Head shot of Derek Yates

Derek Yates BA (Hons)


Derek Yates is the head of the Creative Lab at Ravensbourne University, London. The Creative Lab is a unique creative agency, situated alongside academic delivery that brings students, brands and industry practitioners together to collaborate and learn together.  

Derek’s current role represents a fruition of 25 years of working at some of the top creative universities in the UK. During this time he has evolved an approach to learning and teaching that is informed by a desire to connect creative education to the world it inhabits and build resilience beyond graduation.  While working at the University of the Arts London he instigated and chaired Alt/Shift, a research platform designed to facilitate ‘meaningful dialogue and constructive collaboration' between the creative professions and design education. 

He has developed collaborations with global brands such as Apple, Kopparberg, Sky, The O2, Barclays and Deloitte, and respected creative studios such as Mother, The Mill, JKR, Studio Blup, Moving Brands and ustwo. He has been a keynote speaker at universities in the UK, Europe and China and has presented at two annual conferences of the Graphic Design Educators Network. Through his connections within the creative industries, he has developed a portfolio of partnered online and blended learning experiences funded by the British Interactive Media Association (BIMA), CreativeUK and the Higher Education Innovation Fund (HEIF).  

Digital Marketing: Storytelling in the New Communication Landscape which is hosted on Futurelearn currently has over 4000 worldwide subscribers and he has recently launched KICKSTART! which is Ravensbourne’s own online learning platform. He is also a writer and designer. He has written for the National Society for Education in Art & Design and publications such as Eye, the International Journal of Graphic Design and Threaded Magazine. He is also the co-author of ‘Communication Design, Insights from the Creative Industries’, an overview of emerging creative practice published by Bloomsbury Fairchild. In addition work from his early career is featured in the Thames & Hudson book, Design After Dark, the permanent collection of the V&A and has been featured in several music documentaries from the BBC. 

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Head of the Creative Lab
The Creative Lab