Leonard Smith
First Name: Leonard
Surname: Smith
Position: Head of Department: Design
Telephone: +44 (0)1224 263616

Leonard Smith’s role as Head of Undergraduate Studies involves him working closely with the course leaders and the senior management team of the school to ensure the best possible learning experience for Gray’s students.

Prior to his current appointment LS has undertaken a succession of roles at Gray’s including:

  • Lecturer in First Year Studies
  • Course Leader for Three Dimensional Design
  • Course Leader for Design for Industry
  • BDes Programme Director
  • 3D Design Programme Leader
  • Head of Department: Design
  • Acting Associate/Acting Head of School

Throughout his academic career he has also been an external examiner at other UK universities, sat on/or convened various RGU committees and validations. 

Research Interests

The impact of convergent technologies on craft practice and three dimensional visual language.

Craft practice has always required makers to establish their own relationship with material properties, capabilities and with manufacturing processes. Individual makers decide to produce work which resides within established or traditional genres of objects, or to produce innovative work which challenges our notions of familiarity.

Within this context the development of new materials and methods of manufacturing has always been directly reflected in the visual language and forms of expression employed by makers producing artifacts of adornment and functionality.

The digital revolution offers craft practitioners the potential to access rapid manufacturing processes and technologies which would recently have only been in the domain of large hi-tech manufacturing companies.

It also offers the potential to communicate and interact with consumers, clients and other makers in ways which are rapidly evolving.

This convergence of digitally based practices offers makers new ways of thinking, making, communicating and selling their work. It also requires new definitions about the role of the maker as notions of co-creation and customisation develop.

Within this context Leonard's interests are focused on two distinct themes:

  • The impact of digitally mediated craft practice on current and future three dimensional visual language.
  • The impact of the digital revolution on current and future craft education.

Teaching Interests

The use of digital technologies to enhance learning and teaching support for studio based practices and the evolving roles of staff and students within this context.