Scholarly biography and interests
Bruce Brown is Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Research at the University of Brighton and a Professor of Design. Prior to this he was Dean of the university’s College of Arts and Humanities.
Professor Brown currently chairs the Portuguese Government’s Fundação para a Ciência ea Tecnologia research grants panel (Arts) and is a member of the Advisory Board of the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC). In the last UK Research Assessment Exercise (RAE2008) he chaired Main Panel O (Arts). In 2006 Professor Brown was a member of a joint working group convened by the Higher Education Funding Council (HEFCE)/AHRC on Research Metrics and is currently a member of HEFCE’s Expert Advisory Group for the Research Excellence Framework (REF2014). Professor Brown was appointed by HEFCE as one of four Main Panel Chairs to the forthcoming REF2014 with responsibility for Main Panel D (Arts and Humanities).
Professor Brown was a founding member of the Arts and Humanities Research Board’s (AHRB) Postgraduate Panel for Visual Arts, has served on the executive committee of the UK Council for Graduate Education and was a Council member of the Higher Education Academy. He has been in membership of steering groups that include the AHRB’s 'ICT in Arts and Humanities Research' programme and a joint Royal Society of Edinburgh and British Academy review of The Effects of Devolution to Scotland on Advanced Research in the Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences. Professor Brown has also served as trustee and director to organisations that included the Art’s Council for England’s South East Arts Board and currently the Ditchling Museum. He is an international advisor to the Shpilman Institute for Photography in Israel, and helped to initiate the Brighton Photographic Biennale before serving on its Board of Directors.
Since 1991 Professor Brown has been a member of the Hong Kong Council for Academic Accreditation chairing many events in the territory and has worked as an international expert for the New Zealand Qualifications Authority. In 2009 he contributed to a report entitled 'Reforming Arts and Culture Higher Education in Portugal' that resulted from an international review commissioned by the Portuguese Ministry of Science, Technology and Higher Education. He currently reviews proposals to both the Qatar National Research Fund and its Research Experience Programme as well as for the UK Research Councils. Professor Brown has worked to develop research capacity in the Arts internationally through expert seminars that have included the Koninklijk Vlaams Conservatorium in Antwerp, the Canadian Association of Fine Arts Deans, Wizo Haifa Academy of Design in Israel, the Universität für Angewandte Kunst in Vienna, Virginia Commonwealth University in Qatar and the Hogeschool Gent.
Professor Brown is an Editor of Design Issues Research Journal (published by MIT Press), a member of the Editorial Board for Arts and Humanities in Higher Education: an international journal of theory, research and practice (published by Sage) and the editorial steering group for a Handbook for Research in the Arts (funded by Riksbankens Jubileumsfond, Sweden; to be published by Routledge). He specialises in design research with an emphasis on the social and cultural effects of visual memory. He has delivered papers and keynote presentations that include: Design and Ethics at the University of the Arts Budapest; the Third International Conference of the Arts in Society, Birmingham; Graphic Memory at Ontario’s National Design Conference; 'The Design of Memory' at Shenkar College of Design and Engineering, Tel Aviv; Objekte der Erinnerung at Zukunftsbilder fürs Design in Potsdam; 'Memory is the Message' at the ISEA conference in Chicago and at Environs the Graphic Designers of Canada National Conference.
In the mid-1960s, Professor Brown attended the Liverpool School of Art before going on to complete his studies at the Canterbury College of Art, then at the Royal College of Art in London. In 1973 he was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts after winning an RSA Bursary to study in Florence. This was followed by grants from the Royal College of Art to support field studies in Peru that investigated the design principles of Pre-Columbian civilizations. Before entering Higher Education, Professor Brown worked as a practicing designer and was for some years the art director of CRAFTS for the UK Crafts Council. He was elected an Honorary Fellow of the Royal College of Art in 2004.