Research

ImaginationLancaster addresses complex contemporary challenges and opportunities by working across traditional university boundaries and linking disciplines.

We conduct applied and theoretical research into people, products, places and their interactions. We use innovative strategies that combine practice-based methods arising from design and the arts with science and social science methods. We address challenges such as climate change, urban density, an increasingly ageing society, health and wellbeing, inequalities in wealth within and across countries and continents, knowledge exchange, and rapid technological change.

Current Research Activities

A Practice-Based Approach to Sustainable Design ResearchA Practice-Based Approach to Sustainable Design Research A Practice-Based Approach to Sustainable Design Research Exploring new creative directions in product design to include sustainable principles.
Creative ExchangeCreative Exchange Creative Exchange Creating New Contexts for Growth in the Experience Economy
Design and Production for SustainabilityDesign and Production for Sustainability Design and Production for Sustainability Research into the nature and form of functional objects
Design Fiction: The MovieDesign Fiction: The Movie Design Fiction: The Movie EPSRC Project Highlighting Imagination Research in Design Fiction
Design For EuropeDesign For Europe Design For Europe Design For Europe aims to increase the use of design for innovation and growth across Europe.
Design RoutesDesign Routes Design Routes Envisioning the future of culturally significant designs, products and practices
Design Value: The Role of Design in InnovationDesign Value: The Role of Design in Innovation Design Value: The Role of Design in Innovation Exploring the roles design can play in innovation and the conditions enabling those roles
FictionWareFictionWare FictionWare For all your future Design Fiction needs!
Include Me Include Me Include Me Co-designing 'phygital' interactions for the social inclusion of children with autism
Lancaster China Catalyst ProgrammeLancaster China Catalyst Programme Lancaster China Catalyst Programme Lancaster University is embarking on a new initiative to leverage its global reach for the benefit of UK ...
Leapfrog: transforming public sector engagement by designLeapfrog: transforming public sector engagement by design Leapfrog: transforming public sector engagement by design The Leapfrog project will be a close collaboration with public sector and community partners to design and ...
Liveable CitiesLiveable Cities Liveable Cities Transforming the Engineering of Cities for Global and Societal Wellbeing
Mobile UtopiaMobile Utopia Mobile Utopia Co-creation research project to creatively analyse and explore alternative futures.
PETRASPETRAS PETRAS Privacy, Ethics, Trust, Reliability, Acceptability, and Security
ReWiiReReWiiRe ReWiiRe Research for Wii Rehabilitation
Stories 2 ConnectStories 2 Connect Stories 2 Connect Enabling children and young people at the margins of society to tell their won stories.
The Spirit of Design The Spirit of Design The Spirit of Design Research that expands understandings of sustainability to include notions of personal meaning that ...
What if? Design Fictions for SocietyWhat if? Design Fictions for Society What if? Design Fictions for Society Imagining the future implications of policy initiatives in creative ways.

Past Research Activities

Active ParksActive Parks Active Parks Co-designing a Health trail in Ryelands Park
A Designerly Approach to Re-imagining Design Procurement A Designerly Approach to Re-imagining Design Procurement A Designerly Approach to Re-imagining Design Procurement How can designerly approaches develop innovative ways of engendering empathy between commissioning and ...
Ageing PlayfullyAgeing Playfully Ageing Playfully Co-designing interactive and playful ways to encourage dementia-friendly exercise and movement.
BARTERBARTER BARTER moBile sociAl netwoRking supporTing local Ethical tRading
Behaviours that StickBehaviours that Stick Behaviours that Stick Exploring emotional design of sustainable behaviours that stick
BridgeBridge Bridge Bridging resources and agencies in large-scale emergency management
Brief EncountersBrief Encounters Brief Encounters An AHRC Network project to explore new forms of collaborative design processes
CaTalyST: Citizens Transforming Society (Tools for Change)CaTalyST: Citizens Transforming Society (Tools for Change) CaTalyST: Citizens Transforming Society (Tools for Change) This £1.5 million EPSRC funded 4 year project examines the role of new technology in citizen led ...
CheckinDJCheckinDJ CheckinDJ The first crowdsourcing jukebox to use NFC technolog.
Co-Design FaceMoocCo-Design FaceMooc Co-Design FaceMooc A 5 week online course for design professionals interested in co-design.
Creating and Exploring Digital Empathy Creating and Exploring Digital Empathy Creating and Exploring Digital Empathy How do we unlock the digital communication of empathy
Data ArtsData Arts Data Arts An investigation into emerging approaches to visualising, interpreting and using data.
DeEP: Design in European PolicyDeEP: Design in European Policy DeEP: Design in European Policy Evaluating and Sharing Design Innovation Policies for European Growth
Design2020Design2020 Design2020 The UK design industry in 2020
Design for Service Innovation and DevelopmentDesign for Service Innovation and Development Design for Service Innovation and Development A scoping study into the contributions Service Design to Service Innovation and Development starting from ...
Design In PracticeDesign In Practice Design In Practice Flexibility and change for healthcare service providers
Design PhD Conference 2013Design PhD Conference 2013 Design PhD Conference 2013 Design Research for Turbulent Times
Design PhD Conference 2015Design PhD Conference 2015 Design PhD Conference 2015 Better by Design: Environment, Society & Self
DESIS UK NetworkDESIS UK Network DESIS UK Network Design for Social Innovation and Sustainability (DESIS) UK Network
Environment 2.0Environment 2.0 Environment 2.0 Investigating new forms of social sensing and participatory observation of local environment and climate.
Fields of GreenFields of Green Fields of Green Addressing Sustainability and Climate Change through Music Festival Communities
Free All Monsters!Free All Monsters! Free All Monsters! Location based iPhone game exploring user generated content
Geospatial Ontologies: PlaceGeospatial Ontologies: Place Geospatial Ontologies: Place Addressing ambiguity in geospatial concepts such as 'place'
HighWireHighWire HighWire Creating Innovative People for Radical Change
IDEAS for ImpactIDEAS for Impact IDEAS for Impact A project to help Lancaster University academics undertake high impact, excellent research.
Innovation Theory/PracticeInnovation Theory/Practice Innovation Theory/Practice Understanding through challenging: Innovation and Design
Innovation through Improved Service & DesignInnovation through Improved Service & Design Innovation through Improved Service & Design A series of 3 workshops aiming at introducing Design to manufacturing SMEs with a particular focus on the ...
Knowledge Exchange Tools DesignKnowledge Exchange Tools Design Knowledge Exchange Tools Design PROUD are designing tools for creative public consultation in a collaboration with Lancaster City Council ...
London Creative and Digital FusionLondon Creative and Digital Fusion London Creative and Digital Fusion Ambitious £5m project to inspire and support growth in the digital industries
Mapping Design Innovation EcosystemsMapping Design Innovation Ecosystems Mapping Design Innovation Ecosystems Creating a blueprint for to map and analyse their design innovation ecosystems
Mapping Imagined PlacesMapping Imagined Places Mapping Imagined Places Mapping sense of place from literary poems and texts
N8: New Thinking from the NorthN8: New Thinking from the North N8: New Thinking from the North Stimulating reinvention and influencing economic growth across the North
New IDEASNew IDEAS New IDEAS The aim of New IDEAS is to develop, refine and disseminate highly innovative knowledge exchange approaches ...
New Interaction OrderNew Interaction Order New Interaction Order New(?) mobile behaviour in public spaces
Numbers that MatterNumbers that Matter Numbers that Matter Exploring wellbeing and people’s understanding of data by co-designing a wearable open-data device
OpTexOpTex OpTex Open innovation for textile-like materials made on a paper machine.
Out of the box: assessment of cognitive and usability aspects of in-car navigation system useOut of the box: assessment of cognitive and usability aspects of in-car navigation system use Out of the box: assessment of cognitive and usability aspects of in-car navigation system use Inter-disciplinary project evaluating efficacy of navigational instructions in sat-navs
PAC-LANPAC-LAN PAC-LAN Worlds First NFC Mixed Reality Game
ProtoPolicyProtoPolicy ProtoPolicy Using design fiction to help politicians and community groups imagine the future implications of policy ...
PROUDPROUD PROUD Working with designers, businesses, academics and the public to promote innovation through new types of ...
SDR UK Network SDR UK Network SDR UK Network Developing a Network for Service Design Research in UK
Service Design for InnovationService Design for Innovation Service Design for Innovation Service Design for Innovation (SDIN) is a European Training Network for Early Stage Researchers (ESRs)
Structural IDEAS Exchange Structural IDEAS Exchange Structural IDEAS Exchange Research into the exchange of knowledge exchange structures rather than the exchange of knowledge itself.
Taking the Artwork HomeTaking the Artwork Home Taking the Artwork Home Digital Curation Through Mobile Augmented Reality
Telling Tales of Engagement: The Wray Broadband ProjectTelling Tales of Engagement: The Wray Broadband Project Telling Tales of Engagement: The Wray Broadband Project Scarebot and scARecrow Time Machine
The Knowledge Exchange: An Interactive ConferenceThe Knowledge Exchange: An Interactive Conference The Knowledge Exchange: An Interactive Conference An interactive conference, which took place on the 26th and 27th of September 2013 that explored academic ...
The PLACE LabThe PLACE Lab The PLACE Lab Places and Spaces
Urban FuturesUrban Futures Urban Futures Sustainable Regeneration - from evidence-based urban futures to implementation
Working With GroupsWorking With Groups Working With Groups The PROUD project are running series of events throughout 2014 designed to share experience and effective ...

Latest Updates

What If workshop at Age UK HQ

What If workshop at Age UK HQ

...exploring dementia futures using design fictions

A workshop conducted at Age UK HQ in London with members across different departments ofAge UK provided a number of insights into the current challenges people face with dementia. It explored preferable futures for a dementia-friendly society...Read full update

Presentation on design fictions for digital healthcare receives attention at eHealth conference

Presentation on design fictions for digital healthcare receives attention at eHealth conference

A paper on "design fictions: a tool for debating societal, legal and ethical aspects of personal and pervasive health systems presented at the EAI International Conference on Personal, Pervasive and mobile Health (PPmH) received a lot of attention and generated discussion on its potential as...Read full update

Mobile Utopia at Somerset House

Event30 days ago
Mobile Utopia at Somerset House

24th of June 2016, Somerset House, London

Visual manifesto to be presented at the Utopia Fair.

Mobile Utopia will present their visual manifesto for the future, developed through collaboration with the artist Oliver East and co-created with members of the public, at the...Read full update

Creative Process Workshop

Creative Process Workshop

Sarah Campbell from the V&A Museum joins the Leapfrog team to develop tools to help understand the creative process.

I first met the Imagination Lancaster team at a conference in Essen, Germany, a couple of years ago. I recognised them immediately as both good thinkers and good fun and have...Read full update

Design Futures through Design Fiction

Design Futures through Design Fiction

Research vsit to EINA, Centre Universitari de Disseny i Art de Barcelona.

Prof Paul Coulton was invited to give a workshop and lecture at EINA in Barcelona iabout his work on ‘Designing the Future’. The workshop and lecture concentrated on the speculative design practice of design fiction...Read full update