We are a London based design school born of an experimental studio model and dedicated to exploring practice, methods, and thinking around next design & business while looking into critical global issues affecting humanity today and for the next 1,000 years.



At the School of Critical Design we always come back to the concrete, tangible, and meaningful impact that our participants and their organizations look to create in the world, and focus how our thinking and courses can best support this.

Learning by Doing

We are committed to a studio model of education, where participants learn by doing. All of our workshops and retreats are designed with limited lecture moments, and lots of practical experiences that allow individuals to personally work through the ideas and concepts being conveyed. The goal of this approach is that students leave the sessions with the confidence and vision to take forward the approaches and ideas learned into their own work and professional practice.

Intimate Gatherings

We look to be the opposite of big lecture and conference halls, and create intimate gatherings that can build meaningful relationships between participants and course leaders.

All of our workshops & retreats, both IRL and virtual, are designed with activities that work to bring participants closer together.  We believe these settings can improve the way content is understood and foster better ongoing connections. We always look to work with smaller group sizes to maintain this intimacy.

Deep Purpose

We believe in the seriousness of the work & teaching that we do, and look to infuse a deep purpose to all our workshops & retreats. We want participants to feel and understand the essential nature of the topics and questions being explored, and connect this to their own purpose.

Not only is this the right thing to do in a world with such critical issues ahead, but embedding this purpose into the experience creates a powerful motivation and engagement that enhances the learning experience.

We Inspire:

- New ways into product development & innovation

- New approaches to systems thinking

- Understanding of connections between long term considerations, near term action

- Freshly ignited creativity and energy for change

- Routes to align & define organizational strategy & purpose

- Approaches to shape organizational change

- Opportunities for networking around deep purpose with other alumni

Malex Salamanques
Designer, Fellow _ School of Critical Design
J. Paul Neeley
Co-founder _ School of Critical Design
Gemma Jones
Co-founder _ School of Critical Design
Ted Hunt
Designer, Fellow _ School of Critical Design
January 2009
J. Paul begins studying Speculative Design with Dunne & Raby at the RCA

J. Paul joins the MA Design Interactions course at the Royal College of Art

January 2011
New Kind of Design is shown at the Royal College of Art

As part of his graduate work J. Paul shares the New Kind of Design Principles

August 2012
Neeley Worldwide begins consulting organizations in the use of Speculative Design

Though a number of different client engagements J. Paul begins exploring how Speculative Design can be used to create real world organizational impact

June 2016
Gemma & J. Paul begin collaborations on emerging technology projects

Speculative Design and Semiotic work is completed for several Fortune 500 companies and the value of the work is recognised for creating business impact.

August 2017
The School of Critical Design is founded

The School of Critical Design is founded, as the training arm of Neeley Worldwide, to begin teaching and sharing emerging methods and approaches to celebrate speculative practice for addressing critical issues.

October 2018
New Kind of Design

Use of NKD is more widely explored and used in real world organisational contexts.