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Dr John Stevens


  • John Stevens
  • Area

    School of Design


    Senior Tutor

  • Admissions Tutor

  • Dr John Stevens joined the Royal College of Art in 2013 to help launch the new Global Innovation Design MA. John’s research interests concern the application of design methods to emerging contexts of innovation such as service design, multi-disciplinary design and design management, especially applied to social, cross-cultural and humanitarian innovation. This necessarily encompasses the design of products, interactions and systems. John supervises five PhD researchers in innovation and design management. 

    In addition to his role within Global Innovation Design, John is also Admissions Tutor for the School of Design.

  • Biography

  • Dr John Stevens brings a diverse range of academic interests and industry experience to GID, with a BSc in Molecular Biology from King's College, London, an MDes in IDE from the RCA / Imperial College and a PhD in Design and Strategy from Cambridge University.

    He has twelve years’ experience in industry, including five as Head of Design/UX for a dot-com tech company, and three years as an independent design consultant, working for clients such as Orange, Quentin Blake, Consumers’ Association (Which?), British Gas, EMAP Publishing, McDonald’s, Hewlett-Packard, Diageo, npower, Sky, American President Lines and Thomson Travel Group.

    Prior to joining the RCA, John was Senior Lecturer at Northumbria University, Newcastle, where he taught on MA programmes in Design, Design Management and Multidisciplinary Design Innovation (MDI).

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  • External collaborations

  • Recent Project Collaborations and Consulting

    Oxfam, Humanitarian Innovation Fund

    External Examination and Peer Review

    AHRC Peer Review College

    External examiner, MSc Product Design Innovation/Enterprise, Aston University. (2015-2018)

    External examiner, PhD Cambridge University, Institute for Manufacturing (2017)

    Visiting PhD Examiner, Universidad Autónoma de Madrid (2011)

    Panels and other membership

    UK Digital Economy Crucible member, part of CHERISH-DE (Challenging Human Environments and Research Impact for a Sustainable and Healthy Digital Economy) EPSRC project (2017).

    Humanitarian Innovation Fund / EHLRA expert adviser

    ECR Representative, London Doctoral Design Centre Steering Group (2016-present)

    Mentor and panel judge, ’Be Innovative 2014’ British Council, Beijing (2014)

    Leader and presenter, FuturoDesign Lab, Moscow University of Industry and Finance (2011)

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  • Publications, exhibitions and other outcomes

  • Selected Publications

    Stevens, J. (2013) ‘Design in micro–strategy: strategic sensemaking and sensegiving mediated through designed artefacts’, in Kleinsmann, M. and Maier, A. (eds.), Artificial Intelligence for Engineering Design, Analysis and Manufacturing (AIEDAM), special issue 27 (2), pp.133 142 []

    Stevens, J. & Moultrie, J. (2011) ‘Aligning Strategy and Design Perspectives: A Framework of Design’s Strategic Contributions’ The Design Journal, 14, pp.475-500 []

    Stevens, J.S. (2011) Design as a strategic resource: design’s contributions to competitive advantage aligned with strategy models. Cambridge: Cambridge University, Unpublished PhD thesis []

    Stevens, J., Moultrie, J. & Crilly, N. (2009) ‘Design dis-integration: Silent, Partial, and Disparate Design’, in Undisciplined! Proceedings of the Design Research Society Conference []

    Stevens, J., Moultrie, J. & Crilly, N. (2008) ‘How is Design Strategic? Clarifying the Concept of Strategic Design’, in Design Principles and Practices: An International Journal, 2, pp.51-60. []

    Selected Conference Papers

    Colourful stories: Multidisciplinary innovation in a Northumbrian social regeneration project, Design for Social Innovation and Sustainability (DESIS) within the UK HE Landscape, Northumbria University, Newcastle, May 21 2013

    Sense and Symbolic Objects: Strategic Sensemaking through Design. 2012 International Design Management Research Conference, 8-9 August 2012, Boston USA

    Good enough to eat: experiential design through making and faking. Making Conference, 24-27 September 2012 Notodden, Norway

    How is Design Strategic? 2nd International Conference on Design Principles and Practices, 9-11 January 2008, University of Miami, Florida, USA

    Design dis-integration, Undisciplined! Rigour in Emerging Design Disciplines and Professions. Design Research Society 2008 Conference, 16-19 July 2008, Sheffield, UK

    Designing and design thinking in strategy concepts: frameworks towards an intervention tool, International DMI Education Conference, Design Thinking: New Challenges for Designers, Managers and Organisations, 14-15 April 2008, ESSEC Business School, Cergy-Pointoise, France

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