I am an industrial designer, design historian and design educator. I trained initially as an engineer before studying Industrial Design. I have since worked as an in-house designer, a design manager and as a director of a design consultancy. When I became a design educator I took an MA in the History of Design. My work on the social history of computing technology eventually led to a PhD.
I am currently Professor of Design & Design History at Sheffield Hallam University. I have spoken at a number of conferences around the world, written books, and had articles published in a number of international design journals.
My academic research covers a wide variety of subjects, all concerned in one way or another with the relationship between society and technology. The relationship between people and technological artefacts is explored through my writings on the design history of computers. The impact of the society-technology relationship on the design profession is explored through my writings on professional versus amateur design, including work on Open Design and the history of DIY. The future impact of emerging technologies on the nature of design is explored through my practice-based research into Post Industrial Manufacturing.
Paul Atkinson Design