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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


Design is an application of creativity for the benefit of people and society. It is multi-disciplinary by its nature and incorporates diverse fields from humanities and arts to sciences and engineering.

The Design Research Centre (DRC) brings together experts from different disciplines interested in the practice, theory, and history of design. It fosters new approaches to design thinking, design enquiry, design implementation and the use of design techniques and related technologies to make positive societal, economic and environmental impacts.

The DRC operates in the areas of Product, Furniture, Medical, Retail, Consumer, Engineering, Environmental, Graphic, Media, Virtual and User Interaction and User Experience Design. It exemplifies the cross-disciplinary interplay between practice and theory within a research context and seeks to engage a wide range of industry and non-profit stakeholders, as well as social enterprises and charities.

Building on the fundamental nature of design to enable, collaboration is at the heart of the DRC’s operational ethos, reaching out to other Schools and Research Centres across NTU and other academic, industry and non-profit organisations nationally and internationally.

The DRC contributes significantly to research and practice within the School, across the university and beyond, and plays a key role in the development of Early Career Researchers at NTU.

PhD Funding

Find out everything you need to know about funding your doctoral studies – from tuition fees and loans, to studentships and external funding.

Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2021

In the Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2021, 83% of our research in Art and Design was assessed to be world-leading or internationally excellent in terms of research impact.


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