Design research for change: a UK perspective

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This paper examines the current landscape of design research in the United Kingdom (UK) with a particular focus on UK research councils' funded projects that aim to make a positive change to society. In recent years, design research in the UK has grown massively in terms of the number of students studying for a postgraduate degree (Masters and PhD), the number of institutions undertaking research, and both the quantity and quality of design-led inter- and multi-disciplinary collaborative research projects. The ongoing work presented here has involved significant data analysis and visualisation of over 18,000 funded research projects in the UK. The paper highlights the recent "social turn" and the increasingly collaborative nature of design for change research projects in the UK. The paper also describes a number of key characteristics found in and across present day design for change research projects.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)110-139
Number of pages30
Publication statusPublished - 14 Sept 2018


  • design
  • design research
  • creative industries
  • change
  • transformation


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