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Dr Nick Spencer

Associate Professor

Department: Northumbria School of Design

ADSS Nicholas Spencer Staffprofile 255Nicholas is Programme Leader for the MA/MSc Multidisciplinary Innovation programme. In this role Nicholas helps to develop international educational partnerships that develop new forms of innovation for external commercial and third sector organizations through novel academic, student and community co-creation. Nicholas' first degree is in industrial design and his Doctorate focused on expert designers' experience of practice. Teaching design research into the Design Department's Postgraduate provision and supervising Doctoral Research programmes supports and is supported by the personal research focus of developing new understandings of networked design intelligence.

Research Themes and Scholarly Interests

My research relates to Design for Social Innovation. Specifically, my work engages with the complexities of transition; the conflicting views and influence of different people and organisations and their collective roles in realising fairer, responsible and more rewarding futures. Through a practice based approach my research explores how capabilities can be developed and embedded that initiate desirable transition and help non-design experts to continue an appropriate design practice within their professional or community setting.

I have expertise in Design Thinking and Design Innovation, topics I am invited to speak about to academic, corporate and public sector audiences. I am often commissioned to lead projects that bring the public and multiple organisations together to examine and respond creatively and strategically to complex situations. I am part of a range of significant European networks interested in Social Innovation and Social Entrepreneurship and leverage these to support the scaling and dissemination of new practice and exciting initiatives.

Key Publications

  • Please visit the Pure Research Information Portal for further information
  • Design for Complex Situations: Navigating ‘Matters of Concern’, Spencer, N., Bailey, M. 31 Dec 2020, In: International Journal of Design
  • A design-led approach to transforming wicked problems into design situations and opportunities, Bailey, M., Chatzakis, E., Spencer, N., Lampitt Adey, K., Sterling, N., Smith, N. 1 Mar 2019, In: Journal of Design, Business & Society
  • Slow knowledge in the ‘real world’: Using slow practice to actively engage commercial collaborators in doctoral research, Hemstock, O., Spencer, N. 31 May 2019, In: The Design Journal
  • Social Value Creation through Multidisciplinary Design Education, Kyffin, S., Aftab, M., Spencer, N. 22 May 2019, Re:Research, Bristol, Intellect
  • The Why and How of Design-led Multidisciplinary Innovation Education: Context and Curriculum, Bailey, M., Spencer, N. 5 Dec 2019, In: International Journal of Design Education
  • A rapid design-led approach to innovation readiness: Advantages and challenges, Gribbin, J., Spencer, N., Bailey, M. 18 Jul 2018, Academic Design Management Conference ADMC18
  • A Rapid Design‐Led Approach to Innovation Readiness: Advantages and Challenges, Gribbin, J., Spencer, N., Bailey, M. 1 Oct 2018, In: Design Management Journal
  • Beyond disciplines: Can design approaches be used to develop education for jobs that don't yet exist?, Bailey, M., Pearce, A., Spencer, N., Mihelic, K., Harney, B., Dziewanowska, K. 6 Sep 2018, DS 93: Proceedings of the 20th International Conference on Engineering and Product Design Education (E&PDE 2018), The Design Society
  • Beyond disicplines: Can design approaches be used to develop education for jobs that don’t yet exist?, Bailey, M., Pearce, A., Spencer, N., Mihelic, K., Harney, B., Dziewanowska, K. 1 Jan 2018, Proceedings of the 20th International Conference on Engineering and Product Design Education, E and PDE 2018, Institution of Engineering Designers, The Design Society
  • Framing Strategic Value por meio de Design-led Innovation Practice, Bailey, M., Spencer, N., Smith, N., Aftab, M., Knott, C., Sams, P. 8 Aug 2018, In: Project Design Management

Current and Recent Projects

  • Please visit the Pure Research Information Portal for further information
  • Creative Spark partnerhsip fund, Bailey, M. (Principal Investigator), Spencer, N. (Co Investigator), British Council, 05/11/20 - 30/06/23, 0.0
  • Creative Fuse North East (AHRC funded), Bailey, M. (Principal Investigator), Spencer, N. (Co Investigator), Newcastle University, 01/02/20 - 31/07/22, 0.0
  • ERDF: Creative Fuse North East 2 (see also CRP0755 AHRC), Bailey, M. (Principal Investigator), Spencer, N. (Co Investigator), Newcastle University, 01/02/20 - 31/07/22, 0.0
  • Creative Spark: Get Ready to Innovate Armenia, Bailey, M. (Principal Investigator), Spencer, N. (Co Investigator), British Council, 09/10/18 - 31/07/19, £49,924.00
  • Project Legacy Sprint, Bailey, M. (Principal Investigator), Spencer, N. (Co Investigator), Northumbrian Water, 08/05/17 - 12/05/17, £2,000.00
  • Global Entrepreneurial Talent Management 3 MSCA RISE Project No 734824, Pearce, A. (Principal Investigator), Spencer, N. (Co Investigator), European Commission, 14/12/16 - 30/12/20, £769,355.00
  • Creativity Works (ERDF), Bailey, M. (Principal Investigator), Spencer, N. (Co Investigator), European Commission, 01/06/16 - 28/01/19, £229,779.00
  • Creative Fuse North East, Bailey, M. (Principal Investigator), Spencer, N. (Co Investigator), Arts & Humanities Research Council, 01/01/16 - 31/12/17, £468,671.00

Professional Activity

PGR Supervision

  • Jacob Goff Wearable Technology from an Apparel Designer's Perspective Start Date: 25/09/2020
  • Emelia Erland Start Date: 25/09/2020 End Date: 05/02/2021
  • Nesrin Elmarakbi Creative Design Activities to Support the Complex Learning Environment of the Classroom with Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) Start Date: 01/03/2020
  • Oliver Hemstock Exploring the strategic value of slow design: understanding potential benefits within a commercial setting Start Date: 01/10/2015 End Date: 29/07/2020
  • Ashleigh Bentham A Multiple Case Study Exploring Prominent Themes of Responsibility within Postgraduate Design-Led Innovation Programmes Start Date: 01/10/2015

Qualifications

  • Design Studies PhD March 31 2009
  • Teaching & Learning PCAPL November 04 2004
  • Design Studies BA (Hons) June 30 2002


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