School staff

Karl Hurn

Photo of  Karl Hurn


Placements Co-ordinator

Karl Hurn is the Placements Co-ordinator at Loughborough Design School.

Karl graduated in 1995 with a BA (Hons) in Industrial Design.  He worked in consultancy before moving to Hotpoint Domestic Appliances, then a division of GE Alliances, to work as an industrial designer in white goods.  He worked as an Industrial Designer for 7 years before becoming an academic in 2002.

Karl moved to Loughborough in 2011 to develop his academic research at the leading design research school in the UK.   His research interests include industrial design practice, sustainable design, design and emotion, design pedagogy and computer-aided design.

In his last position he was Programme Leader for the BA and BSc Product Design Programmes at the University of Derby.   During that time he specialised in teaching computer aided design and visualisation, design presentation and final year undergraduate projects tutoring as well as teaching on the Masters programme in Sustainable Design and Innovation.

His research interests include: Industrial Design Practice, Sustainable Design, Design and Emotion, Design Pedagogy and Computer Aided Design.

  • DSA002 Drawing for Designers
  • DSA003 Design Contexts
  • DSA005 Computing for Designers
  • DSA009 Industrial Design Studies 1
  • DSB009 Industrial Design Studies 2
  • DSB014 Design Communication
  • DSC026 Final Year Design Practice
  • DSP852 Industrial Design Skills

Research group: Sustainable Design.

Karl’s most recent research was funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.  The research centred on the design and development of a sustainable, culturally sensitive redesign of the toilet for developing countries. 

The design focused on the primary and secondary users to produce a product that was also optimised for local, low cost, sustainable production.  The project was developed alongside the Water, Engineering and Development Centre (WEDC) within the School of Civil and Building Engineering.  Together, the team not only developed an innovative engineering solution in the form of a hydrothermal carbonisation reactor (HCR) for processing human waste, but also develop the innovative user centred, ergonomic and industrially designed front end toilet solution that was presented at the Gates Foundation Reinvent the Toilet Expo in Deli, India in 2014. 

Read the Reinventing the Toilet conference paper presented by Karl at the Industrial Design Society of America International Education Symposium and Conference in Austin, Texas in August 2014 by using the following link:  Reinventing the Toilet and for further information:  Design School News - Reinventing the toilet

Karl's interests also include:

  • The continued evolution of computer aided design in industrial design and product design practice
  • Innovative methods for the teaching of computer aided design software to industrial design undergraduates
  • Innovative approaches to professional design communication

Karl is currently supervising two research students;

  • Yaone Rapitsenyane
  • Alan Manley
  • Hurn, K. (2012) ‘The Impact of Social Software in Product Design Higher Education’, Design and Technology Education: An International Journal, 17 (2), pp. 35 - 48.

  • Hurn, K. (2013)‘The Impact of Collaborative ‘Live’ Industrial Partner Projects in Product Design Higher Education’, Proceedings of the 5th International Congress of the Association of Societies of Design Research. Tokyo, Japan. 5374 – 5373.

  • Hurn, K. (2012) ‘Social Design Network: The Integration of Social Software in Industrial Design Education’, Proceedings of the Industrial Design Society of America International Conference 2012, New Orleans, United State of America

  • HURN, K. (2011) ‘Moving target: What are the key elements that are conducive to a creative environment for Industrial / Product design study today?’, Diversity and Unity: Proceedings of IASDR, the 4th World Conference on Design Research, Delft, the Netherlands

  • Hurn, K. (2011) ‘Learning Curve – What makes a good design course’, newdesign Magazine - Issue 83, 43-44.