Aysar Ghassan


In the field of user experience research, strong disagreements exist between practitioners operating through a scientific paradigm and individuals working in a holistic manner. Aysar aims to contribute to providing a contextual understanding of this ongoing discussion.

Aysar’s research into peer-tutoring and professional identity formation reflects the need to broaden the design curriculum to prepare students for the global nature of contemporary design practice and the wider knowledge economy. 

Aysar Ghassan.jpg

Senior Lecturer

Building: Maurice Ross
Room: MF208



Aysar attained a degree in Anthropology from University College London before completing an MA in Automotive Design at Coventry University 2002. After gaining valuable professional experience as an automotive designer at Alfa Romeo, Mitsubishi and Design-a-Storz, in 2005 Aysar began teaching Transport Design and Industrial Design at Northumbria University. In 2013 he returned to Coventry University to teach on the undergraduate Automotive Design and Transport Design programmes.

In his PhD programme Aysar is investigating the philosophical underpinnings driving contemporary user-centred methodology utilised in Design and in Human Computer Interaction. This research is influenced by the philosopher Gilles Deleuze and the psychotherapist and semiotician Felix Guattari’s notions of Royal Science and Minor Science.

Aysar’s pedagogical research centres on providing students with opportunities to participate in Web 2.0 enabled learning activities with peers based in a host of international universities. This research explores student-led methods of augmenting the master-apprentice system in design education, for example through peer learning and effective narration. This research also explores cultural difference in design education as well as the construction of professional identities in design.

Aysar has reviewed papers for the following conferences: DRS 2012; DRS//Cumulus, 2013 and 2011; CHI 2013. He will be reviewing papers for DMI: ADMC 2014. As well as disseminating his research in international journals and conferences, Aysar has presented at the Centre for Policy, Ethics and Life Sciences and at Culture Lab, both located in Newcastle University. Aysar also writes design-focussed journalistic articles, most recently for Artsthread.com


  • Bohemia, E., And Ghassan, A. (2012) 'Globally Networked Collaborative Learning In Industrial Design'. American Journal of Distance Education 26 (2), 110-125. 
  • Ghassan, A., and Bohemia, E. (2014) 'Amplifying Learners' Voices through the Global Studio'. In Design Pedagogy. Ed. by Tovey, M. Farnham: Gower 
  • Ghassan, A., and Blythe, M. (2013) 'On Legitimacy: Designer as Minor Scientist'. CHI '13 Extended Abstracts on Human Factors in Computing Systems, 'CHI '13'. Held Apr 27–02 May 2013 in Paris, France. New York: ACM, 2149-2158 
  • Ghassan, A., and Bohemia, E. (2013) 'From Tutor-led to Student-led design education: the Global Studio'. In Beate Reitan, J., Lloyd, P., Bohemia, E., Merete Nielsen, L., Digranes, I., and Lutnæs, E. Proceedings of the DRS//Cumulus 2nd International Conference for Design Education Researchers, volume 1, 'Design Learning for Tomorrow – Design Education from Kindergarten to PhD'. Held 14-17 May 2013 in Oslo, Norway. 524-536 
  • Ghassan, A., and Bohemia, E. (2011)  'Notions of Self: Becoming a ‘Successful’ Design Graduate'. In Roozenburg, N.F.M., Chen, L.L., and Stappers, P.J. Diversity and Unity: Proceedings of IASDR, the 4th World conference on Design Research, 'IASDR'. Held 31 Oct–04 Nov 2011 in Delft, the Netherlands. 
  • Bohemia, E., and Ghassan, A. (2011) 'Opening doors: Broadening designers' skill sets'. In Roozenburg, N.F.M., Chen, L.L., and Stappers, P.J. Diversity and Unity: Proceedings of IASDR, the 4th World conference on Design Research, 'IASDR'. Held 31 Oct–04 Nov in Delft, the Netherlands 
  • Ghassan, A. (2011) 'Full circle: Balancing the knowledge equilibrium between newly-enrolled design students and their design school'. In Kovacevic, A., Ion, W., McMahon, C,. Buck, L., and Hogarth, P. Proceedings of International Conference on Engineering and Product Design Education, 'International Conference on Engineering and Product Design Education'. Held 08-09 Sep 2011 in London, UK. 
  • Bohemia, E., and Ghassan, A. (2011) 'Internationalisation from home—global collaborative project based learning'. Proceedings of the International Conference on Information Communication in Education, 'International Conference on Information Communication in Education'. Held 07-09 Jul 2011 in Rhodes, Greece. 


  • Full CircleWith help from a grant from Northumbria University’s Centre for Excellence in Teaching & Learning, Aysar edited this multifaceted book for design students. 
  • The Global Studio: Coordinated projects with a host of international universities through this innovative method of providing student a valuable ‘international experience from home’. 
  • Digital Originals: Facilitated a workshop for this EPSRC funded project exploring alternative business models for the dissemination of digital content 
  • A Bag For Life: A multidisciplinary student-led initiative researching Global Citizenship.
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