2023 Sir Misha Black Medal for Distinguished Services to Design Education to be given to Professor Marie Redmond

The 1851 Royal Commission and the Sir Misha Black Awards Committee have announced that the Sir Misha Black Medal for Distinguished Services to Design Education for 2022 will be awarded to Professor Marie Redmond.

She will receive the Medal at a Ceremony to be held at Imperial College London, at 6pm on Thursday, November 16th 2023. Following the Medal presentation she will deliver a short address on her philosophy on design education and her pioneering work in developing cross-disciplinary design led education combining the humanities and sciences.

Professor Marie Redmond was born in Ireland and graduated from Trinity College, Dublin in 1972. She worked in the software industry in the UK and then in the USA for twelve years. While in the US, she spent time working in Cupertino at Apple Computer as part of a team building a network gateway between Digital Equipment Corporation’s platform and Apple’s software platform. Here she discovered the contribution and impact creative people could make to the overall design process for software. Concurrently she taught at MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology), working in The Writing Program in collaboration with the Media Lab and again witnessed the impact of cross disciplinary thinking and practice.

In 1990 Professor Redmond returned to Trinity College, Dublin and was asked to set up a research group in Multimedia Systems (now called Interactive Digital Media). The first researchers she engaged were designers, video producers, musicians, writers and software engineers. A spin-off company was set up in 1994 called X Communications, as a campus company, which, under Professor Redmond’s direction, created interactive installations in national cultural institutes.

In 2013 Professor Redmond designed and created a new MPhil course in Trinity College in partnership with the Institute of Creative and Cultural Entrepreneurship in Goldsmiths, University of London. The course was accredited by both Trinity College and Goldsmiths.

In 2015, Professor Redmond was invited by Ca’Foscari in Venice to develop a Masters’ programme in Digital Humanities followed by a second Master’s programme in Digital and Public Humanities, where she taught Design Thinking, Critical Theory and Creative and Cultural Entrepreneurship.

Professor Redmond has been a consultant with the European Commission on digital media and related sectors. She has curated shows on robotic art, and been a board member of theatre companies and film festivals and arts organisations.

The Sir Misha Black Awards Committee, in honouring Professor Redmond for her distinguished services to design education, recognises that her approach to innovation in design education resonates far beyond her own particular field and is true to the principles initially championed by Sir Misha Black in his work, now more than forty-six years ago, at both the Royal College of Art and Imperial College London.

Mary V Mullin, Chairman of the Sir Misha Black Awards Committee, commented:
“Professor Redmond has been a trailblazer in design education. She recognised the cumulative value of crosscultural, cross-disciplinary education and has seen her graduate students play key roles in digital media and creative industries in Ireland and internationally. She can be credited with changing how design education was conceived, marrying creativity with advanced pioneering technology to develop viable and exciting commercial applications.”

Professor Redmond has commented: “I am so honoured to receive this award especially as it is for design education - something I have been committed to in my teaching, research and projects. Design was not part of my formal education and when I understood that this was a serious omission in developing my skillset, I included design as a key element in the education programs that I developed. Misha Black is an inspiration to me and his pioneering work in both architecture and design has shown the importance of working across disciplines and how technology and the humanities use the same creative practices to develop more sustainable solutions.”