Research projects

Penny Sparke, Jana Scholze and Cat Rossi: At Home: Panoramas de nos vies Domestiques for the Design Biennale Saint-Étienne 2022

This collaborative and multidisciplinary research project was commissioned for the 12th Design Biennale Saint-Étienne. It explored the relationship between the home and design in the past, present and future through five core themes: Utopia, Shelter, Identities, Wellbeing and Connected. Sparke, Scholze and Rossi worked with exhibition designers Plaid and graphic designer Lombaert Studio to realise the practice-based research project. The researchers are currently working on an accompanying publication.

Fiona Fisher and Rebecca Preston: The Nineteenth and Twentieth Century Public House in Bristol

This research was commissioned by English Heritage (now Historic England) to highlight the threat to Bristol's pubs. Declining trade has resulted in loss of historic buildings and interiors as pubs are demolished or converted for housing and other uses.

The research identified a number of less well protected and vulnerable categories of public house as well as a number of buildings of interest for further detailed study.

Cat Rossi: Space Electronic: Then and Now at the 14th Venice Architecture Biennale

This was a collaborative and multi-disciplinary research project for the 14th Venice Architecture Biennale. It was a curated installation of work (film and soundtrack) from across Kingston School of Art. It told the story of Space Electronic, a disco opened in Florence in 1969 by Gruppo 9999, members of Italy's Radical Architecture movement.

Anke Jakob: The Multi-Sensory Environment (MSE) in dementia care: the role of design

This interdisciplinary research investigated current design and application of Multi-Sensory Environments (MSEs) in dementia care (also referred to as 'Sensory Rooms' in a care-home context), including aesthetic qualities and functional parameters. Because little documented design guidance for such interiors for older people with dementia exists, the research focused on establishing new knowledge from which coherent, user-centred design solutions were developed.

The Multi-Sensory Environment image gallery

Sorcha O'Brien: The Electrification of the Rural Irish Home: Housewives, Electrical Products and Domesticity in the 1950s and 1960s

This AHRC Leadership Early Career Fellowship research project is in partnership with the National Museum of Ireland. The project look the issues surrounding the consumption of domestic electrical products in the Republic of Ireland in the wake of the Electricity Supply Board's (ESB) rural electrification project, and will culminate in a monograph and an exhibition in the National Museum of Ireland.

Cat Rossi: China's Creative Communities: Making Value and The Value(s) of Making

This cross-disciplinary research project brought together practitioners and academics in the UK and China. They considered ideas and innovations around the value of making in China. The project aimed to strengthen China's multiple maker communities in partnership with the UK and scoped a much larger study.