The Design Academy

The Design Academy considers critical issues of design, and fosters dialogue through its programming, exhibitions, and collaborations. Three themes are explored each year.

At the heart of A/D/O is the Design Academy, which offers a range of programming for professional designers, intended to provoke and invigorate their creative practices. It informs every aspect of the A/D/O experience, from events to installations, and explores a new theme every season.


At a time when perceptions of the world are increasingly 
polarized and consensus seems impossible to achieve, the second season from the Design Academy at A/D/O examines the role of design in forming identity and constructing shared experience. Cutting through attention-grabbing stimuli and excessive noise, we examine the power of design to harness physiology, culture and technology to heighten our understanding of a shared world.

Coming Up.


This season’s Common Sense programming will feature talks from the following.

Jay Osgerby

Jay Osgerby began the eponymous London-based, design studio Barber & Osgerby in 1996 with fellow alumnus Edward Barber. In 2001 Barber & Osgerby established the architecture and interior design practice Universal Design Studio and in 2012 they founded Map Project Office, specialising in research and strategy-led design. Their diverse body of work spans industrial design, furniture and site-specific installations as well as limited edition pieces. Public commissions include the London 2012 Olympic Torch and projects for the Royal Mint. Their work is held in permanent museum collections around the world including the V&A and Design Museum in London, Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York and Art Institute of Chicago.

Jay attained his Master’s degree in Architecture at London’s Royal College of Art, and in 2004 Barber and Osgerby received the prestigious Jerwood Applied Arts Prize. In 2007 Jay was awarded ‘Royal Designer for Industry’ by the RSA. He has an honorary doctorate from Oxford Brookes University and is a fellow of Ravensbourne College. In 2013 Jay was awarded an OBE for his services to the design industry.

The studio is currently working with leading global manufacturers Axor, B&B Italia, Flos, Hermès, Knoll and Vitra.

Harry Parr

Bompas & Parr is globally recognised as the leading expert in multi-sensory experience design.

Harry Parr and Sam Bompas first came to prominence through their expertise in jelly-making, but the business rapidly grew into a fully fledged creative studio offering food and drink design, brand consultancy and immersive experiences across a diverse number of industries.

The founders’ backgrounds in marketing and architecture play a key role in the positioning and nature of the studio’s output and, along with a diverse spread of talents among the 20-strong team, Bompas & Parr activations boast a bold ambition, distinct aesthetic style and interpretive vigour that’s unrivalled among creative agencies. The studio works to experiment, develop and produce projects and experiences as well as provide strategy, analysis and advice for brands to increase consumer engagement through experience design.

Chandler Burr

Chandler Burr is the former New York Times scent critic where he wrote the Times’ Scent Notes column and curator of the Department of Scent Art based in New York. He has authored two non-fiction books on scent, "The Emperor of Scent " about a maverick biophysicist’s theory of smell and "The Perfect Scent: A Year Inside the Perfume Industry in Paris & New York", which began as an article Burr wrote for The New Yorker magazine; it recounts Hermès perfume Jean-Claude Ellena’s creation of the perfume “Un Jardin sur le Nil” and Sarah Jessica Parker’s direction of her perfume “Lovely.”

In 2010 Burr founded the Department of Scent Art (DSA) at the Museum of Arts and Design in New York City. His first exhibition as the Department’s curator was The Art of Scent 1889-2012 (Nov 2012 - March 2013). Today the DSA is partnered with the non-profit arts organization Art Beyond Sight. In September 2014 he curated “Hyper-Natural: Scent from Design to Art” at the National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne. He also creates scent dinners around the world collaborating with chefs including Lea Linster, Daniel Boulud, Vito Mollica, and Jean-Georges Vongerichten.

He is author of the novel “You Or Someone Like You.”

Arche Lee Coates IV

Archie Lee Coates IV is a co-founder and partner at PLAYLAB, INC., a New York based creative practice founded in 2009. With no particular focus, they explore themes that interest them, using art, architecture, and graphic design to initiate ideas. Past projects have included: giant worm tents for the New Museum of Contemporary Art and Storefront For Art & Architecture, a re-brand of America for SFMOMA, and a compilation of all the times Joaquin Phoenix has walked in his films, titled Walking Phoenix. In 2011, he co-founded the quarterly publication called CLOG, and in 2010 he co-founded + POOL with Family New York, an initiative to build the world’s first water-filtering floating pool in New York, of which he is Executive Director. He also makes paintings under the name Otto Milo.