PhD Seminar: A Superset of Supertools by John Wood

If Homo sapiens is shaping the Anthropocene, then everything must change. However, achieving this is beyond traditional design methods. Indeed, it amounts to a ‘super-wicked problem’ that may seem impossible to solve. Unless we adopt a radically optimistic approach, we may as well give up. Ideally, design should be more comprehensive and joined-up - perhaps inspired by Nature. Paradigms are sustained by beliefs and assumptions, therefore part of the task is to find the words that will make the next paradigm thinkable. At this high level of complexity, actions must also be co-creative, therefore we cannot expect design to be as predictive as traditional design. However, if we focus on relationships, rather than ‘things’ we can cultivate synergies at all levels, including the vital operational synergies within Metadesign teams. This means that teams must coordinate themselves as heterogeneous and flat-structured entities.

Prof John Wood
Professor of Practice, University of Wales Trinity Saint David; Emeritus Professor in Design, Goldsmiths, University of London


Prof John Wood recently founded the Metadesign Research Centre at the University of Wales Trinity Saint David, where he is Professor of Practice. He is also Emeritus Professor in Design at Goldsmiths, University of London. His interest in cybernetics began in the late 1960s when, as a fine art student, he developed interactive electronic installations and a computer-assisted play. After ten years as Deputy Head of Fine Art at Goldsmiths, during the Young British Artists (YBA) years, he wrote several radical design degrees which formed the basis for the current Department of Design. John is co-founder and co-editor of the Journal of Writing in Creative Practice and an original and active member of the cult band ‘Deaf School’.

Join this seminar on Zoom
URL: https://zoom.us/j/98940127809
Meeting ID: 989 4012 7809
Passcode: 876853

  • All PolyU PhD students are welcome.
  • This seminar, hosted on Zoom Meeting, allows only authenticated users.
  • Event registration is required (click here). Registrants will receive a reading list prior to this seminar.