Design - Innovation in Product Design (I-PD)

The Innovation in Product Design (I-PD) research group conducts research in product innovation and development supported by design, manufacture and multi-disciplinary manufacturing technologies.

The group includes staff specialising in a range of subjects including:

  • lighting
  • furniture
  • ceramics
  • glass
  • social and environmental factors
  • rapid manufacturing
  • digital visualisation techniques

The group aims to investigate and contribute to current developments in product and industrial design through theoretical research, knowledge transfer and knowledge application partnerships with industry, and the application of innovative design processes.

Research activities include:
  • Product and industrial design
  • Sustainability
  • New product development and innovation
  • Composite materials
  • Ceramics and glass
  • Lighting products
  • Medical products
  • Responsible design
  • Rapid visualisation techniques
  • Design for manufacture and assembly
  • Market segmentation and consumer analysis
  • Design management
Subjects include:

Gas injection moulding, anti-microbial surfaces for furniture and related products destined for acute hygiene environments, low energy lighting, rapid manufacturing, new composite materials for product and furniture design. Most of our researchers have a strong background in Product Design, Furniture Design, Industrial Design, Lighting Design, Precious Metals, Jewellery, Computer Science, Mechanical Engineering and Interaction Design.

Knowledge Transfer Partnerships

The research group's consultancy projects are mainly collaborative projects with industry which have received outstanding achievements from the Technology Strategy Board (TSB) with companies such as AGA Rangemaster, and Glass Domain. For more information visit the KTP section of this site.


The Product Design research group are active contributors to the Birmingham Made Me Expo which showcases the best products, design and innovation produced in Birmingham and the Midlands.


Professor Simon Bolton

Current members

Professor Simon Bolton
Dr Panch Suntharalingam
Professor Richard Snell

Current research students

Camille Chinneck (PhD), Integrated Idea Management: Enhancing External Innovation Capabilities in Front-End Activities (Supervisors: Simon Bolton and Lawrence Green)

Se Ryeong Kim (PhD), A Study on Development of New Design Methodology for Creative Solutions (Supervisors: Simon Bolton and Lawrence Green)

Marta Perez Garcia (PhD), Design Driven Innovation: Enhancing Idea Quality in Front End Idea Generation Practices in Large Multinational Companies (Supervisors: Simon Bolton and Lawrence Green)

Yi Wu (PhD), Determining the Impacts of Social media on new Consumer Journey Models and how they affect product, service and communication design strategies (Supervisors: Simon Bolton and Lawrence Green)