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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.

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.

  • Please visit the Pure Research Information Portal for further information
  • ‘Safe spaces and places’: the value of design-led methodologies in developing online narratives, Oswald, R., Soppitt, S., Spencer, N., Powell, L., Richardson, C., Coombs, S. 23 Jan 2023, In: International Journal of Social Research Methodology
  • Creative and collaborative reflective thinking to support policy deliberation and decision making, Spaa, A., Spencer, N., Durrant, A., Vines, J. 1 May 2022, In: Evidence and Policy
  • Design-led Innovation Readiness: priming small to medium-sized enterprises for strategic innovation, Bailey, M., Spencer, N., Carrion-Weiss, J., Arakelyan, A., Carter, A. 25 Apr 2022, 23rd DMI: Academic Design Management Conference
  • Design-led Innovation Readiness: priming micro SMEs for strategic innovation, Arakelyan, A., Carrion-Weiss, J., Carter, A., Bailey, M., Spencer, N. 2022, In: Design Management Journal
  • Design Listening: what designers hear and how they respond, Carrion-Weiss, J., Bailey, M., Spencer, N. 7 Dec 2022, [ ] With Design: Reinventing Design Modes, Singapore, Springer
  • Innovation Constellations as a systems approach to social design infrastructuring, Spencer, N., Simmons, H., Bailey, M., Hemstock, O., Carrion-Weiss, J. 3 Aug 2022, dmi: ADMC2022: Design as a Strategic Asset, Cambridge, US, Design Management Institute
  • Introduction: An Overview of the Research, Păunescu, C., Lepik, K., Spencer, N. 5 Jan 2022, Social Innovation in Higher Education, Cham, Switzerland, Springer
  • Management framework for higher education institution-based community innovation labs, Păunescu, C., Ruohonen, A., Spencer, N., Vavură, N. 1 Oct 2022, In: Management and Marketing
  • Multidisciplinary innovation Armenia: explorations in design-led multidisciplinary enterprise education, Bailey, M., Spencer, N., Carrion-Weiss, J., Arakelyan, A. 8 Sep 2022, DS 117: Proceedings of the 24th International Conference on Engineering and Product Design Education (E&PDE 2022), London South Bank University in London, UK. 8th - 9th September 2022, The Design Society
  • Social Innovation in Higher Education: Landscapes, Practices, and Opportunities, Paunescu, C., Lepik, K., Spencer, N. 5 Jan 2022

  • 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, £19,951.00
  • Creative Fuse North East (AHRC funded), Bailey, M. (Principal Investigator), Spencer, N. (Co Investigator), Newcastle University, 01/02/20 - 31/07/22, 0.00
  • 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, 0.00
  • 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

  • Please visit the Pure Research Information Portal for further information
  • Consultancy: Enterprise Education Policy Challenges, Opportunities and Recommendations in the Republic of Armenia 2019
  • Organising a conference, workshop, ...: British Council Enterprise education Policy Dialogue workshop 2019
  • Organising a conference, workshop, ...: GETM3 Sandpit Northumbria 2017 2017

  • Felipe Schmidt Fonseca Waste Prevention and Generous Cities Start Date: 22/11/2021
  • Brogan Ogilvie Developing a Design-for-Policy Framework for Reflexive Action Start Date: 01/10/2021
  • Jacob Goff Postphenomenology and Fashion: Clothing as Mediator Between Body and World Start Date: 25/09/2020
  • Emelia Erland Start Date: 25/09/2020 End Date: 05/02/2021
  • 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 Constructivist Grounded Theory Study Creating a Framework of Prominent Themes of Responsibility Within UK-Based Postgraduate Design-Led Innovation Programmes Start Date: 01/10/2015 End Date: 26/06/2022

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


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