Design Practice

Excellence in the creative practice of graphic, industrial/product and textile design is embedded in the culture of our School.

This extends to externally funded research projects in which the distinctive nature of creative design practice is employed in data collection and dissemination to increase understanding, effectiveness and address global challenges.

A feature or practice-based/led methods is that outputs extend beyond journal publication to include exhibition, app, video, tool, website and product. Validated high impact outputs have been achieved through collaboration with leading global universities (Aalto, Hong Kong Polytechnic, Nairobi, Tongji, MIT) plus corporate organisations and professional societies.

Key projects

The School has a proven track record in the use of practice-based/led research and is keen to continue this through new collaborations and applications for PhD study. Practice-based/led projects are undertaken under three core thematic areas:

Understanding capabilities of design tools

  • Haptic feedback 3D modelling – MIT/AHRC (Evans)
  • Digital sketching – Hewlett Packard (Evans)
  • 3D concrete printing – EPSRC (Evans, Bibb, Sinclair, Torrens)
  • Assistive product new product development resource – Higher Education Innovation Fund (Torrens)

Enabling effective communication

  • Exploring urban graphic heritage through photo-documentation – Newton Fund/ AHRC (Harland)
  • Types and capabilities of design representations – Industrial Designers Society of America (IDSA) (Evans)
  • Communication between industrial designers and engineering designers – Royal Academy of Engineering (Evans)
  • Practice-based/led research in the PhD – European Union (Evans)

Supporting innovation in developed and developing countries

  • Woven textile colour innovation for Jacquard textiles – AHRC (Kim)
  • Creating a user-centred, sustainable toilet for developing countries using hydrothermal carbonisation – Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (Hurn)
  • Integration of industrial design within UK manufacturing – Department of Trade and Industry (Evans)
  • 3D printed products for Nigeria and Rwanda using waste plastic bottles – EPSRC (Evans)
  • Enabling sustainable inclusive arts and crafts in Southern Africa – AHRC (Torrens)
  • Using sustainable indigenous materials to support employment and wealth generation in Kenya and Uganda – AHRC

Further information