Michelle is an experienced senior design academic and design consultant having worked at both national and international institutions like the Royal College of Art, Brunel University, University of Salford, San Francisco State University, University of Technology Sydney and Ravensbourne London.
She has lectured in both undergraduate and postgraduate subjects from design thinking and graphics to product & interaction design. Having studied her MA at Central Saint Martins, London (1997-99), Michelle began an academic career in 2000 and has continued freelancing and consulting in parallel with academia. She recently returned to her native Northern Ireland after having spent 16 years living in London as a base.
Her PhD study investigates the ‘Eco-systems of design driven practices within the Creative Industries in Northern Ireland’. This research will analyse habits, processes and work ethos within the NI Design community with a view to producing a thorough overview of how we live and work as designers here.
Michelle was Head of Product & Interaction Design degree courses in Ravensbourne London between 2006 – 2013. During this time, she worked on live projects with Barclays Head Office, Samsung Design Europe, M&S Head Office and co-produced Designathons with IDEO London and FutureGov. Her students have won D&AD Yellow Pencils, RSA Awards, Audi Foundation Awards and New Designers ‘Designer of the Year’ award.
She is currently an External Examiner at the Royal College of Art, London for MA Design Products and previously MA Design: Product and Space at Kingston University and BEng/MEng Design and Innovation at Queen Mary University, London. Michelle set up MakerDay Belfast in 2014 as an observational collaborative design weekend, enabling a multi-disciplinary approach to problem solving for social innovation, using a variation of hi/lo tech and emerging digital/rapid prototyping tools. She also organised and chaired a Creative Economies seminar in Carrick-on-Shannon which reached an international audience with leading academic speakers on issues of Creative and Design Economy.
She is a regular commentator and speaker on the future directions of design and intersections with business and is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts.