Winner: 2023 Dean’s Award for Leadership.

December 2023

Idrees is delighted to be awarded the Dean’s Award 2023 for Leadership with outstanding contribution to the Faculty of Arts, Humanities, Education and Social Sciences︎︎︎ at Anglia Ruskin University︎︎︎.

Citation: “Idrees has deligently and consistently demonstrated high levels of care and commitment to continue to deliver excellent leadership in the Cambridge School of Art︎︎︎”. This award comes on the back of ARU’s recent sucesses as a TEF Gold institution and winner of Times Higher Education University of the Year 2023.



Reviewer: 2024 Design Research Society (DRS) Conference.

November 2023

Idrees is invited by the Design Research Society︎︎︎to review journal submissions under Track 24 'Ethics in/of/for Design' for DRS 2024: Responsible Design and Innovation; Ethics of Collaboration; Ethics in Education; Aesthetics of Design; and Ethics for Social and Climate Justice.

The 2024 Design Research Society (DRS) conference will be taking place in Boston, MA (USA) from June 24th-28th, 2024, hosted by the College of Arts, Media, and Design at Northeastern University︎︎︎.

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Speaker: The Hopes and Fears Lab: AI Edition.

October 2023

Idrees is invited by the Kavli Centre for Ethics, Science and the Public, University of Cambridge︎︎︎ to speak about the future of Art & Design Education and Practice with a focus on ethics, purpose, and values in the age of Artificial Intelligence and the hopes and fears around AI and creativity.

Taking place in Cambridge aboard a double-decker bus from 26th to 28th October, the Hopes and Fears Lab is a project in partnership with AI@Cam︎︎︎ as part of the AI Fringe︎︎︎ that connects scientists and the public in conversation about the implications of AI for the future we all share.

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Academician: The Academy of Urbanism.

October 2023

Idrees is honoured to have been made an Academician of The Academy of Urbanism︎︎︎ by invitation and recognition. AoU’s Academicians are a high-level, broad, and diverse international community of leaders, thinkers, and practitioners engaged in the social, cultural, economic, political, and physical development of local and global cities.

The Academy of Urbanism︎︎︎ founded nearly two decades ago, is a politically independent, non-profit organisation that brings together both the current and next generation of urban leaders, thinkers, and practitioners - supporting the belief that good design can establish a high-quality built environment and support economic, social, political, and cultural activity while delivering robust, distinctive, and appealing experiences and environments.

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Panelist: Designing for the Future Congress 2023.

May 2023

Idrees is invited by The Academy of Urbanism︎︎︎ as part of a distinguished panel to explore and share how design (design practice, design research, and design education) can address Cambridge’s wicked and long-term urban issues (unequal local communities; low levels of trust; differentiated geographical needs; pressure on revenue streams; disparities between education and skills; and deteriorating urban relationships).

How can we enable a collective and integrated approach towards a more connected, sustainable, and inclusive vision for the city that meets the needs of its residents while embracing innovation and preserving its unique identity?

Idrees will be sharing findings from X-Crop’s︎︎︎ [The Thinking City] project; exploring ways in which design can renew urban relations and interactions, habits and patterns, practices, belief systems, values, and attitudes towards circular, shared, caring, and joined-up learning and doing that are contextual, ecological, strategic, and systematic.

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Keynote: Cambridge Arts Network (C.A.N) Conference 2023.

January 2023

Idrees is invited by the Cambridge Arts Network︎︎︎ to give a keynote presentation at the CAN Conference 2023 taking place on the 22nd of February 2023 where he will be presenting his vision for Cambridge as a 'Thinking City'.

The Thinking City is a project central to Idrees’ work at the Cambridge School of Art︎︎︎ and his mission at X-Crop︎︎︎ that forms a new strategic narrative for Cambridge based on a novel perspective of ‘connected-urbanism’ and design for the renewal of urban relations and interactions.

The Thinking City project focuses on habits and patterns, practices, belief systems, values, and attitudes—design transformations towards circular, shared, caring, and joined-up learning and doing that are contextual, ecological, strategic, and systematic to help develop and deliver big opportunities for the sustainability of further and higher education, employment, and knowledge in the region.

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Reviewer: 2022 Journal of Design, Business & Society.

July 2022

Idrees is invited by the Journal of Design, Business & Society︎︎︎ to review journal submissions under Volume 9, Number 1 'Sustainable Design’.

The Journal of Design, Business & Society is a peer-reviewed scholarly publication for business leaders, managers, policy-makers, service-providers and design experts. It examines the complex nature of design and design thinking in relation to its effective application to solving real-world problems across commercial and broader societal contexts.

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Keynote: University of Hertfordshire, Architecture Society.

April 2022

Idrees is invited by the Architecture Society University of Hertfordshire︎︎︎ to present on the topic of ‘Betterment by Design’—provoking why should we make ‘care’ the foundations and driver of our design process and how can we make post-disaster cities, organisations, and people better by design?

Idrees will present his ideas on how can we transform from a local to national and global designer in the 21st century and what it means to lead a cross-cultural design project that centres around ethical and sustainable development in a remote part of the world?


Speaker: Cambridge Arts Network (C.A.N) Conference 2022.

March 2022

Idrees is invited by the Cambridge Arts Network︎︎︎ to discuss how are we shaping the future for all and can design determine what will inclusivity look like in the future? at Cambridge's C.A.N Conference 2022 'A Place of Creativity: creative & cultural response to a changed landscape' - questioning, Is the Future Inclusive? and exploring how design can make accessibility and inclusivity a more innate element of our future.

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Keynote: The Iranian Architecture Centre.

February 2022

Idrees is invited by the Iranian Architecture Centre︎︎︎ to discuss design education and practice from a cross-cultural perspective, focussing on the importance of redesigning present academic and professional structures and processes to suit different socio-economic, cultural, contextual, and environmental needs.

Idrees will present his ideas for designing a learning-centred school that integrates all facets of human life in its broadest sense; to test accepted ideas, and to probe future visions.


Member of the Board of Advisors - Digital Influx.

June 2021

Idrees has joined the board of Digital Influx︎︎︎ to strengthen their understanding of design, technology, and education, and bringing new thinking as well as broadening the company's horizons, its markets and future drivers of local and global growth.

Founded in 2018, Digital Influx︎︎︎ aims to create an empathetic global design community where children and innovation can thrive through diversity & inclusion, and has been working with kids & teens from across the UK, US, India, and Japan to broaden, build, and future proof their digital and critical skillset, whilst teaching them the impact innovation and design can have on their community, city, and the world.

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Panelist: Creative Leadership Now!

May 2021

Idrees is invited to deliver a workshop on Creative Leadership as part of The Culture Capital Exchange︎︎︎.

The workshop will explore questions around our evolving leadership challenges, such as: What is good leadership in Higher Education and the Arts? How has leadership changed post Covid and how can we adapt? What are the other big issues that intersect with creative leadership and its development? How can we develop leaders of the future? What skills do we need?

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Speaker: World Humanitarian Forum 2021, London - The Global Reset.

March 2021

Idrees is invited as a speaker at the World Humanitarian Forum︎︎︎—The Global Reset Dialogue: Re-Defining Humanitarianism.

World Humanitarian Forum (WHF) is the largest and most inclusive nonpartisan forum in humanitarian aid and international development. Idrees will be speaking on the topic of "Urbanisation, Cities, and Future Planning Through Design" discussing how design can reduce disaster risk and increase resilience in cities whilst driving economic, social, and environmental sustainability for the benefit of humans, nature, and businesses?

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