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May 14: London-based Designers Appointed to Prestigious Carnegie Mellon School of Design Visiting Professorship


Eric Sloss

London-based Designers Appointed to Prestigious
Carnegie Mellon School of Design Visiting Professorship

Wildman DurrantPITTSBURGH—Gill Wildman and Nick Durrant of Plot, a British design firm, have been appointed to the Nierenberg Chair of Design at Carnegie Mellon University's School of Design for the 2010-2011 academic year. The Nierenberg Chair of Design is recognized as one of the most important appointments in design education in the United States.

Wildman and Durrant will teach undergraduate courses in industrial design and communication design, and graduate courses in communication planning and information design, interaction design and product development.

"This is an amazing opportunity and we're really thrilled to have been chosen," Wildman said. "We hope to catalyze new things, sharing our knowledge from what we've learned in the UK and Europe, but we're not making any assumptions before we go. Instead this is about complementing their practice, seeing if we can stretch it a bit. Hopefully we'll have little forays outside the School of Design by infiltrating other areas of the university and learn some things ourselves."

The pair anticipates working with students in areas such as service innovation and social entrepreneurship, and in investigating how design and its applications are changing. They will reference their own work and research into digital cities, psycho-geography and ubiquitous computing.

"Carnegie Mellon has an excellent reputation, and we especially admire how disciplines from the School of Design connect to complementary disciplines across the spectrum of design practice," Wildman said.

The Nierenberg Chair of Design was established as a visiting professorship through a generous gift from Theodore D. Nierenberg, co-founder of Dansk International Design, a Carnegie Mellon alumnus and emeritus life trustee of the university. Nierenberg, who died in July 2009, played an influential role in the international development and promotion of design. The Nierenberg Chair appointee is an outstanding individual who has achieved national or international prominence in design or a design-related field. The aim of the Nierenberg Chair is to enhance the vitality of the School of Design for students and faculty alike, by encouraging dialogue on important issues of the field, exploration of contemporary forms of design practice, and research that affects future practice and understanding.

Plot uses a workshop and prototyping approach to explore creative business strategies, innovations, propositions, products, services and new ways of working together. Much of Plot's work involves exploring the contexts of their clients' work, while helping them to achieve progress. Plot clients include Virgin Atlantic, Norwich Union, Imperial College, Helen Hamlyn Research Centre, Smartsensor Telemed, Samsung, Interbrand, The Cooperative, Ordnance Survey, Community Action Network, Nokia Research, Nokia Design, Bath and Glasgow city councils, the BBC and Plastic Logic. For more information about Plot, Wildman or Durrant visit


Pictured above are Gill Wildman and Nick Durrant of Plot.