Research Strengths

Sustainable Design

This group is involved in the development of cutting edge theory which advances the emerging field of sustainable design. We aim to facilitate the integration of sustainable practices into design, resulting in improvements in overall environment performance and quality of life.

Areas of expertise

  • Sustainable Design Education
  • Methods and Tools for Sustainable Design
  • Design for Sustainable Behaviour
  • Design for Happiness
  • Ecodesign / Sustainable Design Implementation
  • Responsible Design
  • Service Design
  • Sustainable Product Service Systems
  • Product Lifetime Extension
  • Design for Emotional Durability
  • Design Ethics
  • Social Innovation
  • Sustainable Packaging
  • Education for Global Development
  • Domestic Energy Demand Reduction

Design for Happiness
New framework that contributes to peoples' happiness and well-bring through design.  Created by Dr Carolina Escobar-Tello, Design for Happiness offers bespoke workshops, using the framework, to help businesses, organisations and communities understand how they can transition towards more sustainable and happier lifestyles through the design of their products, services and systems. 

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Lufbra Service Design Jam
Annually people from over 100 countries worldwide come together to get involved in a friendly service design competition.  Teams have 48 hours to develop brand new services inspired by a shared theme before publishing them to the world.  The Loughborough leg sees students, staff and members of the public come together to get involved. 

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Social Issues Cards
Set of 31 hand held cards which have been designed to help all designers to consider relevant social issues in their design work.  The lead researcher for this project is Dr Vicky Lofthouse

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Low Effort Energy Demand Reduction Project
Between 2010 – 2014, a team of anthropologists, engineers and designers worked towards a deeper understanding of how energy and media consumption fit in to everyday practices and habits in home life. This external website presents some of the key outcomes of the ethnographic and design strands of that research

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Design Research Society (DRS) Sustainability Special Interest Group (SIG)
Sustainability SIG provides an international platform for researchers, design practitioners, design educators, students and the general public to exchange knowledge about design for sustainability.  The sustainability SIG is chaired by Dr Rhoda Trimingham.  The sustainabiltiy community connects, communicates, and collaborates through an online community and through a program of events and strands at international conferences. 



  • McMahon M and Bhamra T, ‘Social Sustainability in Design: Moving the discussions forward’, Design Journal, 2015, 18(3), DOI: 10.1080/14606925.2015.1059604
  • Wilson G, Bhamra T and Lilley D, ‘The Considerations and Limitations of Feedback as a Strategy for Behaviour Change’, International Journal of Sustainable Engineering, 2015, 8(3), DOI: 10.1080/19397038.2015.1006299
  • Hernandez Pardo R, Bhamra T and Bhamra R ‘Exploring SME perceptions of Sustainable Product Service Systems’, IEEE Transactions on Engineering Management (IEEE-TEM), 2012, DOI: 10.1109/TEM.2012.2215961
  • Santamaria L, Escobar-Tello MC and Ross T, ‘Switch the Channel: using cultural codes for designing and positioning sustainable products and services for mainstream audiences’, Journal of Cleaner Production, October 2015, DOI: 10.1016/j.jclepro.2015.09.130
  • Escobar-Tello M C. ‘A New Design Framework to Build Sustainable Societies: Using Happiness as leverage’. The Design Journal, (in press).
  • Mitchell, V., Leder Mackley, K., Pink, S., Escobar-Tello, M. C., Wilson, G. T., Bhamra, T. A. (2014) ‘Situating Digital Interventions: Mixed Methods for HCI Research in the Home’. Interacting with Computers; doi: 10.1093/iwc/iwu034
  • Escobar-Tello M C and Bhamra T A. (2013). ‘Happiness as a Harmonising Path for Bringing Higher Education Towards Sustainability’. Environment, Development and Sustainability, Volume 15, Issue 1, p.177-197. DOI: 10.1007/s10668-012-9382-4
  • Kuzmina, K., Bhamra, T A., Trimigham, R. (2012) Service Design and its role in changing education towards sustainable development (ESD) in Service Design with Theory: Discussion on Change, Value and Methods, Miettinen, S., Valtonen, V. (eds) , Lapland, 27-36, ISBN 9524845512, 9789524845519
  • Spencer. J, Lilley, D. and Porter. S. 2015. The opportunities that different cultural contexts create for sustainable design: A laundry care example, Journal of Cleaner Production, 107, 2015,  pp.279-290 doi: 10.1016/j.jclepro.2015.04.082
  • Spencer. J, Lilley, D, and Porter. S. 2015. The implications of cultural differences in laundry behaviours for design for sustainable behaviour: A case study between the UK, India and Brazil, International Journal of Sustainable Engineering, 2015, 8(3), doi: 10.1080/19397038.2015.1017621
  • Lilley, D. and Wilson, G. T., 2013. Integrating ethics into design for sustainable behaviour, Journal of Design Research, 2013, doi: 10.1504/JDR.2013.056593.
  • Lofthouse, V.A., Trimingham, R.L and Bhamra T.A. (2009) Investigating consumer perceptions of refillable packaging and assessing business drivers to their use, Journal of Packaging Technology and Science, 22(6), February 2009, pp 335-348Available from
  • Lofthouse, V., (2013) "Social issues: making them relevant to undergraduate student designers", Design and Technology Education: An International Journal, 8(2), June 2013, pp8-23  Available from:
  • Lofthouse, V.A. and Stevenson, N. 2013. Is the industrial designer’s changing role improving their opportunities for responsible design practices? Paper presented at International Association of Societies of Design Research (IASDR) 2013, Tokyo, 26th - 30th August 2013.
  • Wilson, G. T., 2013. Design for sustainable behaviour: feedback interventions to reduce domestic energy consumption. Ph.D. Thesis. Loughborough University, UK.
  • (Book) Pérez Foguet, Agustí ; Velo García, Enrique ; Sierra Castañer, Manuel; Boni Aristizábal, Alejandra ; Peris Blanes, Jordi; Zolezzi, Guido; Trimingham, Rhoda (Eds) (2014) Global Dimensions in Engineering Education, Servei de biblioteques, Publications i arxius of the Universitat Politecnica de Catalunya (UPC), ISBN  9788469714713 (o.c.) also translated into Spanish:
  • Trimingham, R (2105) ‘Global Dimensions in Engineering Education’ in Walter Leal & Paul Pace  (Eds) Teaching Education for Sustainable Development at University Level, Springer (Book chapter)

Academic & Research staff


PhD & MPhil students