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Communities of Practice

Our communities of practice are led by professors and academic experts and include innovators in residence along with MA and PhD students engaged in research, innovation and enterprise projects with external partners.

Strategic Design and Innovation

Strategic Design and Innovation explores and disrupts our interpretation of complex real-world situations by considering the relationships between stakeholders and technologies and applying innovative  problem framing methods to expose new forms of value for business and society.

Academics in this group are engaged in collaborative research and development in both public and private sector, including healthcare and healthtech, advanced manufacturing, food and drink, packaging, exhibition and retail to develop business-critical intellectual property.

The group includes specialists in design-led enterprise, design disruption and strategic innovation and has developed collaborative relationships with a wide range of organisations including Procter and Gamble, Tucano, Greggs, Capita, Lakeland, the National Centre for Printable Electronics and the Academic Health Science Network.

Performance Products

Performance Products Design community of practice has a Design: STEM perspective.  It looks to interpret and respond to human centred needs and to create new innovative products using traditional and/or new materials with new or existing technologies. These products endeavour to have intrinsic long-term benefits to individual needs whilst considering wider materials and process systems for a social and commercial sustainable future.

The group includes specialists in Fashion Design, Product Design and Science. Both staff and students have engaged with large-scale ‘Depth’ inquiries into understanding and using new materials for greater Human benefit. Some of our collaborative partners have included Unilever, Peacocks Healthcare, Berghaus, Academic Health Science Network and VTT.

We welcome students who wish to widen their knowledge in materials and processes that aid human needs.

Service Design

Academics in this group focus on distinct research challenges: examining ways of innovating and creating value across society by applying service design-led innovation thinking and creative practices and; deriving better methods, processes and infrastructures to support the work of designers in context.  

The challenge involves our researchers directly engaging with real problems as design practitioners, where they either apply and/or examine the impact of design-led service innovation, the tools and processes used and the ways in which organisations can work together to generate innovation.

This work runs across the product manufacturing and service organisations, the public and third sectors, tackling a range of social innovation issues, including research into whether the design of public and community services can be used to improve public organisations and how collaborative designing with communities can be used to engender a sense of empowerment amongst their stakeholders.

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