Design and innovation expertise

One of the UK's largest and most important centres for art, architecture and design education, our work with industry has helped more than 40 organisations to improve their business performance and market position, increasing their collective turnover by £8 million. We have worked in partnership with the likes of Cartier and Richemont UK, JCB and the Natural History Museum.

Design and innovationThe centrally important role of design (in its many forms) to economic growth, business development, evolution of new products, and experience and enjoyment of everyday artefacts, services and environments has been recognised increasingly by the academic, business and policy communities in the past 15 years.

Indeed, design (especially that in the UK) has never enjoyed greater and more positive profile.

Our experts, individually and collectively (and in collaboration with an extensive global network of partners), are pushing the boundaries of design research and investigating the most pertinent questions. Our aims are to maintain and build our central role in setting the agenda for future global design practice and scholarship, and to connect our theory, investigation and findings with real-world social, commercial and environmental challenges.

Product design and innovation

Developments in technologies and techniques, and shifts in consumption patterns and preferences are key areas of expertise, as are questions relating to developments in design practice and the role of the designer in innovation of various forms (product, process, organisational, marketing and conceptual). This is a broad area, but expertise focuses on:

  • User interaction and interface design (UIE)
  • Aesthetics and lifestyle
  • Materials and manufacturing: opportunities and implications for design
  • Designer-makers and design entrepreneurship
  • Materialisation of design

Service design and innovation

With services activity accounting for more than 80 per cent of economic activity and employment, it now seems ridiculous that innovation in this sector should be ignored. The past three decades have witnessed strenuous efforts to engage with the nature and implications of innovation in the service domain and much robust theory has resulted. Our expertise and investigation work focuses on:

  • Social media and new consumer journeys
  • Service design
  • Value creation in creative services
We also possess expertise in:
  • Typography
  • Visual communications
  • Photography
  • Archives
  • Product and service innovation
  • User-centred design
  • Design-driven innovation
  • Design as strategy