Research projects

Research Through Design Projects

Here is a selection of projects within our six thematic areas of research.

Living Well

Design for the body to support care, rehabilitation and positive life experience. Jane Webster is investigating props to aid renal treatment. The work of Dr John Miers on graphic medicine has resulted in an autobiographical comic book exploring aspects of living with multiple sclerosis.

Inclusive Communities

Professor Daniel Charny, Dr Anke Jakob, Jack Champ and Sarah Johnson are variously addressing individual and collective wellbeing. By considering the present needs of individuals we can reflect on collective future challenges, as well as addressing currently under-served audiences.

Curating Places

Design as site-specific practice relates directly to its audiences. Leah Fusco uses location-based illustration, and Dr Cathy Gale continues to explore the potentialities of a student-led Alternative Art School. Carl Clerkin designs exhibitions which introduce mythical histories, supported by made objects. Dr Ersi Ioannidou examines how the current economic, cultural, technological and social conditions redefine the meaning of the home and the role of the house. Professor Daniel Charny's projects as founding director include The Maker Library Network (2014–2017) and Central Research Laboratory (2015). Professor Ben Kelly's work has been extensively awarded for exhibition design and interiors.

Fashioning Identity

Design to explore the material expression and transformation of meaning. Professor Iain R Webb explores his own unique archive to explore changes in reporting and presenting fashion in our image-led culture. Marloes ten Bhomer researches the cultural work done by women's shoes.

Sustainability Design

Designing to enable productive response to the climate emergency. Dr Paul Micklethwaite works on the impact of the sustainability agenda on our theories and practices of design. The work of Konstantinos Chalaris with The Body Shop delivers sustainable design propositions that increase resource efficiency, close material loops and enhance product, material and brand value.

Designing Learning

Dr Cathy Gale devises staff-student collaborations in communities of practice to explore contemporary techno-social critical issues. Professor Daniel Charny works on open source design teaching formats, and his Fixperts framework has been taught in over 35 higher education institutes across 20 countries.

Research Through Design Projects
Jack Champ's prototype Creative Recovery toolkit, for use by people on a recovery journey from alcohol abuse. Image credit: Jack Champ