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Nigel Ordish MDes RCA
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Nigel works mainly on practical research and development projects, often involving his specialist disciplines of product design and music composition.
He has designed for a wide range of international clients, from UNICEF to IBM, and written and performed music for television, radio and theatre. He has extensive experience in higher education including as Research Fellow at the Royal College of Art to being Head of School of 3D Design at Kingston University, and through work as a university External Examiner.

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Design practitioner, researcher and academic
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Nigel's previous practice as a product design consultant includes work with Moggridge Design Associates (now IDEO) primarily designing digital and medical products, including a microscope for UNICEF and energy metering equipment (awarded patent). This work built on his pioneering development of a resource information centre for the home which was awarded the Pye Design Award and exhibited by the International Council of Societies of Industrial Design in Brazil and at the Design Council in the UK in 1980.
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Nigel has extensive experience of working in higher education which includes being appointed as Research Fellow to the Royal College of Art (1985-87) to develop innovative conceptual design tools with SDRC solid modelling software for NCR (UK, USA and France) and IBM (UK and Germany). During this time he helped co-found the RCA's unique postgraduate Computer Related Design course.
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He was subsequently appointed Principal Lecturer of Product Design at Ravensbourne College of Design (1988-93), then Head of the School of 3D Design at Kingston University (1993-2002) where he led degree programmes in Product, Furniture and Interior Design, and developed a new Masters degree in Production Design for Film and Television.
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In 1999 he initiated a partnership between Kingtson University and Austria's training organisation (WIFI) to offer his school's design degrees at a specially developed New Design Centre in St Pölten, near Vienna. The centre's success enabled it to gain independent university status (2005) where Nigel has been a Visiting Professor. His associated work with other Austrian design initiatives includes: Chair of Bösendorfer's piano design competition (2006), design strategy presentation for the Austrian Trade Commission (2006) and Vienna Design Week design education panellist (2008). spacer
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Nigel's commitment to exploring the design potential given by new, emerging technologies, coupled with the meeting of sustainability issues, led him to establish a design research team at Kingston University (1994) to assess the sustainability of specific natural, synthetic and recycled materials. This research gained a Design Council Innovation Award (2000) and resulted in the creation of a web based materials library for designers. Nigel was also External Examiner for the Sustainable Design degree at University College, Falmouth until 2011. spacer
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Research into low-batch production technologies involved a range of industrial and academic partners: from work with Burns Guitars to commercially produce CNC machined guitar necks and bodies in the Kingston workshop, to an EU project submission (2001) with university partners across Europe to a produce a range of wood based products from the Alpine Carpathian region. spacer
In 2002, further materials research led to the development of an international design competition with Corus UK promoting the innovative use of steel, for which he was a judge (with Nigel Coates, Blueprint magazine and the Design Council). Due in part to its success, Shared Practice was later commissioned by the Worshipful Company of Pewterers to develop a competition to promote the contemporary use of pewter (2004). spacer
Nigel's current work in Shared Practice does not generally involve the designing of physical products. His expertise in the design process is applied through projects thatcan involve a combination of his skills in creative thinking, problem solving, project management, research analysis and assessment, and of course, music...
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Composer, arranger and performer
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Nigel has always combined a career in design with one in music composition and production, both as a freelance professional and academic. Since the 1980s he has worked on a diverse range of projects which include composition for animation, contemporary dance, documentary, theatre, radio and television, and performance across the UK and in mainland Europe. spacer
In 1981 he became a full-time partner in The Joeys, writing and performing political comedy and music for touring stage shows as well as composing and arranging for clients ranging from the BBC to the TUC. His particular strengths in satirical composition led him to be recognised as a "master of pastiche" (1982, New Musical Express). Below is an example song from a Joeys' stage show which combines a cynical assessment of consumer product design with a synth-pop arrangement typical of the period. spacer

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The Joeys were primarily a live act who, over a four year period, performed over 200 shows each year, culminating in the Seventh Joke tour, and a feature length documentary film presentation of the Edinburgh Festival (Edinburgh Inside Out, Channel 4 television, 1985). Although Nigel worked on a subsequent commission to write a newcomedy series (to later become Cornerhouse, Channel 4, 1986), he chose to leave the partnership to develop his work in the creative application of new digital technologies.
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At this stage, Nigel's musical work combined analogue multi-tracked recordings with computer generated sounds using basic sequencing software. This experience in creative computing helped inform his subsequent research work at the Royal College of Art with modelling software, and confirmed his ideas for greater interdisciplinary collaboration, leading to him co-founding the Computer Related Design course.
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  As Head of the School of 3D Design at Kingston University, Nigel continued to champion interdisciplinary education, creating team based projects which mixed staff and students from architecture, design, fine art and music disciplines. In 1995 he initiated a Masters course in Production Design for Film and Television, and helped develop a related course in Composition. Further academic work in music includes membership of review and validation panels for music degrees at Kingston, Hong Kong and Kneller Hall Schools of Music, and advising on the development of diplomas in Recording and New Technology in association with the Association of Professional Recording Services. spacer
  In 2006, NIgel's unique range of professional experience in design and music led him to be appointed jury chair for the first Bösendorfer international competition to design a new grand piano or performance space. The expert jury (which included instrument, acoustic and product designers) selected prize winners in both student and professional categories for a special exhibition held at the Design Forum, Museum Quarter, Vienna. spacer
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  In 2010, Nigel successfully completed an Open University course in the music elements, techniques and styles of the Baroque, Classical and Romantic periods, a study to inform his composition and arrangement skills. Now, alongside other Shared Practice work, Nigel (now aka Fairman) is developing music library collections and a short series of videos featuring his soundtracks. See: more on Fairman spacer
Nigel accepts all types of commissions which meet Shared Practice's principles and policies. He is a member of the Performing Right Society, the Musicians' Union and Equity.
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  email for cv or music sampler
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  detailsspecial projects
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  restored Joey videos
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