Dr Bethan Gordon MSC BSc PGCE FHEA

bethan-gordon-150px.jpgPhD MSC BSc (Hons) PGCE FHEA

Acting Dean of Cardiff School of Art and Design 
e: bgordon@cardiffmet.ac.uk
t: 02920 416661

Specialist Subject Areas

Product Design.  Human Centred Design.  Usability Testing. Design Process, Recreating Environments for usability testing.  Design Thinking.  Education, Learning and Teaching.  Curriculum Design & Development. Creativity and Innovation.  


BSc (Hons) Product Design and Manufacture. University of Wales.
PgC Teaching in Further and Higher Education. University of Wales.
MSc Multimedia. University of Wales
PhD Keeping it Real the potential for accessible mixed-reality usability testing environments.   Cardiff Metropolitan University 


I am the Acting Dean for Cardiff School of Art & Design and apply Human Centred Design methodology to develop the students and staff experience and I apply design thinking to influence University change.  I have a longstanding design research expertise and working with industry to develop and refine their HCD process. My focus has been on contextual simulation, where my PhD research has informed guidelines for fidelity levels required in user development scenarios. The development of such design-focussed research inevitably develops design thinking expertise. This design thinking expertise has since been applied to a Welsh Government project concerning Primary and Secondary school teachers.  Design Thinking was used to underpin the approaches used in Professional Enquiry projects, and, ultimately, the tools and methods from which teachers were able to develop practical solutions from their enquiries and use as a tools to generate content for the new curriculum for Wales.
During my previous role as Deputy Dean (2016- 2022), I successfully navigated the school to achieve an Athena Swan Bronze Award, I refined and developed the undergraduate curriculum and published some of the thinking behind it, this included developing systems and process that are human centred and focused my leadership on an enabling culture.   
Prior to the Deputy Dean role, I was Head of Undergraduate Studies, Subject lead for MSc, BSc & BA Product Design and BA & BSc Product Design Programme Director.  I have External Examined at a number of Institutions and I have examined Research Degrees.   

Current research

Current Research includes leading the Cardiff Met National Professional Learning Project.  This is a funded Welsh Government Project that focuses on the professional leaning in terms of enquiry-based research needs of schoolteachers.  This project initially was contextualized by the New Curriculum for Wales and later evolved to include the impact of COVID-1:   2018-2022. 
Future published works will include work on design thinking and creativity at its role in curriculum design and findings from my PhD concerning studies that involved recreating environments so usability testing can be conducted early in the Human Centred Design Process.
I supervisor two PhD students.  

Principal Publications, Exhibitions and Awards

  • Student Engagement in Higher Education Journal.  RAISE 2019:  How student engagement has been enhanced through research into factors affecting creativity
  • European Educational Research Association (EERA) 2019:  Curricular and Policy Debates in Physical Education. 
  • International Association of Societies of Design Research (IASDR) Conference 2019.  Manchester:  Product user testing: the void between Laboratory testing and Field testing
  • Insider award Awarded for Business and Education Partnership Awards in the 2017 Insider Awards for the partnership with Window Cleaning Warehouse and were shortlisted for the Product Innovation award. 
  • R&D Management Conference 2016, "From Science to Society: Innovation and Value Creation. Cambridge, UK. July 5, 2016:  The challenges of embedding a User-Centred, Ecodesign process within an SME: A case study in the building fabrication sector
  • 2nd International Conference on Design Creativity, Glasgow, UK, 2012: ‘Play, Autonomy and the Creative Process’
  • 10th Engineering & Product Design Education (EPDE) 2008: A Tool for Developing Creativity.
  • 10th Engineering & Product Design Education (EPDE) 2008: Emulation of real life environments for user testing.
  • 9th Engineering & Product Design Education (EPDE) 2007: Paper Presentation: Shaping Design Graduates: Assessing and Developing Core Competencies
  • Product Design Research (PDR) 2006: Paper Presentation: Emulation pf Real Life environment when user Testing.
  • 8th Engineering & Product Design Education (EPDE) 2006: Paper Presentation: Developments in Teaching Approaches: ‘A Novel Approach to Learning Reinforcement’.
  • 7th Engineering & Product Design Education (EPDE) 2005: Paper Presentation: Modular Degrees Fail to Deliver.
  • Home-Orientated Information & Telematics 2005: Paper Presentation: The traditional design process versus a new design methodology. A comparative case study of a rapidly designed Information Appliances.
  • Computer-Aided Industrial Design & Conceptual Design.2005: Paper Presentation: How to Design & Prototype an information appliance in 24 hours – integrating product & interface design processes.

Enterprise Projects and/or Industrial links

  • Smart Partnership with Phytoponics – Project Lead 2018-2019
  • Window Cleaning Warehouse Knowledge Transfer Partnership - Supervisor 2014-2017
  • Odni Elwell Knowledge Transfer Partnership  – Project Lead. 2012-2015
  • Strategic Insight Placement with Frontier Medical 2012. 
  • Project lead for 7 KESS funded Masters placements.