Jon Pengelly
Title: Dr
First Name: Jon
Surname: Pengelly
Position: Programme Leader Master's Art & Design
Telephone: 01224 263644

Duties and Responsibilities

Director Postgraduate Studies MA (2016 – present) MFA & MDes Contextualized Practice (2014-16). Coordination, planning, and delivery of course[s], enhancement of the subject area and also developing external networks and partnerships supporting socially and curatorial engaged practice based practitioner focused Masters program.

Gray’s School Research Degree Coordinator - In collaboration with the Graduate School Leader, supporting research degree supervision and maintenance of quality assurance, quality enhancement and academic standards within the school.

Previously: Product Design course Leader (BDes Hons 2006-11). Also delivering Design Methods & Visualisation Modules, together with facilitating and supporting the academic direction of studio based projects, whilst liaising with industry and project live clients. Strategic re-shaping of the curriculum content within the Design program towards delivering more focused Drawing and Visualisation programme across Design Program: Textiles & Fashion, Communication Design and 3D Design.

External & Commercial Roles

Operations Manager MAKE Aberdeen 2015 – present). MAKE is the only open access digital fabrication workshop (Fab Lab) in the North East and was only the second in Scotland. It provides affordable access and training to cutting edge new digital manufacturing tools such as laser cutters, 3D scanners and 3D printers. The facility and digital tools provided offer collaborative cross-sector opportunities, to our members, local companies, start enterprises etc. with the potential to create and Make just about anything you may wish to.

This role includes: management of MAKE Studio Manager, quarterly reporting to ACC, developing external collaboration and networks, CPD requirements, investment and forward planning. Working with schools and third sector towards developing and extending opportunities and membership base.

CITYLAB Project (2015- present) ‘where the City is the Classroom’. A Transdisciplinary collaborative project between Robert Gordon University (RGU), the University of Aberdeen, and Aberdeen City Council. The CityLab projects aim is to transform and innovate by supporting student led innovative solutions for City-wide change, in collaboration with key third sector stakeholders.

PhD Supervision and Examination

Supervisor: Bugali, Minure Hilal. 2016 - Completion 2017. “A Theoretical Framework for Design Practices for Social Innovation”. RGU Funded.

Principle 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.”

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

Supervisor team member, 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 External examiner, Josephine McCormick, “Application of CAD/CAM Technology in the Remediation of the Viscosity Printing Process”. University of Ulster, 2003

MDes Tutor on Masters Course at Gray’s School of Art between 2006-08

Regular internal reviewer for RGU Research Degrees MPhil and PhD transfers

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

  • Philosophical discourse around New Digital Topologies of Practice within Art & Design
  • Computer aided design and manufacturing technologies within the creative industries
  • Interdisciplinary, new pedagogic practices, and models of socially engaged and responsive design

Research and creative practice, which is interdisciplinary in nature has sought to challenge notions of making and manufacturing, whilst critically reflecting upon the impact that new computer 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, in light of a move from 3-D analogue to wholly digital 3-D physical forms.

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 the exhibited and curation of 3D computer generated artwork nationally and internationally.

Professional Memberships

Professional Body Membership, External and Peer Esteem

  • External Panel Member, MA Design Programme Periodic Review Sunderland University, 2017.
  • External Panel Member, BA Design Programme Periodic Review Sunderland University, 2014.
  • External Panel Member, Revalidation of MA Design Course, 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.
  • Invited Reviewer the Biennale of Electronic Arts (BEAP), Perth 2007
  • Board Member - Computers in Art & Design Education CADE now merged with CAS, Computer Art Society (2006 -)
  • Board Member & Chairman, Peacock Visual Arts Centre for Contemporary Art, Aberdeen (2002-7).


  1. “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
  2. “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.

Additional Information / Media work / Funding

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.