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RCA Announces Dr Stephen Jia Wang as Joint Head of Innovation Design Engineering and Global Innovation Design

The Royal College of Art is delighted to announce the appointment of Dr Stephen Jia Wang as the new joint Head of MA/MSc Innovation Design Engineering (IDE) and MA/MSc Global Innovation Design (GID) delivered jointly with Imperial College London.

Dr Wang joins the RCA from Monash University, Melbourne, Australia, where he was Senior Lecturer and Program Director of Interaction Design in the Department of Design and Founding Director of the Monash, Tsinghua and Zokei University joint laboratory the International Tangible Interaction Design Lab. He has a PhD in Architecture Design from Tokyo University of the Arts, an MA in Interaction Design from Tama Art University, Tokyo, an MEng in Simulation Technology from the Royal Melbourne Institution of Technology, Melbourne, and a BA in Industrial Design from the Academy of Arts & Design, Tsinghua University, Beijing.

Before working at Monash University, Dr Wang was a Professor at Tokyo Zokei University, Japan, Senior Lecturer at Swinburne University of Technology, Australia and a professional designer at several design consulting firms. His design practice focuses on innovation in interactive installations, interactive controlling systems and informational products.

Discussing his new position at the RCA Dr Wang said: ‘It is very exciting to be joining the RCA to lead two such dynamic programmes. The future of design means more contributions to social innovation activities. Both IDE and GID have already proven great potential to enhance industrial relevance and make positive contributions to solving real-world problems.’

‘The School of Design at the RCA provides the ideal environment to explore and expand my research and practice, which focuses on compelling issues of our time – from ageing societies to energy and resources shortages – that represent significant challenges for the future development of global society. I look forward to working in this research-led environment, educating the next generation of designers and redefining the role of design in the post-information age.’

Dr Wang has been researching in the field of innovation-oriented interaction design for more than a decade. In recent years his research and practice have focused on exploring new design methods, technology possibilities and related curriculum development in the field of tangible interaction design. He is an experienced interaction and industrial designer and in the past ten years has been involved in several major research projects, published and exhibited across Australia, China and Japan. Recent projects he has contributed to at Monash University include Virtual Spine, a piece of ‘smart’ furniture that uses real-time, three-dimensional spine simulation to provide posture feedback and promote healthy sitting behaviours, and electronic skin nano-patches developed for continuous blood pressure monitoring.

Professor Paul Anderson, Dean of the School of Design, commented: ‘We are delighted to welcome Dr Wang to the RCA’s School of Design as the new Head of Programme for IDE and GID. He is excellently placed to advise on the exploration and development of impactful innovation through emergent technologies, advanced engineering and enterprise activities – which are all key components of these programmes.’

Professor Naren Barfield, Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Provost said: ‘Dr Wang’s experience, both as a design entrepreneur and design researcher, make him the ideal person to lead these two diverse, interdisciplinary programmes, which are dedicated to supporting the next generation of design leaders and entrepreneurs. His international background and industry experience will also be valuable assets in contributing to the research-led environment and multidisciplinary approach of the School, and to strengthening our international partnerships.’