The Design Academy

At the heart of A/D/O is the Design Academy, which considers critical issues of design, and fosters dialogue through its programming, exhibitions, and collaborations. Its seasonal presentations are intended to provoke and invigorate creative practices.



The second season from the Design Academy at A/D/O will consider how radical re-imaginings of the environment could fundamentally alter perception. In a social climate where consensus often seems impossible to achieve, maybe our most basic faculties — texture and scent, taste and impression — can cut through localized differences. We will explore what  designers’ work at intersection of physiology, culture and technology might mean for the future.


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

Jay Osgerby

Jay Osgerby and fellow Royal College of Art alumnus Edward Barber began the London-based design studio Barber & Osgerby in 1996. In 2001 they established the architecture and interior design practice Universal Design Studio and in 2012 the pair launched MAP, a strategy-based industrial design studio that draws on their creative and commercial skills to provide clients with research, creative direction, and design intuition. The work of Barber & Osgerby spans industrial design, furniture and site-specific installations as well as limited edition pieces. Public commissions include the torch for the London 2012 Olympic Games, 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, the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York and the Art Institute of Chicago.

Harry Parr

Harry Parr founded the multi-sensory experience design firm Bompas & Parr with Sam Bompas in 2007. A globally-recognised expert in multi-sensory experience design, their offerings include food and drink design, brand consultancy and the creation of immersive experiences. Blurring the boundaries between art, design, and dining, they have featured on Heston Blumenthal's "Feast," hosted a gelatin banquet for over 2000 people with jellies designed by leading architects, and created the first "walk-in cocktail."

Chandler Burr

Chandler Burr is the curator of the Department of Scent Art at the Museum of Art and Design and the former New York Times scent critic. He is the author of "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 for The New Yorker; 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.” Burr is the author of the novel “You Or Someone Like You,” and the creative director of a perfume by the same name, produced by Etat Libre d'Orange.

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 whatever combination of art, architecture, and graphic design are required. 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 CLOG, and in 2010 he co-founded +POOL, an initiative to build the world’s first water-filtering floating pool in New York.


New Reality Company.

Led by Milica Zec and Winslow Porter, New Reality Co. is a pioneer of immersive, haptic virtual reality experiences, including “Giant,” part of the New Frontiers selection at the 2016 Sundance Film Festival; and Tree, featured at the Tribeca Film Festival and at Cannes in 2017. They are a recipient of the Unreal Dev Grant from Epic Games.