The i~design research programme, which has been running in the University
of Cambridge Department of Engineering (DoEng) since 2000, sought to
understand population diversity in order to better inform design decisions
for mainstream everyday products and services. Impact from this programme,
since 2008, includes: skills embedded in companies through direct training
of over 280 designers and design managers from industry; direct
involvement in the improved design of more than 10 new products and
services that have gone into production; educational resources for
teaching Design and Technology trialled in nine secondary schools; over
800 wearable impairment simulators sold; and extensive web-based guidance,
methods and tools for inclusive design accessed in over 170 countries.
Design thinking has benefited the economic performance of business and
particularly the creative industries, changed awareness of design in
everyday life, and informed public policy. Users and consumers have
benefited from wider understanding of the genesis of products and services
and effects on their quality of life. Design thinking research has been
instrumental in forming a new business sector that provides design
thinking expertise as consultancy. It has changed the processes of
designers and design practices, and fed into UK design education policy.
Design thinking has crossed discipline boundaries; for example framing new
methods and processes in software engineering.
In late 2010 Professor Sanderson decided to form the Flux ceramics
spin-out company at Staffordshire University in order to exploit a
significant market gap he had discovered via his KTP research project for
Aynsley China Ltd., Stoke-on-Trent. Flux has been able to exploit the
market gap discovered in a way that Aynsley China was unwilling to pursue.
Flux has produced cutting edge ceramic tableware design that has been
successful in terms of both sales and recognition as a valuable
contribution to contemporary tableware design. Flux won the Home and
Gardens Design Award in 2012.
The Design Policy Group has directly influenced the design innovation
policies of the UK and EU Governments since 2008. We will evidence a clear
link between the unit's research and the EU's 2010 `Innovation Union'
policy and 2013 Action Plan, demonstrate that they provided important
underpinnings for the Welsh Government's 2013 `Innovation Strategy for
Wales' and that the group directly engaged in the UK's Design and
Innovation Policy debate through invited membership of a House of Lord's
[Throughout this template, references to underpinning research are
numbered 1-6; sources to corroborate are numbered 7-15]
Research at Kingston University led by Hilary Dalke has established the
beneficial effects of colour design for application in long-term health
care environments for people with neural disabilities. This work has led
to the development of spatial design principles for improving the
experience of service users, patients and staff.
Through her consultancy work with architectural firms, individual NHS
hospitals, mental health units, independent charities and healthcare
furniture and equipment suppliers such as Hill-Rom, Dalke has influenced
their understanding of the issues involved, leading to improved design in
hospitals, care homes and day centres, with consequent benefits for
patients, staff and visitors in four institutions.
A sustained programme of research at the Royal College of Art (RCA) since
1994, led by Coleman, Myerson and Bichard, has played a leading role in
the emergence of Inclusive Design within design, industry and education,
defining its theoretical principles and developing relevant real-world
practice tools and business case studies. This research had made an impact
in four key areas: it has influenced the public discourse and the ethics
and methods of the design profession; contributed to national policymaking
for older and disabled people; enabled economic prosperity through
development of new products and services; and supported advances in design
Professor Martin Charter has directed The Centre for Sustainable Design ®
at UCA since 1999.
During this time he has developed a body of research concerning
sustainable and eco-innovation,
and sustainable and eco-design, with a particular focus on organisational
business. This has led to a widespread programme of dissemination and
application to SMEs
through funded projects, publications, consultancy and training. The
specific beneficiaries of this
research are the SMEs through these projects, guidance and training.
CHAPMAN's research into emotionally durable design has radically shifted
the values and practices of global businesses, helping them to cut waste
and to enhance product, material and brand value. Through publications,
exhibitions, master-classes and films, this research has transformed
understanding of sustainable design in professional (Puma, Sony), policy
(House of Lords, UN) and cultural (Design Museum, New Scientist)
settings, propelling the field beyond its focus on energy and materials,
towards deeper engagements that link psychosocial phenomena with ideas
about consumption and waste. Furthermore, it has contributed to public
debate and policy with the effect that the term `emotional durability' has
now entered the international design lexicon, providing valuable shorthand
for complex phenomena influencing product longevity.
Birmingham Institute of Art and Design (BIAD) has researched the extent
and effectiveness of design management in companies for over 15 years. The
research has combined an academic analysis with a practice based approach
where findings have been implemented through a succession of
industry-facing, large-scale, externally funded projects.
Through this sustained activity, design tools, methods and support
strategies have been developed, delivered, tested and disseminated
internationally. Additionally, the experiences are fed back into the
continuing research that underpins the practical activity.
Since 2008, BIAD's business-facing projects have:
This case study is based on research and impact of the development of
creative systems and creative systems management to enhance professional
in-house design capabilities of design and manufacturing companies through
the use of new technologies. The research was conducted by Dave Henley and
Rob Cooksey over the duration of several years (2008-2012) to develop the
transferable application of design systems and management for SMEs. The
research included three different Knowledge Transfer Partnerships (KTPs)
with Fairfield Displays & Lighting Ltd., China Industries Ltd., and
Tough Furniture Ltd. The research evidences impact in the development of
the companies' creative capabilities through significant increases in
turnover, employment and market penetration and a number of awards, as
well as in public benefits such as social inclusion, community health and