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Mr Mark Bailey

Teaching Fellow

Department: Northumbria School of Design

Mark Bailey is Director of Innovation Design, Director of Learning & Teaching: Industrial Design and a Teaching Fellow of Northumbria University.

Mark Bailey Northumbria UniversityHe leads the Faculty of Arts, Design and Social Sciences’ design-led innovation activities at Innovate and the focus of his work is design-led Responsible Innovation Practice. He also leads the University’s partnership with Unilever along with a number of other business partnerships and is Northumbria’s Principle Investigator for the £3m, AHRC funded collaborative research programme Creative FUSE North East through which the five North East universities are seeking to drive economic growth in the Creative, Digital and IT sector. He teaches BA(Hons) Design for Industry and MA/MSc Multidisciplinary Innovation.

Mark has worked in Higher Education for the past 20 years having previously spent ten years leading design and development projects in the Aerospace industry where he worked on advanced passenger and business jet concepts as well as designing bespoke private jet interiors. He has also led a small design consultancy business. A highlight of his early consultancy career was designing the best-selling ‘Little Professor’ for Texas Instruments!

He supervised a Knowledge Transfer Partnership embedding Service Design methodology within Age UK Newcastle which won the Research Councils of UK Knowledge Base Impact Award in 2013. He has led the School of Design’s Cultural Partnership with the RSA (Royal Society for the Encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce) of which he is a Fellow. He is also a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy. He has contributed to the Pure Insight Innovation Leaders programme delivering on the subject of ‘Smart Failing’ to delegates from companies such as Mars, Pepsico, Telefonica O2, Astra Zeneca, Birds Eye, Coca Cola, Carlsberg, Philips and GSK.

As an educator, Mark sees his purpose as being to launch people into the world with the knowledge, capabilities and confidence required to bring about positive change: he views designers as agents of positive change and his teaching is all focused around this purpose. He teaches extensively through the medium of collaborative projects with external partners believing that learning in authentic contexts is essential to establishing relevance.

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BA (Hons)MA/MSc

Talking Point

The big questions or design issues that I am focusing on at the moment:

Aside from his research interests, Mark is intrigued by what he calls the ‘dichotomy of stuff’. He believes that industrial design education must be rooted in the traditional craft skills of drawing, making and the form-making of exquisite artefact however, he is very conscious that designers need to turn their creative endeavour to the service of society, a society in which the role of beautiful things has potentially less significance. He is, therefore interested in the notion of Responsible Innovation Practice; that is innovation which brings about positive change in both social and commercial terms.


Research Themes and Scholarly Interests

A summary of the main elements or themes within my research:

Mark is exploring Responsible Innovation Practice through design-led, practice based research; working with organisations to understand the factors that influence innovation practice and guide responsible decision making.

Mark is also interested in the role of the designer as orchestrator, facilitator and translator within multidisciplinary innovation teams. He is particularly interested in how to educate designers in this role. He is concerned with developing knowledge around and approaches to design and innovation practice education with reference to organisational settings with a particular emphasis on multidisciplinary  activism and the role of the designer/design approaches in facilitating innovation in teams of ‘non-designers’. His work is involved with pedagogical approaches to broad spectrum design activity ranging from service and system design through brand strategy to artefact..

Professional Activity

An overview of the courses and modules that I currently teach on:

His experience in HE has involved developing and teaching industrial design, multidisciplinary innovation and service-design practice within undergraduate and post graduate programmes. He has previously been responsible for the academic leadership of the School of Design’s Post Graduate Design programmes including the Multidisciplinary Innovation Masters degree which is jointly delivered by the Faculties or Arts, Design & Social Sciences, Business & Law and Engineering & Environment.


DE0833 - Industrial Design Practice 4

DE0834 - Industrial Design Practice 5

DE0161 - Industrial Design Practice Competition

DE1078 - Industrial Design Practice Exploration ProjectDE1080 - Industrial Design Major Project

DE1082 - Research and Critical Justification

DE1083 - Presentation and Validation

DE1211 - Innovation Practice Research

Sponsors and Collaborators

A list of key academic/industrial partners that I’ve worked with recently:

Through collaborative work within his teaching, Mark has worked, during the last two years alone, with some 35 different companies across 3rd, public and private sectors. These have included BBC, Unilever, Age Concern, Fendor, NCVS, Berghaus, Sonoco Alcore, Elddis and the Parking Appeals Tribunal.

Key Publications

A list of recent or key publications that best represent my current research interests:

Safe Environments for Innovation - Designing a new Masters programme in Multidisciplinary Design Innovation full paper, (co-author Smith, N.) – 12th International conference E&PDE 2010, Trondheim, Norway. ISBN 978-1-904670-19-3

Working at the edges -liberating creative multidisciplinary participation by curriculum and assessment design- ADM-HEA Networks Journal Feature Article, Sept 2010

Joining the Dots (embedding service design capabilities in third sector organisations), (co-author Warwick, L.) Touchpoint -Service Design Network Journal, January 2011
In search of a common language for innovation - Developing a New Multidisciplinary Masters Programme - 3 Rivers Consortium, 3rd Annual Learning and Teaching Conference, presented March 2010

Innovation Agents – New Design Magazine Issue 65, November 2008

Full list available at Northumbria Research Link (NRL)

DTF-Horizontal -Pods

Designing the Future

Northumbria University’s School of Design and Tyne and Wear Archives & Museums present Designing the Future. This unique series of events will explore different perspectives on the way design influences our daily lives and how it will impact our future ways of living.


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