Design School


Design Practice Research Group

The Design Practice Research Group is a multi-disciplinary team of academics with expertise in the methods, tools and technologies of design and designing. They help improve the way we design; create new technologies for design; increasing knowledge of how we design; and facilitating innovation in the things we design. Contributing to scholarship and practice in design education/technologies/methods/management, the Group has the combined knowledge-base of a commercial new product research and development team.

Areas of expertise

  • Industrial design
  • Product design
  • Design Education
  • Design Methods
  • Design Management
  • Biomimicry
  • Electronic Product Design
  • Design Engineering
  • Design for Manufacture/Assembly
  • Inclusive/Universal design
  • Creative design practice to support data collection
  • PhDs that integrate creative design practice
  • Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Education

Digital Industrial Design (DiD)
Casestudy workflow of an entirely digital strategy for industrial design practice 

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Concrete Innovation
Action research project exploring creative opportunities for street furniture inspired by 3D concrete printing. Video summary identifies the 3D concrete printing process, design activity, model outcomes, project exhibition and conclusions.

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Online design tool providing information on the use of design representations by engineering designers and industrial designers during New Product Development 

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ID Site 
Online tool which illustrates a model of the design process through three phases of design activity

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iD Cards
App & downloadable card with 32 types of sketch, drawing, model and prototype that identifies when each method should be used and for what types of information. 

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Apple app

Google app

iD cards 


3D Concrete Printed Bench
Future scenario for street furniture manufactured on-site to reduce ‘product miles’. Industrial design bench concept inspired by 3D concrete printing using fly ash waste from coal-fired power stations.

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Online resource to help designers develop assistive technology products or services. 

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DPR Case Studies
Case studies in the use of visually creative design practice to support data collection

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  • Bohemia, E,. Rieple, A., Liedtka, J,. Cooper, R. (Eds.) (2014) Proceedings of the 19th DMI: Academic Design Management Conference Design Management in an Era of Disruption. Design Management Institute, Boston, MA, USA
  • Vande Zande, R., Bohemia, E., Digranes, I. (Eds.) (2015) Proceedings of the 3rd international conference for design education researchers: Volume 3. Aalto: Aalto University
  • Evans, M. (Accepted for publication) Use of the tablet PC to support digital sketching, The Design Journal
  • Evans, M., Pei, E., Cheshire, D., Graham, I. (2015) Digital sketching and haptic sketch modelling during product design and development, International Journal of Product Development, 20(3), pp.239-239, ISSN: 1477-9056. DOI:10.1504/IJPD.2015.069323.
  • Self, J., Evans, M., Dalke, H. (2014) The Influence of Expertise upon the Designer's Approach to Studio Practice and Tool Use, The Design Journal, 17(2), pp.169-193, ISSN: 1460-6925. DOI: 10.2752/175630614X13915240575942.
  • McCardle, J.R. (2016), Observation of Impact Energy Absorption Performance on Idealised Trabecular forms in Laser Sintered Nylon, Rapid Prototyping Journal, RPJ-10-2014-0142.R2
  • McCardle, J.R. (2015), Science Informed Design: Involving the Physical and Natural Sciences, Proceedings E&PDE, Loughborough University, Sept 2015, pp2-7
  • Fielding, E., McCardle, J.R., Eynard, B., Hartman, N., Fraser, A. (2014), Product lifecycle management in design and engineering education: International perspectives, Concurrent Engineering, February 3, 2014 1063293X13520316
  • Page, T. (Accepted for publication) A Study into the Use of Tolerance Analysis in the Mechanical Design of Medical Devices, International Journal of Design Engineering.
  • Karthikeyan, S., Asokan, P., Nickolas, S., Page, T. (2015) A hybrid discrete firefly algorithm for solving multi-objective flexible job shop scheduling problems, International Journal of Bio-Inspired Computation, 7(6), pp.386-401.
  • Page, T. (2015) A Forecast of the Adoption of Wearable Technology, International Journal of Technology Diffusion (IJTD), 6(2), pp.12-29, ISSN: 1947-9301. DOI:10.4018/IJTD.2015040102.
  • Harrison, D., Qiu, F., Fyson, J., Xu, Y., Evans, P., Southee, D. (2013) A coaxial single fibre supercapacitor for energy storage, Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys, 15, pp.12215-12219, Full text: DOI: 10.1039/C3CP52036F.
  • Lou, K., Southee, D., Bohemia, E. (2015) Designer-led NPD Implementation Issues in Chinese SMEs, Symphonya. Emerging Issues in Management, ISSN: 1593-0319. Full text:
  • Hurn, K.M. and Storer, I.(Accepted for publication) Using novel 2D image manipulation methods to aid initial concept generation with Postgraduate Industrial Design Students, Engineering Design Graphics Journal, ISSN: 0046-2012. Full text: .
  • Torrens, G.E., Badni, K., Hurn, K., Storer, I.J. (Accepted for publication) An introduction to the development of a product Brand: an evidence-based template for use with first year undergraduate industrial designers, The Engineering Design Graphics Journal, No. 79(No.2), Full text: .
  • Torrens, G.E., Badni, K., Hurn, K., Storer, I.J. (2015) An introduction to the development of a product brand: An evidence-based template for use with first year undergraduate industrial designers, Engineering Design Graphics Journal, 79(2), pp.24-45, ISSN: 0046-2012
  • Torrens, G.E. and Newton, H. (2013) Getting the most from working with higher education: a review of methods used within a participatory design activity involving KS3 special school pupils and undergraduate and post-graduate industrial design students. Design and Technology Education: an international journal, 18 (1), pp. 58 - 71
  • Torrens, G.E. and Smith, N.C.S. (2013) Evaluation of an assistive technology product design using a paired comparisons method within a mixed methods approach: A case study evaluating preferences for four types of cutlery with 34 upper limb impaired participants. Disability and Rehabilitation: Assistive Technology, 8 (4), pp. 340 - 347
  • Turner, S. and Braine, M. (Accepted for publication) Embedding Wellbeing Knowledge and Practice into Teacher Education: building emotional resilience, TEAN journal.
  • Turner, S. and Braine, M. (2015) Unravelling the Safe Concept. Pastoral Care in Education, 33(1), 47-62. ISSN: 0264-3944. DOI: 10.1080/02643944.2015.1005657.
  • Withey, P.  & Turner, S. (2015) The analysis of SATS results as a measure of pupil progress across educational transitions. Educational Review, 67 (1), 23-34. DOI: 10.1080/00131911.2013.826180

Academic & Research staff


PhD & MPhil students