Rachel Cooper OBE is Distinguished Professor of Design Management and Policy at Lancaster University. She is Director of ImaginationLancaster. Professor Cooper’s research interests cover: design thinking; design management; design policy; and across all sectors of industry, a specific interest in design for wellbeing and socially responsible design. She has published extensively on these topics, including books 'Designing Sustainable Cities', 'Constructing Futures'and Handbook of Wellbeing and the Environment'(Wiley Blackwell). She is also series editor of the Ashgate series Design for Social Responsibility covering topics such as designing for sustainability, inclusivity, service design, sport, health, transport and policy.
She is currently working on Liveable Cities, an Engineering Physical Sciences Research Council funded six-year research programme working to identify design and engineering solutions that will lead to low-carbon, resource-secure, future cities in which societal wellbeing is prioritised. Also ‘The Creative Exchange’, an Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) Knowledge Exchange hub looking at the growth of the creative industries through exploring the ‘digital public space’.She is also Co-Investigator of an AHRC project on Design Value in Innovation. She is also co-Director of HighWire (Digital Economies Innovation Doctoral Training Centre).
She is a non-executive Director of the Future Cities Catapult, and a Lead Expert for the UK Government Foresight programme on the Future of Cities, and is on the Academy of Medical Sciences Working group addressing ‘the health of the public 2040’.
She was a member of the 2014 Blackett review on the Internet of Things. She is founding and past president of the European Academy of Design, founding editor of The Design Journal, and a trustee of the Research and Development Management Association (RADMA). She was a member of the EU Design and Innovation Leadership Board, and has undertaken several advisory roles to national and international universities, government and non-governmental organisations