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Professor Catherine McDermott

Design Professor


In 2015 I won a prestigious Nattional Teaching Fellowship award.  In 2106  the Sir Misha Black Award for innovation in design education for developing the ways that design is curated and communicated.   I established the inspirational MA Curating Contemporary Design, in partnership with the Design Museum in 2000.   The course created a talented generation of curators all around the world.  My practice is focused on interdisciplinary curating which includes pioneering new sites of practice, exploring cultural dialogue and emerging roles for curators.  Much of my work is collaborative and specialises in forming cross-sector academic and industry partnerships. A major recent project was the completion of Dream Lab, a collaborative science-based curating platform delivered in partnership with the British Council, the Royal College of Art and the Science Museum. The project explored the mutual links between design practitioners and science and in 2012 Dream Lab was broadened into a live curating project which included the participation of over 60 of China leading universities. 
  China is a continuing interest working on the development of internships across Shanghai and London, also funded by the British Council in partnership with Jiao Tong University.    Current research includes the Future of The Graduate Show a project exploring how the degree show might best serve emerging talent.    Currently the Secretary of ICOM UK. 

Areas of specialism

  • Curating the contemporary
  • Developing exhibition briefs
  • Developing creative projects in China, Africa and Chile


  • BA Hons
  • MA
  • PrincipalTeaching Fellow HEA
  • National Teaching Fellow

Professional membership



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