Centre for Design and Creative Industries (CDCI)

The Centre for Design and Creative Industries is a well-established, interdisciplinary research centre that encompasses a broad range of creative design practices, innovation and external engagement.

Although we carry out work within the traditional design groupings of architecture, fashion and textiles, jewellery, product design and visual communication, the combination of cognate disciplines brought together by the Centre also gives us the opportunity to build genuinely interdisciplinary design research and respond to cross-disciplinary research themes and challenges.

Individual and collaborative research

We host specialist research clusters in human-computer interaction, photography and archives, typography, wellbeing, architectural policy and pedagogy, and zero carbon. The Centre fosters and supports individual and collaborative research, leading to exhibitions and designed products, as well as articles, conference contributions and books. We currently have over 20 PhD students working across our theoretical and applied research specialisms, including a number of collaborative funded projects.

We retain a strong belief in the ability of curiosity-driven research to deliver knowledge and innovation in design, while at the same time we wish to respond actively to wider agendas. The Centre is committed to engagement with external partners in industry and the public sector. The Design Knowledge Network (DKN) and Jewellery Industry Innovation Centre (JIIC) have proven track records in working with small and medium-sized enterprises enhancing the impact of our research and delivering added design value.

Research in areas such as wellbeing and zero carbon retrofit are focused on bringing an understanding of complex human-environment interactions to bear on long-term social and environmental challenges. In jewellery, research and technical innovation in the fields of additive manufacturing, rapid prototyping and three-dimensional scanning are providing solutions for the preservation, interpretation and public display of precious cultural artefacts; and in architecture our work is delivering impact on policy.

User experience

The Centre is also developing distinctive areas of methodological expertise in user experience and creative research methods which address different audiences and communities. These include methods for investigating perception of the landscape involving the use of narrative, visual and embodied techniques to elicit participant experience in settings such as urban green spaces and canalscapes.

In respect of creative research methods, many research students across the visual arts and design are using methodological approaches where art and design practice is given a prominent role. The Centre has a longstanding interest in this area, and currently hosts a student-led, AHRC-funded project to foster exchange around creative research methods between researchers in art and design and those in media and communication.

The Centre attracts funding from diverse sources, including current projects supported by the Arts and Humanities Research Council focusing on cultural engagement and community interaction, as well as other sources to support international and European research students and post-doctoral activities.

Find out more

Find out more about our work in the following areas: