Loughborough University
Leicestershire, UK
LE11 3TU
+44 (0)1509 263171
Loughborough University

Loughborough Design School

Design Education Research Group



The Design Education Research Group's key interests are:

These reflect current research agendas in general and higher education and the expertise of current academic staff. Members of the DERG undertake, publish, and supervise research in these areas.

Past publications and publication opportunities can be accessed via the archives.

On-going research discussions take place through IDATER Online.

The DERG seeks to collaborate with other Research Groups and Centres located both within and outside the Loughborough Design School.

These interests are also reflected in:

About us

IDATER online conference advert The Design Education Research Group concentrates on applied, scholarly, and action research in relation to the design curriculum and its associated pedagogy.

Recent projects have included: the development of the research infrastructure to support teacher researchers in design and technology (in partnership with the D&T Association); the creation and development of support materials for CAD/CAM, and the design and development of the Sustainable Design Awards (led by Practical Action, formally ITDG).

The work of this Group impacts on curriculum content, pedagogy, and institutional management structures (eg the D&T Association, the Crafts Council, and the Royal Academy of Engineering).

Research Focus

The Group's research focus includes the nature, philosophy and culture of design, including cognitive modelling, design knowledge, design intelligence, the relationship of design and science (technology), modelling and design decision making (methods).

There are also some current IDATER online developments.

The department and staff

The DERG has been operating within the Department of Design and Technology at Loughborough University since the 1980s.

It was substantially strengthened when Professor Phil Roberts and Professor Ken Baynes joined the Department, bringing with them their wealth of experience gained at the Design Education Unit at the RCA (Royal College of Art) in the 1970s and early 1980s.

It was further strengthened in the area of sustainable design education when Dr Tracy Bhamra and Dr Vicky Lofthouse joined the Department from Cranfield University.

Such strengthening of the Department's academic staff has significantly influenced the theoretical underpinning and culture of the DERG from its roots and traditions centred on research supporting the act designing - the heart of the Design School's work.

The DERG archive embodies much of its past work. The content of this is indicated below, and further details are given under publications.

Specific web pages contains brief descriptions of current key interests and if you would like to be part of the DERG and undertake research in any of the areas, please contact any member of the group or Professor Eddie Norman, if you are unsure who to contact.

DERG Archive - Overview

The DERG archive has three elements:


IDATER online This is the International Conference on Design and Technology Educational Research and Curriculum Development and was held in the Department of Design and Technology at Loughborough University each year from 1988-2001.

The IDATER archive has about 400 papers and Keynote Addresses from this period, which was one of the most exciting in the emergence of design and technology in the educational arena.

Go to the IDATER Archive »

The Orange Series

The Orange Series There are three series: Design Curriculum Matters, Learning Design: Occasional Papers, and Design: Occasional Papers. There are publications in each series, and new publications in preparation.

The NADE Archive

NADE journal From 1992-2002 the Journal of the National Association for Design Education (NADE) was edited and published by Nigel Zanker. During this period, the NADE Journal evolved into a refereed journal, attracting papers from educational practitioners and researchers who shared a common concern about the status of designerly activity in school-practice driven by the National Curriculum.

NADE members played a part in influencing Government policy through their response to statutory consultation on curriculum reform.

Go to the NADE Archive »

The Design and Technology Association Archives

The Design and Technology Association archive has two elements:

Your contribution

We welcome members of staff from universities in the UK or overseas, who would like to contribute to the continued development of understanding in design and technology education (see Alexandros Mettas, Aede Hatib Musta'amal, Sarah Pulé, Gisli Thorsteinsson on Doctoral Research Projects).

We also have a strong tradition of supporting action research, and particularly welcome teachers who would like to engage in this form of research. Find out more about our key interests and publications.

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The Orange Series

IDATER online

Project examples

Contact us

Get in touch with the Design Education Research Group:

01509 222661 | Email