David Clews was a forward-thinking arts educator, who brought about numerous innovations and helped developed the state of arts education practice nationally.

His work included Imaging in Education: Imaging in Preliminary Level Studio Design Technology Projects (Intellect books, 2003), which examined how students in architecture and interior design use digital images and web-based communication to enhance learning in studio. The project pre-dated the university’s e-learning facility and was used to inform its subsequent design and construction. His interests turned to learning in architecture and then more widely to other studio-based subjects across Art, Design and Media. During this time, he also contributed Scholarship, Creativity and the Studio to ‘Enhancing Curricula: Towards the Scholarship of teaching to the journal of Art, Design and Communication in Higher Education’, 2004. Davies, A. (ed).

David was seconded from the university appointed manager of the Higher Education Academy Art Design Media Subject Centre (ADM-HEA) in 2004, where he undertook research into higher education policy development in art, design and media working closely with other researchers in the field. His work at ADM-HEA included examining the links between learning and professional practice and authoring Creating Entrepreneurship:entrepreneurship education for the creative industries (2007), a report based on research into the educational provision required to help prepare students to enter the creative industries and start-up their own creative businesses.In 2007, with Anne Boddington, he co-edited Learning, Teaching, Research, Creativity: Papers from the European League of the Institute of the Arts, Teachers’ Academy Conference Preceedings.

He contributed to The Thousand Yard Stare: Entrepreneurship Education for the Creative Industries. Davies, A. (ed) (2007) and Enhancing Curricula: Contributing to the future, meeting the challenges of the 21st century in art, design and communication. Based on an ADM-HEA event, VISUAL (2007), is a collection of edited papers from a series of seminars on visual learning in art, design and media higher education including David’s discussion of ideas arising from the event.

David’s last major research project Looking Out, emerged from the Department of Culture Media and Sport’s 2008 Strategy Paper, Creative Britain: New Talent for the New Economy. It was apparent that significant policy initiatives by government and the sector were based, not on research, but on opinion. Looking Out focussed on evidenced-based research and examined the ways in which schools and departments in HE successfully collaborate with the creative and cultural industries. It examined practices and interchanges that appeared to ‘fly beneath the radar’ of policy-makers and sector agencies in which teacher/practitioners, visiting lecturers and students’ ‘live projects’ engage productively with industries in art, design and media practice and impact on higher education provision across the UK.

David Clews passed away in August 2011 after a long illness. He continued to write, research and send reflective, entertaining and optimistic messages until his final days. He is remembered with great fondness as a fellow student, a hugely funny, charismatic and loyal friend, an insightful and original thinker, scholar and colleague and an inspiration to many students and staff.

16 February, 2012