the £1.2 million Leapfrog project looking at new forms of working creatively outside academia. He has consulted for the UN on innovation in government with a focus on open design thinking. He is widely published in co-design, open design, engagement and citizen-led design. Books include ‘Open Innovation, Facilitating Creativity in Everyone’  and his latest co-edited book ‘Flourish By Design’ published by Routledge available is available as an open access publication here

Vice President of EAD: Deana McDonagh

Vice President of EAD: Deana McDonagh is a Professor of Industrial Design in the School of Art and Design and founder of the (dis)Ability Design Studio at the Beckman Institute of Advanced Science and Technology at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. She is a Health Innovation Professor at the Carle Illinois School of Medicine and is bringing empathic modelling into the training of medical students to ensure patient inspired innovation.  As Empathic Design Research Strategist who focuses on enhancing quality of life for all through more intuitive and meaningful products, leading to emotional sustainability. She concentrates on the emotional user-product relationships and how empathy can bring the designer closer to users’ authentic needs, ensuring both functional and emotional needs are met by products.

Vice President of EAD: Heitor Alvelos

Vice President of EAD: Heitor Alvelos is Full Professor of Design at the University of Porto, Portugal, and Director of ID+ Research Center @ U.Porto, where he coordinates the Unexpected Media Lab and serves as Course Director for the PhD in Design program. Heitor chaired EAD’09, The Endless End, in Porto in 2011. Professional experience includes serving as Chairman of the Scientific Board (HSS) for the Foundation for Science and Technology (Portugal) from 2016 to 2022, Curator of the FuturePlaces Media Lab for Citizenship (2008-2017), Outreach Director of the UTAustin-Portugal Program for Digital Media (2010-2014) and Senior Tutor of the Drawing Studio of the Royal College of Art (1999 – 2001). Heitor is a member of Academia Europaea and the European Science Foundation, and has coordinated various research projects on a national and international level since 2007. Current research interests include communication of science in contemporary crisis scenarios, and the pedagogy of perception.

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