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CLeaR Fellows 2014 – Dr Dermott McMeel

Digital technologies and their impact the built environment

Dr Dermott McMeelDermott holds a position in architectural research. His research seeks to advance understanding of technology’s influences on what we do and what we create. This has significant bearing on teaching and learning. Dermott’s particular focus is on design and on digital technologies that impact the built environment, both through its design and through its use. His current research has a focus on locative media and the disruptive effect of mobile devices on the ‘craft’ with design and construction, as well as technology’s ability to delaminate the presupposed social, political and cultural geography of our physical environment.

How can new technologies and changing pedagogy fit with teaching practical skills – a common challenge across design subjects? What is the place of the lecture now? Dermott says “the lecturer as inspiration still has a place.” For example: How do you take something out of NICAI (which might be perceived as out on an edge of the University), disseminate it and make it usable elsewhere? E.g., could the design studio model be transferred beyond the Faculty?

Dermott may consider running a symposium, similar to one on robots that he attended, which was hands on and produced a product. Some participants may later introduce robots into secondary schools as motivation for students learning trigonomotry.