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Joe McCullagh

Head of Cambridge School of Art
Faculty of Arts, Humanities, Education and Social Sciences
Cambridge School of Art
Areas of Expertise:
Education and teaching , Arts and creative industries
Research Supervision:

Joe McCullagh is a creative educator. Joe sees his role as one of being a pedagogic designer. He is committed to how creativity with the transformative ability of education will positively change, enhance and enrich our lives.

Connect with Joe on Linkedin

Email: [email protected]


Joe’s career to date has been both in design and education. He has been a graphic design consultant in a number of companies both in the public and private sectors and set up his own graphic design consultancy in 1992. He continued to work as a freelance designer until 2004, where projects became more focused on design for social responsibility. Joe has held a range of academic design positions at a number of institutes in the UK and continues to be an educational consultant nationally and internationally.

Joe’s educational research and interests are in international and cross-cultural design pedagogy and creative practice. He has been invited internationally to lecture and run workshops on this subject. Joe has also exhibited graphic arts work throughout the UK, South Korea, China, the USA and Cuba. Joe is a Trustee and Board Director of the Manchester Craft and Design Centre and sits on the Advisory Board of Design Manchester. He is a member of the International Council of Design, Creative Industries Federation and the Creative Education and Careers Working Group. He is a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy in the UK.

Research interests
  • Inter-cultural/cross-cultural design
  • Art and Design pedagogy
  • Global and future design skills in Creative Industries

See Joe's global and future design skills and creative industries pedagogic research projects at:

Design Council

Design Manchester

Areas of research supervision
  • Cross cultural pedagogy in art and design
  • Cross-cultural practice in design
  • Graphic Design/Visual Communication
  • Senior Fellow, Higher Education Academy (SFHEA)
  • Post Graduate Certificate of Higher Education (PGCHE)
  • MA Design and Media Arts
  • BA (Hons) Fine Art
  • Art and Design Foundation Diploma
Memberships, editorial boards
  • Advisory Board member of Design Manchester
  • Trustee and Board Director of Manchester Craft and Design Centre
  • International Council of Design (Ico-D) Montreal, Education lead member
  • Creative Industries Federation, Member of the Creative Industries Federation Further and Higher Education Working Group
Selected recent publications

and conferences

2019 September. Radical Response exhibition in partnership with the International Association of Design Research (IASDR) Conference, 2–5 September 2019.  Exhibited graphic arts work

2019. Invited co-authored essay, book chapter 'Where all things are always possible', in Fitness for What Purpose? Essays on Design Education celebrating 40 years of the international Sir Misha Black Awards, edited by Sir Christopher Frayling and Mary V Mullin. ISBN 978-1-912477-80-7

2018 December. GLAD Conference "Underneath the metrics: what is really happening to art and design education" 07.12.18, peer reviewed presentation on 'Engaging with the city: utilising spaces outside the university as places for transformative learning through collaborative vertical studio teaching in art and design' in partnership with Fabrizio Cocchiarella

2018 May. Creative Review, The importance of creative collaboration: a special report in partnership with Dropbox. pp4–5,8–9. Invited to contribute to a design research report on the role creative collaboration plays in creativity

2018 April. Milan Design Week, co-author with Fabrizio Cocchiarella for an invited report on Milan Design Week for Creative Review

2017 October. Double peer reviewed, paper presentation at the World Design Summit, Montreal. Paper: 'Bi-visual design, questioning dominant Western centric design within design education'

2017 October. Contribution to 'Design is Global' Design Report 2017

2017 August. Invited peer reviewer for 'Visual Thinking' journal, Lapland University Press

2017 April. Invited peer reviewer for Art, Design and Communication in Higher Education, special graphic design edition by intellect publishers Volume 16, Number 1, 1 April 2017

2017 April to June. Made in Translation Exhibition, The Portico Library, Manchester, 27 April–3 June 2017. Exhibited graphic works in collaboration with Dr Eleanor Byrne as part of a year-long exploration of the collection's non-fiction texts, producing collaborative new pieces, a publication, exhibition and workshops throughout 2016 and 2017. Portico Library, Mosley Street, Manchester, ISBN 0-9519168-4-X Manchester Metropolitan University & The Portico Library Supported by the Zochonis Charitable Trust. 

2016 August to October. Funded by the Korean Cultural & Arts Centers Association, invited as one of 20 international designers to design a poster for a touring graphic design exhibition in celebration of the South Korea Winter Olympics in PyeongChang 2018. Touring exhibition, Taebaek, Yeongwol, Pyeongchang, and Jeongseon, 19/8/2016, 5/09/2016, 28/09/2016, 14/10/2016

2016 January. Awarded the International Award for Excellence - The Design Principles & Practices Journal Collection, annual International Award for Excellence for new research or thinking that has been recognized to be outstanding by members of the Design Principles & Practices Knowledge Community. Joe McCullagh and Jane McFadyen, Design Principles and Practices: An International Journal - Annual Review, Volume 8, pp. 17-29 

2015 October. Invited guest speaker to the World Design Congress: Eeum Design Connects, KDJ Convention Center, Gwangju, South Korea, 17-23 October 2015, in Eeum Design Connects. Lecture on: 'Design and Communication: Unpredictable Encounters'

2015 June. Graphic Poster Design for Visual Information Design Association of Korea VIDA Art Space Gallery of DaeWoong Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd. (163-1, Samsungdong, Kangnamgu Seoul, Korea) International Design Congress, KDJ Convention Center, Gwangju, Korea

2015 May. Journal article, 'Introducing ALF' Learning and Teaching in Action, CELT, Volume 1, Issue10, p12-20, Manchester Metropolitan University press

2014 March. CHEAD conference provocation paper co-authored with Professor David Crow, Jane McFadyen and Alan Holmes 'A context for new spaces in art and design' March 19-21

2014 January. McCullagh, J., McFadyen, J., 2014. Journal article: 'Design collaborations: the good, the bad and the unthinkable', Eighth International Conference on Design Principles and Practices, Vancouver, Canada, 16-18 January 2014, in Design principles, The Design Collection, Volume 8, pp. 17-29, 2014

2013 November. Graphic works exhibited as part of a Digital Design Group show, 2013. 'Seamless: the digital in design'. Museum of Architecture and Design, Ljubljana, Slovenia, 19 September-3 November, 2013.

March 2013. McCullagh, J., McFadyen, J., Holmes, A., Crow, D., McKeating, J, 2013. 'Unit X, future-proofing the undergraduate curriculum', Designing Design Education for India, DDEI Conference, Pune, India, March 2013, Proceedings DDEI 2013 curated by India Design Council. 

July 2012. Discourse III Exhibition, RIBA (Royal Institute of British Architecture Hub), Manchester, 16–20 July 2012. Curated design exhibition of international designer Dong Sik Hong.

2012 December. McCullagh, J., McFadyen, J., Holmes, A., Crow, D., McKeating, J, 2012. Paper: 'Re-make, re-model: this is design education tomorrow calling'. DesignEd Asia - Incorporating Disciplinary Dynamics Into Design Education, DesignEd Asia, Hong Kong Convention & Exhibition Centre, December 2012. Proceedings, 175-191 ISBN: 9789881672124 9881672120 .

2011 October. McCullagh, J., 2011. 'Old School, New School, Art School, contemporary art and design education', British Council, Taipei, Design Convention Centre, 23 October 2011. Paper presentation.

2011 May. McCullagh, J., 2011. The World Top 100 Design Schools, Taipei, World Trade Centre, Taiwan, October 22 to 30, 2011. Curated Design education exhibition.

2010 May. McCullagh, J 'Let's have a cross-cultural picnic!'. Being a 'pedagogic designer' - articulating the language of design and pedagogy by animating social, communicative and improvised cross-cultural learning spaces.' Pairings: Conversations, Collaborations, Materials, Manchester Metropolitan University, Manchester School of Art, 12–13 May 2011.

2010 May. McCullagh, J., 2010. Communication with the Natural Environment and Design - International Design Exhibition, 1, 2, 3 Gallery in Busan Metropolitan City and Gallery in Art Factory in Dadaepo, South Korea, May 31–June 5 and June 8 Monday-June14. Artwork exhibited.

2010 May. McCullagh, J., 2010. Love and Peace International Design Exhibition, Yiang Gallery, Seoul, South Korea, 19–25 May 2010. International group show. Artwork exhibited

2010 May. Radar: Review / Art / Design / Architecture / Research. Volume.1 Number 1. Co-Editor: McCullagh, J. F. and Swindells, S. University of Huddersfield. ISBN: 978-1-86218-084-0

2010 May. Graphics work exhibited as part of Busan International Design Festival, Busan Fine Arts Association, Busan, South Korea 1, 2, 3 Gallery Busan Metropolitan City Hall, Busan, South Korea (catalogue) Art Factory Gallery, Dadaepo, Busan, South Korea (catalogue)

2009 June. Invited designer, graphics work exhibited for the Busan International Design Festival Busan Fine Arts Association, Busan, June 2009, Busan Metropolitan Gallery, South Korea (catalogue)

2009 January/February. Exhibited graphics work at Everyday Design January 21–February 20, 2009. Centro de diseno, cine y television, Mexico City, (touring show)

2008 September. Invited designer for the Daegu International Poster Exhibition for Colourful Daegu and the 13th World Championships in Athletics 30th September 2008, Daegu Culture and Arts Center, Daegu, South Korea, (catalogue)

Recent presentations and conferences

2019 September Invited speaker, London Design Week, at the London College of Communication, UAL Design Symposia on Environmental and Social Sustainability in the Curriculum in conjunction with London Design Week and in association with GLAD.

2019 March Invited keynote panel speaker 'Design is Great' government campaign, on 'Future Creative Skills for Future Global Economies' industry business panel curated by the Department for International Trade, Hong Kong, Bridgewater Hall, Manchester 11 March.

2019 February Invited Keynote speaker for the National Technical Arts Conference, Manchester Metropolitan University, 15 Feb, 2019.

2018 May Invited speaker by the Malaysian Design Council at Universiti Teknologi, MARA, Malaysia May 2, 2018.

2018 January Invited judge for international Design Awards, 'Borderless Creativity

2018 March Invited lecture 'Changing our ways' - we need to not only look at 'ways of creating' but more increasingly 'ways of working' and 'ways of thinking' invited lecture with Fabrizio Cocchiarella at Ravensbourne University as part of Ravensbourne’s 20/20 education lecture series, March 15, 2018.

2017 October Invited speaker Ico-D, (International Council of Design) at the International Design Platform Meeting, presentation on 'Flux in the UK: Unpredictable Design education encounters.' 13–14 October held in conjunction with the World Design Summit.

2016 September Invited education panel member for 'Creative Education in the Making', Ravensbourne university Education and Industry Symposia on 'Creative Education in the Making', Ravensbourne University, 07 September, 2016.

2015 October Invited guest speaker to the World Design Congress 'Eeum' Design Connects, KDJ Convention Center, Gwangju, South Korea, 17-23 October 2015, in Eeum Design Connects. Lecture on: 'Design and Communication: Unpredictable Encounters'.

Media experience

Design press experience and external professional engagement:

2018 August/September Invited contributor to Creative Review, 'Change issue' feature article on 'Change in Education', feature 'Is education worth the money'.

2018 July Invited panel speaker by Design Week in partnership with the Design Council, New Designers Talks, 'The Design Economy' on the importance of design skills to the future economy, London, July 5, 2018. 

2018 May Creative Review, The importance of creative collaboration: a special report in partnership with Dropbox. pp. 4–5,8–9. Invited to contribute to a design research report on the role creative collaboration plays in creativity.  

2018 February Invited education VIP to Creative Review and Adobe, Creative Leaders roundtable event, on theme of 'Working lives', 22 February, 2018.

2017 September Invited academic panel speaker, London Design International Festival, London, London Design Week, 'Design Junction' curated by Design Week, panel member on theme of 'Design and Politics', 21–22 September, 2017. 

2015 March Design Council, design advocacy. 'Designers of the future: Seven ways to make the best even better'. Invited roundtable in a design education impact workshop at the Design Council on the subject of design education. A group of twenty leading figures from industry and education met to talk about how we can make the best of our design education even better.