This page summarises all of the events and activities that Creativeworks London has produced or was involved in. Included are also events and activities that were organised by our collaborators and/or partners.

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LDoc Keynote Lecture: Collective design, utopias lost and futures made
March 4, 2015 6:30 pm
March 4, 2015 7:30 pm
Free, booking required
February 5, 2015
Kingston University - Knights Park campus (Main Lecture Theatre)
Faculty of Art, Design & Architecture , Grange Road, Kingston upon Thames, United Kingdom

The London Doctoral Design Centre (LDoc) is delighted to invite you to its second Keynote Lecture. Professor Pelle Ehn, School of Arts & Communication, Malmö University, will be speaking at Kingston University London.

This lecture will be of particular interest to postgraduate design students and academics, but is open to all. The lecture will be followed by a drinks reception, to which you are warmly invited.


Pelle Ehn is professor at the School of Arts and Communication, Malmö University, Sweden and one of the founders of the Swedish Faculty for Design Research and Research Education, the national design PhD program. He has for four decades been involved in the research field of collaborative and participatory design and in bridging design and information technology. Research projects include DEMOS from the seventies on information technology and work place democracy, UTOPIA from the eighties on user participation and skill based design, ATELIER from the last decade on architecture and technology for creative environments, and during the last years Malmö Living Labs, on open design environments for social innovation. His often collaborative publications include Computers and Democracy (1987), Work-Oriented Design of Computer Artifacts (1988), Manifesto for a Digital Bauhaus (1998), Design Things (2011) and Making Futures (2014).


Collaborative or participatory design, a child of sixty-eight and the contested terrain of workplace, technology and democracy, has over the years developed into a key actor in user driven innovation – a development where high ranking within the creative class has replaced a dedication to class struggle at work. This may look like a successful move from the margins of society to the centre of power where the future is made. This field report over utopias lost and futures made instead suggests small democratic design experiments, futures that are more marginal, less spectacular, and with other promises than progress. The reportage from the field is done from a specific localized and partial position in academia and in Scandinavia, but also from the privileged condition of genuine participation and engagement, of being there. The return to utopias lost and futures made might have a melancholic undertone, but it is not a story without hope. The report covers five decades each with specific political and theoretical challenges:

- democracy at work (mid 70’s) – “a not quite revolutionary beginning”
- work oriented design (mid 80’s) – “an accidental designer”
- a digital bauhaus (mid 90’s) – “ a creative class misfit”
- design things (mid 00’s) – “becoming a thing democrat”
- democratic design and innovation (mid 10’s) – “a fellow traveller to futures”.

Entry will be by ticket only, please register in advance. Click here to book your ticket.

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Queen Mary - University of London
Arts & Humanities Research Council
European Union
London Fusion

Creativeworks London is one of four Knowledge Exchange Hubs for the Creative Economy funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) to develop strategic partnerships with creative businesses and cultural organisations, to strengthen and diversify their collaborative research activities and increase the number of arts and humanities researchers actively engaged in research-based knowledge exchange.