Ms Nicola Dillon

Research project: (Working Title) Diversity in UK Craft


Broadly my research focus looks at how working with materials, craft and design – through studio practice and participatory methods – can help us to understand, rethink and critique socio-cultural issues. My PhD research expands this thinking to use material imaginaries as a means to explore understandings of diversity and difference and the politics of making as they relate to African diaspora identities and experiences in the UK. In addition to funding from the London Doctoral Design Centre (Arts and Humanities Research Council), the project is supported by the UK Crafts Council. 


I have over 15 years professional experience as a design consultant, specialising in visual communication and strategic-led design. I have worked with communities, creative and cultural organisations and local governments to reframe perspectives, shape strategies and develop programmes that address cultural, social and commercial challenges.

Areas of research interest

  • Vernacular design cultures
  • Craft and design as social research
  • Design anthropology
  • African diaspora
  • Identity
  • Sustainable design
  • Material imaginaries
  • Technologies and techniques


  • MA Materials, Anthropology, Design, University College London
  • BA (Hons) Graphic Media Design, London College of Communication, UAL

Funding or awards received

  • 2018: London Doctoral Design Centre (Arts and Humanities Research Council)