Professor Peter Ford

Peter Ford


School of Art & Design

Staff Group(s)
Academic Division Employment, Learning and Knowledge Management (Research Group)


Dr Peter Ford joined Nottingham Trent University in September 2018 as Professor of Design where he is leading the recently established Design Matter research group and is taking a lead role within the School of Design on its applied, Practice Research focus. He will also be working closely with NTU’s Medical Technology Innovation Facility (MTIF) and will be NTU’s joint lead on the Impacting Business by Design initiative.

Career overview

Peter’s career began with ten years of product design consultancy for the international consultants BIB, (Butler, Isherwood and Bartlett) and Jones Garrard, working on products for companies that included Minolta, Ferguson, Duracell, British Telecom, Pfizer, and Black and Decker, working on contracts in Japan, the USA and the rest of Europe. He joined De Montfort University in 1991, becoming Professor of Design in 2010.

There he was involved with the development of undergraduate and post graduate product design courses, and higher degree supervision and examining. He established the Design Unit (an industry facing design research and consultancy group) in 1992 which undertook projects totalling over £8 million of design research support for industry during his tenure.

Research areas

Peter’s primary research has centred on the development of methods and strategies to assist Small, Medium and Large Enterprises make effective use of design in their business strategies. His research has attracted significant funding from the Private Sector, UK and European Government, and Research England, including a recent £4.65 million grant for the Impacting Business by Design initiative. His research also embraces issues around Sustainability, the Circular Economy and the application of Additive Manufacturing in the New Product Development process with patents having been awarded to him in this field. Peter has advised Government bodies on design in the UK, Oman, and Indonesia and regularly speaks at international design conferences and publishes in international journals on design support for industry.

These activities have resulted in over 200 hundred design research interventions for Small, Medium and Large enterprises that include Guinness, Adidas, Oxford Instruments, British Nuclear Fuels, British Telecom and Google USA, with design engagements in the USA, Finland, Germany, Sweden and the Czech Republic, all relating to new product development. Many of these designs have been award winning and, in several cases, have resulted in patent applications.