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John Wood: a life in art and design

07 May 2010

Avenue Gallery is to present A Life in Art and Design, an exhibition which celebrates the work of John Wood, senior lecturer in Product Design at The University of Northampton.

Over 800 examples of design sketch, development and production drawings, 3D developmental models and manufactured products have been selected for display from John’s personal archive of material documenting over 40 years of practice as a design professional and educator.

The exhibition traces John’s career from school days and as a student at Moseley School of Arts (1955-58) and Birmingham College of Arts and Crafts (1958-62) to design projects undertaken in a professional capacity from 1962 to the present day.

After working in industry John taught at Ravensbourne College of Art and Design and The Royal College of Art before joining the then Nene College in Northampton in 1995.  He continued to undertake a wide range of design commissions for national and international companies alongside his teaching commitments, setting up his own design company ‘John Wood Design’ in 1973.

John’s design work includes product, furniture and interior design, for example domestic, garden, office and stadium furniture through to leisure, high tech products, toys and much more.  His designs have been exhibited at The Design Centre and Science Museum in London and published in journals such as Designer Magazine.

Reflecting on the process of gathering material for the exhibition, John explains, “The student work from the 1950s and early ‘60s represents the art and design thinking and philosophy of the time and will enable interesting comparison to be made between art and design studies then and now, while the professional practice projects include concept design exploratory work, together with designs in the process of being developed and those currently or formerly in production”.

‘A Life in Art and Design’ will run from 17 May – 4 June and is open to the public Mondays-Fridays 10am-4pm (closed bank holiday Monday 31 May).  Admission is free.  Avenue Gallery is located in The University of Northampton’s Avenue Campus on St. George’s Avenue, Northampton NN2 6JD.  For more information about the exhibition please contact the Gallery on 01604 893046 or email

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