Design Research Initiatives

Gareth Neal, Through a series of rectilinear cuts the George III commode is hidden within

Performance, Meaning and Making 

Gareth Neal's practice-led research makes discoveries at the boundaries of craft, design and perception. Pictured, detail of George III commode.

Sustainable Development

Sustainable Development and Climate Change 

Smart-material research investigates the potential of flax plant product for healthcare and sustainable social developments

Creative and Digital Economies

Creative & Digital Economies 

Design researchers investigate digital solutions that inform community building and the use of artefacts in museums and public spaces

Tom Ainsworth - design for patient interaction with therapeutic objects in arthritis

Inclusion, Health & Wellbeing 

Researchers investigate the user connectivity with designed objects, assisting with therapeutic treatment routines

"DRI seeks to advance the outcomes and impacts of design research through ... knowledge transfers, external partnerships, publications, symposia and exhibitions ..."

Design Research from the University of Brighton's Faculty of Arts is represented through the Design Research Initiatives (DRI). 

DRI seeks is to redefine and promote recognition of the fundamental significance and impact of design research and to support the range of staff in their individual aims while encouraging collaboration across many disciplines.

It is particularly concerned with the facilitation of innovative thinking and outlooks across the design spectrum, initiating appropriate design research interventions in a wide range of fields including national policy-making. It is therefore also deeply committed to the stimulation of sophisticated interpretations and understandings of design policy, practice and consumption.

With the aim of fostering high quality research and developing the research environment for design at Brighton, DRI advances the outcomes of its design research through a variety of mechanisms including knowledge transfers, external partnerships, publications, symposia, exhibitions and other forms of dissemination. Its work encompasses a variety of fields ranging from textiles to industrially manufactured items and from communications design to craft-based artefacts while interactions with design industry partners and collaborators are key to the wide-ranging success.


  • Emotion, Design and Material Culture

    A newly published book features work by three University of Brighton


  • 1945-1975: British Culture for Architecture

    Ben Sweeting contributes to new Mellon funded research project at the


  • Designing the Digital Economy

    Professor Gillian Youngs contributes to new Design Commission Report


  • Remembering the Great War

    Community events and research project to commemorate the centenary of World


  • UnBox-ing Future Cities

    Professor Paul Sermon is part of a research team to find


  • The art of the insulting Valentine

    Dr Annebella Pollen's research looks at sending cards to enforce


  • Praise for picture postcard research

    Annebella Pollen's research acknowledged as filling a gap in academic


  • BRIDGEing the green ‘Entente Cordiale’

    Cross-border eco materials project launched