Jon Pengelly
Title: Dr
First Name: Jon
Surname: Pengelly
Position: Course Leader - Master's Art & Design
Telephone: +44 (0) 1224 263644
Linkedin: LinkedIn Icon

Jon is currently Course Leader (2016 – present) for the Masters Programme, and also Module Leader for Stage 4 Hons Dissertation.

Jon studied for his MA in Fine Art Printmaking at the Royal College of Art in 1989, before undertaking his PhD at Robert Gordon University, his thesis offered a critical and practice-based examination of the environmental impact material selection have on artists practice and wellbeing.

 His current research examines discourse around new digital modes of practice within Art & Design, together with computer aided design and manufacturing technologies impact within the creative industries.

Duties and Responsibilities

Masters Art & Design Course Leader (2016 – present). Responsible for coordination, planning, and delivery of course specialist routes in: Fine Art, Communication Design, Fashion & Textiles, and Product Design.

Responsible for the enhancement of the subject area[s] and developing external networks and partnerships in supporting professional practices across the programme.

Directly responsible for all core modules: Applied Practice – research and reflection, Critical Contextual Studies & Research Methods, Personal Development & Professional Networks, Masters Project.

Module Coordinator for Hons Dissertation Module, for Fine Art and Design students.

Academic Background

1992-1996, PhD, 'Environmentally Sensitive Printmaking: A Framework for Safe Practice', Robert Gordon University, Gray’s School of Art, (EPSRC Funded)
1987-1989, MA, Royal College of Art, London.

1982-1986, BA (Hon) Fine Art, West Surrey College of Art and Design, Farnham, Surrey

Research Interests

Three core thematic areas of interest:

  • Critical Writing: Philosophical discourse around New Digital Topologies of Practice within Art & Design
  • MAKE: computer aided design and manufacturing technologies within the creative industries, digital commons and open course
  • CITYLAB: Interdisciplinary, new pedagogic practices, and models of socially engaged and responsive design

Research and creative practice is interdisciplinary in nature and has sought to challenge notions of making and manufacturing, whilst critically reflecting upon the impact that new computer and mediated forms of manufacturing and production have on disciplinary 'norms' or designated boundaries we might seek to apply within Art & Design. Research critically examines the ‘physical’, ‘haptic’ and ‘temporal’ inferences and expectations commonly associated with traditional definitions of creative practice. Jon has developed this research through publication, presented at numerous international conferences, supervision of Ph.D. research within this area across both Design and Fine Art disciplines, and through innovative teaching platforms and curation of 3D computer generated artwork nationally and internationally.

Current Research

2016-18, MAKE Aberdeen, Operation Manager. Oversight and liaison between local authority and university for this project and collaboration between Aberdeen City Council, and Robert Gordon University. With aim to provide city centre facility supporting high end digital design & production for students, members of the public, and importantly industry. MAKE Aberdeen provided cutting edge technology including 3D printing, 3D scanning, rapid prototyping, laser cutting and wide format digital printing equipment. 

2016-18, CITYLAB Project - live interdisciplinary teaching platform developed in collaboration across RGU, Aberdeen University and Aberdeen City Council, to develop a structured programme where the ‘City is the Classroom’ co-creating, designing and delivering projects that tangibly respond to and engage with real world issues within the City. [ ] 

PhD Supervision and Examinations

Principal Supervisor: Bugali, Minure Hilal. 2014 - Completion 2018. “A Theoretical Framework for Design Practices for Social Innovation”. RGU Funded.

Principal Supervisor: Paul Thomson – Start 2008  (Part-time) “A practice based examination of the physical and temporal boundaries of the digitally transferred image within visual arts.”

Principal Supervisor: John Marshall - 2004 – Completion 2007 “An Exploration of Interdisciplinary Art Practice Enabled by 3D Computer technologies”. RGU funded studentship,   

Supervisor team, Kefeng Zhang, “Virtual Sculpting with Implicit Objects” Computing Technologies Center, RGU. 2002-2006   

Examiner (internal), Kirsty Cull, “The Influence of Product Design on Sustainable Patterns of Consumption”, Robert Gordon University, 2004   

Examiner (internal), Jiun-Jhy Her,  A generative Framework for Computer-based Interactive Art in Mass Transport Systems.

PhD Examiner (external), Josephine McCormick, “Application of CAD/CAM Technology in the Remediation of the Viscosity Printing Process”. University of Ulster, 2003


AHRB Small Grant, 2002. PI

“Developing printed artworks using computer-aided-design technology - towards establishing an innovative three-dimensional visual syntax within printmaking”.

This successful grant supported the DrawingOut Cluster in creating new works for international exhibitions and conference papers. 

Scottish Natural Heritage - 2001

Developing New Media Artworks addressing environmental issues within NE Scotland.

  • Scottish Arts Council, various grants, 2000-01-02 & 11
  • Artist Award[s] and International Development Awards,
  • Year of the Artist Grant from Southern Arts, 2000
  • Year of the Artist Residency, Greenham Common.
  • Scottish Cultural Resource Access Network (SCRAN)- 1999
  • Developing visual archive for Hinterland new-technology print based project.


Professional Memberships

External / Professional Roles

  • External Examiner MA Fine Art, Sunderland University (2022 -  )
  • External Panel Member, BA 3D Design Programme Validation, Open University for York Collage (2022)
  • External Panel Member, MA Design Programme Periodic Review Sunderland University, 2017.
  • External Panel Member, BA Hons Design Programme Periodic Review Sunderland University, 2014.
  • External Panel Member, Revalidation of MA Design, Plymouth University, Faculty of Arts 2012.
  • Invited Speaker AHRC Digital Transformations ‘Moot’, London Nov 2012.
  • External examiner BA Interdisciplinary Art & Design, Forth Valley College, 2009-12
  • Invited Reviewer, Art Papers SIGGRAPH, Los Angeles 2012. Biennale of Electronic Arts (BEAP), Perth 2007
  • Board Member - Computers in Art & Design Education CADE now merged with CAS, Computer Art Society (2006 - 12)

Board Member & Chairman, Peacock Visual Arts Centre for Contemporary Art, Aberdeen (2002-7).


  1. “Immateriality” Making Futures Conference, Plymouth College of Art, Sept, 2017.
  2. “Digital Object Topologies: Transitions between Utility, Form and Intent”. In ‘Empowering Users Through Design: Interdisciplinary Studies & Combined Approach to Technical Products and Services’. Ed. David Bihanic, Publisher Springer, 2014
  3. “Digital 3D Prints”. In Post-Physical Printmaking: CNC Principles & Practices for Artists, Dr. Angela Geary, 2011, A&C Black

Refereed Journal Article[s]

  1. Marshall, J., & Pengelly, J. "Computer Technologies and Tran-disciplinary discourse: critical drivers for hybrid design practice" Co Design Journal, published 2006.

Conference Papers

  1. Pengelly, J & Scharlau, B. “CityLab: The City is the Classroom”, HEA Annual Conference, Edinburgh, 2016.
  2. Fairburn, S. Heeley, R,. Pengelly, J,. Crossen, D. “Crossing over, Into and back: Design Disciplines & Identities”, E&PDE Conference, Denmark, 2016.
  3. Thompson, P. & Pengelly, J. “Social Networking and Affinity Spaces - the Virtual Atelier”, 3rd Annual International Conference on Visual and Performing Arts, Athens, Greece 2012
  4. Rodgers, J., Pengelly, J., & Bernie, S. "Is this More Self Service", Engineering & Product Design Education Conference, 2007
  5. Rodgers, J., Pengelly, J., & Bernie, S. "Is this Self Service", Engineering & Product Design Education Conference, 2006
  6. Pengelly, J & Marshall, J., “Perimeters, Boundaries and Borders: Hybrid Objects in the Convergent Fields of Sculpture, Industrial Design and Architecture”, 3rd Engineering & Product Design Education Conference. Napier University, Edinburgh, September 2005.
  7. Pengelly, J., “New Topologies of Practice: the digital object and evolving critical language addressing notions of digital authenticity and authorship”, AHRC funded symposium Goldsmiths College, April 2005.
  8. Haworth, J. & Gollifer, S., Faure-Walker, J., Coldwell, P,. Kemp, T., & Pengelly, J. “Freedom and Constraint in the Creative Process in Fine Art”, Creativity and Cognition Conference: Creative Process & Artefact, Goldsmiths College, and London, April 2005.
  9. Pengelly, J. & Marshall, J., “A Exploration of Interdisciplinary Art Practice Enabled by 3D Computer technologies”. 6th International Conference on Computer-aided-Industrial Design & Conceptual Design, Delft, Netherlands, April 2005.
  10. Pengelly, J. & Ringe, S, Maxwell, R., Henderson, D., Dunbar, L., “Drawing Out Digital Media”, Pixel Raiders Conference, Sheffield Hallam University, 2004
  11. Pengelly, J. & Ringe, S., “Mapping the Territory: towards new mediated topologies of practice”, Computers in Art & Design Education, University of Lincoln, Hull, 2003
  12. Pengelly, J., “Developing Artworks using Computer-aided-design technology towards establishing an innovative three-dimensional visual syntax”, Creativity & Embodied Mind Symposium, Deluxe Gallery London 2002.
  13. Pengelly, J., “Developing Artworks using Computer-aided-design technology” Exposition, 4th Creativity and Cognition Conference, Loughborough, 2002.
  14. Pengelly, J., “Pushing the Envelope from 2D into 3D printmaking using Rapid Prototyping Technology” also panel chair: New Media Practices, IMPACT 2, UIAH, Helsinki, Finland 2001.
  15. Pengelly, J., “HoldingPattern: using rapid prototyping to create fake histories”, , CADE, Glasgow 2001.
  16. Pengelly, J., “Tradition & New Technology in Printmaking”. Southern Graphics Conference, University of Miami, 2000.
  17. Pengelly, J., “My Only Skin: issues of personality and identity using multimedia”, Interactive Frictions Conference, University of Southern California, 1999.

Media Coverage

CityLab – “Students’ learning space widens with city smart benches”


Evening Express

Tuk-In Project developed from Student Innovation programme, CityLab. a Partnership between Aberdeen City Council, Aberdeen University & Robert Gordon University.