Derek Jones is a Senior Lecturer in Sustainable Design at the Open University (OU), a distance learning institution in the UK. Derek started at the OU as an Associate Lecturer in 2010, became a full-time lecturer in 2013, and has been in his current role since 2015. He has 15 years’ experience as an architect and designer, crossing many discipline boundaries and roles.
Derek has also been an OU student (studying mathematics), has taught engineering studio at master’s level, and has created several online modules in Architectural Technology for FE colleges. Learning and teaching are twin passions in his professional and personal life. Derek's teaching role includes responsibility for producing learning and teaching materials, developing new curricula and qualifications, and leading and supporting academic colleagues and teams across the institution.
Derek's knowledge in distance design education is built on the relationship between teaching, research and the interactions of these within the design education community. His research focuses on studio methods and how these are applied online and in distributed communities of practice. Derek champions social learning, design studio pedagogy and developing high-quality scholarship within the broader community of design educators.
In the global education community, he is recognised as a leader and expert in design education through his research and work with the Design Research Society. Derek is a passionate advocate for the value of design education as a mode of learning and teaching. Studio teaching offers a particular mix of openness and structure that can uniquely support diverse ways of expressing knowledge in different subject domains. Derek actively seeks out and promotes this diversity in his teaching and scholarship to broaden participation and improve inclusion in design education studios in the local, national and international communities he contributes to.