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Design Research Centre

Unit(s) of assessment: Art and Design: History, Practice and Theory; Communication, Cultural and Media Studies, Library and Information Management

School: School of Art & Design


The Design Research Centre (DRC) is a broad interdisciplinary group of design researchers and practitioners operating across the University, driven by an aim to foster new approaches to design thinking, design enquiry, design implementation and the use of design techniques and related technologies at the highest level.

The Design Research Centre is world leading in its approach to design research and practice, bringing about beneficial societal, economic and environmental impacts. It operates in the areas of Product, Furniture, Medical, Retail, Consumer, Engineering, Environmental, Graphic, Media, Virtual and User Interaction and User Experience design.

Internally, an overarching function of the Centres at NTU is to help foster a dynamic research environment relevant to staff, whether they are on the Teaching and Scholarship (T&S), Teaching and Practice (T&P) and Teaching and Research (T&R) pathways. The Centre encourages an interplay between practice and theory within a research context and as such supports all staff with their research interests.

Externally, the Centre engages a wide range of industry on commercial projects that range consumer, medical, assisted living and security product development, and human interaction, illustration, trend prediction (motifs) and VR environment activities. Collaborations have included Inspiration Healthcare Plc, Bombay Sapphire (Bacardi), Arthr Ltd (the company of the charity Versus Arthritis), Rober Ltd, Tower Health Ltd and G4Security.

Building on the fundamental nature of design to enable, collaboration is at the heart of the centre’s operational ethos, reaching out to other Schools and Research Centres across NTU and other research institutions, manufacturers and businesses nationally and internationally.

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Partnerships and Collaborations:

  1. Medical Technology Innovation Facility (MTIF).
  2. Fastlab, Newcastle University (New South Wales)
  3. The Design Matter, Design Research Group
  4. UK National representative for COST Action CA16226 (European Cooperation in Science and Technology) Management Committee– Indoor living space improvement: Smart habitat for the older persons (2017-2021) and Working Group, Furniture and Habitat
  5. The Industrial Innovation Centre Oman