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Dean of Graduate Studies & Professor, College for Creative Studies

Dr Ian Lambert is the Dean of Graduate Studies and Professor at the College for Creative Studies (CCS), Detroit, one of the USA's leading art and design schools. Prior to this, he was the Head of Design, Photography & Advertising, as well as Director of the Art & Design Research Centre at Edinburgh Napier University overseeing research and knowledge exchange activity within the academic team. Ian's own research interests are in making-as-thinking, circular design and ocean plastic. He is on the steering group for the RTD conference series having co-chaired RTD 2017.

Ian has almost 30 years of experience in design education. He worked as an independent and freelance designer from 1990 to 1999, concurrently teaching design part-time in colleges and universities in the West Midlands and then London. He has worked in education full-time since 1999 while maintaining design practice, along with research and knowledge exchange (R&KE) projects.

Ian has exhibited work widely across the UK since 1990, including at the London Design Festival (2005 and 2006), and The Lighthouse in Glasgow, and his work has been published and reviewed in national newspapers and design magazines as well as on BBC Radio 4. He will be showing work in Detroit and Shanghai at the end of 2019.

He has a PhD from the University of Edinburgh, an MA from Central St. Martins College of Art & Design, London (now part of UAL), and a BA (Hons) degree in 3D Design (Furniture) from Birmingham Polytechnic.


  • 2019–present
    Dean of Graduate Studies, College for Creative Studies, Detroit
  • 2009–2019
    Head of Design, Advertising & Photography, Edinburgh Napier University
  • 2001–2009
    Lecturer, Edinburgh Napier University
  • 1998–2000
    Senior Lecturer, Surrey Institute for Art & Design


  • 2019 
    University of Edinburgh, PhD
  • 1999 
    Central St. Martins College of Art & Design, MA
  • 1990 
    Birmingham Polytechnic, BA (Hons) 3D Design

Grants and Contracts

  • 2018
    Ocean Plastic
    Funding Source:
    Carnegie Trust for Universities of Scotland