Peter Barker is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, an MA in Industrial Design graduate from the Royal College of Art and former Head of Industrial & Communication Design at Design School Kolding. His role at Plymouth College of Art saw him return to England after three years in Denmark at Design School Kolding, which is regularly ranked as one of Europe’s top 50 design schools. During his time there Peter created opportunities for students to work with global brands such as NASA and provided design consultancy for brands including LEGO Group.
With over thirty years of international experience in industrial design practice and design teaching, including working with the LEGO Foundation to create a new MA Design for Play programme, Peter joined Design School Kolding in August 2015, first as Head of Industrial Design, then as Director of Education, and finally as Head of Industrial & Communication Design.
Prior to this Peter was BA (Hons) Product Design Course Leader at Central Saint Martins, UAL, Assistant Professor in Industrial Design at California State University, Long Beach, and Programme Manager for Coventry University Industrial Design courses. Before switching to design education, he spent over a decade working first as a designer at the Moulton Bicycle Company, and then as a design consultant in London and the Midlands across a range of disciplines.
As an educator, Peter has facilitated opportunities for students to work with international brands including Oakley, Jaguar Land Rover, Rodial Cosmetics, Flying Tiger Copenhagen, Razor USA, and Sebastian Conran.
As the Head of School, Design + Communication here at Plymouth College of Art, Peter has worked closely with our Academic Dean to develop our new School of Design + Communication. As Head of School, Peter brings new ideas and expertise to bear on the consolidation, development, and innovation of the programmes that we offer, supporting the college’s commitment to creative pedagogy, interdisciplinary exchange, collaboration, and social impact.
Coventry University Department of Industrial Design: winner of The Queen’s Anniversary Prize for Higher Education 2008 and Sir Misha Black Award for Excellence in Design Education 2007
Central Saint Martins: winner of The Queen’s Anniversary Prize for Higher Education 2013
FRSA Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts 1998
MGOMW Member of the Guild of Motoring Writers 2009
MCSD Member of the Chartered Society of Designers 1984-2009
Commissions for Industrial Design of metrology equipment including Profile 30 and 80 profile checking machines, CM700 coordinate measuring machine and af-X aerofoil laser measuring machine.
Brown and Sharpe Ltd, UK and USA.
Design work exhibited in London, Zurich, Chicago and Birmingham.
Conference chairman – Graduate Enterprise, Coventry University
An early and visionary attempt to inject enterprise into higher education thinking based upon the success of Coventry’s industrial design education and graduates. Led directly to the formation of Coventry University’s Techno Park and Graduate Business programmes
Collaborative live projects with MDes/BSc(Hons) Industrial Product Design finalists for companies including Speedo, Volkswagen AG, Orange, Nokia, Linde Handling, Network Rail and others.
1994 – 2012
Editorial consultancy IPC Media Ltd/Kelsey Publishing
Editorial contributions on the design and development of the Mini car and its impact upon society and life in Britain from 1959 to the present day.
‘Problem Solving or Design Opportunity?’ P.Barker SEED conference, Coventry University
An investigation of the differing employment expectations and outcomes between arts based Consumer Product Design graduates and engineering based Industrial Product Design graduates at Coventry.
‘The aerodynamics of close coupled motorcycles’ P.Barker, G.le Goode, R.Penrose MIRA conference proceedings
The combined aerodynamic characteristics of motorcycles and riders have a significant effect on performance and handling. On the road and the track, motorbikes may travel in close proximity so that the flow regime of one machine interferes with the other. In this investigation the influence on aerodynamic characteristics due to the proximity of two motorbikes was undertaken using generic small-scale models in the Coventry University Wind Tunnel. Significant changes in the characteristics were found for one-behind the other arrangements and also for combinations of lateral and longitudinal displacements.
Driving skills, education and new vehicle technology P.Barker, A.Woodcock International Journal of Vehicle Design Vol55, Nos 2/3/4
Using an interview with former rally driver and advanced driving trainer, Rauno Aaltonen, as its impetus, this study explores developments in in-vehicle technology and the challenges such systems create for ergonomics and driver training.
Driver Fatigue and the Vehicle Control Interface conference paper, 8th International Conference on Managing Fatigue, Fremantle Western Australia
Driver Fatigue and the Vehicle Control Interface during long distance rallies P.Barker CEPAD proceedings Coventry University
It is assumed that the interaction between a vehicle and its driver alters as that driver becomes fatigued. Using long distance rally driving as its context, this study based upon the analysis of in-car video recordings, investigates the changes in driver movement patterns over many hours at the wheel and draws conclusions as to the changing relationship between driver and the vehicle control interface (VCI). In a rally car there is the additional factor over a road car of a co-driver from whom the driver receives instructions as to the vehicle’s required direction and speed.
Mini – a vehicle for social change in Britain 1959 to 1979
This research falls into the territory between industrial design and social history. The impact of the Mini car during the first 20 years of its production life from 1959 to 1979 including its impact upon social development will be explored. Using the author's developing personal library of first hand interviews with personalities, buyers, drivers, designers and engineers associated with the Mini developed over the last ten years and using other sources of historical and contemporary material, thematic analysis will facilitate the drawing out of significant strands. These themes will be further validated by archival contextual information wherever possible. Current research strands include design strategy, social influence, marketing strategies and common user experience.
Making Mini – research poster for faculty conference CSULB Long Beach California
How the scene was set for the birth and life of Britain’s greatest small car. Peter Barker, Assistant Professor in Industrial Design, Department of Design, at CSULB looks at the political, social, sporting and economic conditions that helped bring Mini to life and success through its first sixty years.
Design Dynasties – a study of Britain’s premiere design families and their heritage: newdesign magazine, London
Over the last half century British product design has been heavily influenced by the work of several prominent design families. Peter Barker looks at the multi-generational heritage of our design dynasties.
BA Product Design course writing for National Design School of Azirbaijan, Curriculum and module writing for multi discipline BA Design courses suitable for this developing nation.
Dr Alex Moulton CBE RDI 1920-2012 – a half-day seminar on the life and works of this highly influential designer and engineer
Chaired by Professor Sir Christopher Frayling this half day seminar included presentations from Sebastian Conran, Tony Hadland, Dominic Stone, Dan Farrell and Peter Barker on the bicycle, automotive and other works of this seminal figure of 20th century British design. Hosted by Professor Janet McDonnel of Central Saint Martins School of Arts & Design and introduced by Professor Jeremy Till, Head of Central Saint Martins.
Nov 2015 to June 2016
Cycle Revolution, The Design Museum London
Exhibition included Moulton AM-ATB innovative spaceframe full suspension mountain bike designed by Dr Alex Moulton and Peter Barker 1987-88
26 January 2016
Interview with Tim Brown, CEO of IDEO, Central Saint Martins
Live interview with Tim Brown, author of ‘Change by Design’ (2009) and proponent of Design Thinking.
Visual communication as a driver for innovation, seminar to The Lego Group, DK
One day seminar on the use of visual communication tools in facilitating innovation for Lego value chain.
Designing quality interactions, seminar to Sino Finnish Design Centre, Tongji University, Shanghai
‘Human interactions with technology take many forms including physical and digital. In this talk I offer my experience and give some case studies relating to over 25 years of working in and thinking about this field of design’.
Alex Moulton and the Mini: a lecture on the development of the Mini car focussing on the role of Dr Alex Moulton in its genesis. Given at The Hall, Bradford on Avon, Alex Moulton’s former home and now the location of the Alex Moulton Charitable Trust.
Joye Barker (Higgs) 1907-1969: a joint presentation with Professor Judith Noble on the life and work of surrealist artist Joye Higgs. Given at the second Conference of the International Society for the Study of Surrealism, ‘Surrealisms’ at the University of Exeter.