Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Cultures

School of Design

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Design Research Area

The Design Research Area reflects the School’s long-standing research expertise in studying the many facets and applications of creative design. The area brings together a rich array of academic staff exploring important key themes such as design for sustainability, healthcare, food, cultural impact and industry practice.

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This research area also embodies the School’s commitment to research-led teaching. Our staff, through their research activities, shape the undergraduate and postgraduate curricula related to textile design, fashion design, fashion marketing and graphic design.

The Design Research Area comprises of 4 Research Groups:

Archiving and Design History

Experience Design

Textile and Fashion Design

Visual Communication

Projects are funded from a range of funding bodies (in particular the AHRC, ESRC and the EU). Design researchers also collaborate extensively with external organisations (such as Drinkaware.co.uk and Public Health England) and international universities (current collaborations include the University of Lapland and Cape Peninsula University of Technology).

We have a long established history producing world-leading research in the area textiles archiving area. Research and publication are an important focus of the Archiving and Design History group. Several of the constituent collections of ULITA, our International Textiles Archive, were assembled and used as teaching resources in the late-nineteenth and early-twentieth centuries. These collections were supplemented by large quantities of material collected, acquired and rescued by the current Director, Professor Michael Hann, in the 1980s and 1990s. We also house the The Yorkshire Fashion Archive, a publically accessible collection of haute couture, fashion garments and everyday clothing. It provides a unique historical and cultural record of Yorkshire life and documents clothing produced, purchased and worn by Yorkshire people throughout the 20th century. Both Ulita and the Fashion Archive act as resource hubs for research activity. 20th Century

In order to better understand audience responses to design the Experience Design Group employ state of the art eye-tracking and ECG equipment.  As well as technology-led approaches to studying design reception, we also engage in participatory and user-centred approaches to design research and practice (through projects such as the PARTY project (link to http://www.pacollaborative.com/portfolio-items/party-project)

The Textile and Fashion Design group comprises of researchers and practitioners exploring cutting edge aspects of textiles and fashion design. They examine industry practice with particular emphasis on the use of sustainable materials and ethics, critically analyse issues within the fashion branding sector and explore the creative potential of knit technologies and practice.

The Visual Communication group examines the application, impact and process of graphic design and visual communication. Their outputs include work on the impact of typography on legibility and meaning, branding, infographic effectiveness, graphic design for health and creative thinking.

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