Research in the School of Design

Our research

Research in the School of Design seeks to explore what design is and what it might become. We work across disciplines to better understand where design ideas sit within the context of the world around us and how to design excellence into our lives. With projects spanning practical and theoretical enquiries, we use action research to interpret environmental and social change and the mechanics and ethics of the telling of stories. We have a global reputation for using the moving image and digital technologies as research tools and a growing profile in the exploration of material production, rooted in our history of creativity in craft.

Our approach to research

The School of Design is at the forefront of collaborative research within, and beyond, ECA. We have pioneered award-winning work with scientists, with architects, artists and human geographers, with literature, language and law specialists and with international retailers. In recent years, there has been significant investment in the studios and technical facilities where much of our research is developed and in our spaces for knowledge exchange and engagement with key stakeholders. We provide a stimulating environment for researchers at all stages of career development.

The significance of our research

We have won several international awards for our work, most notably in documentary filmmaking. From small, seed-funded projects have grown expansive, interdisciplinary networks such as The Invisible College and the Naked Craft Network, both now funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council. We have recently appointed a new Chair to lead the Centre of Design Informatics, which considers the ways in which new products and services can be researched and developed. We have also partnered with All Walks Beyond the Catwalk to form the Diversity Network, challenging body norms in the fashion industry.