AHRC Proposal for Commissioned Research on Mapping Social Design Research and Practice

Lead Research Organisation: University of Brighton
Department Name: School of Art, Design and Media


A nine-month study to map and analyse research and practice in the emerging field of social design, to inform the AHRC about current issues and opportunities, and make recommendations about research needs. Social design is a diffuse set of design-like practices across many fields of application including local and central government, policy areas such as healthcare and international development, as well as being promoted by some activists and non-profit and commercial providers.


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Description We discovered that there is strong potential for the development of Social Design Research in the UK. While design researchers have skills in user observation and other fields that are important here, they have less strengths in the understanding of the macro-environments (e.g. policy, economics) that shape practice and research. We recommended specific ways to develop HEI and non-HEI collaborations.
Exploitation Route Our work provided an extensive analysis of the field of social design against which future researchers might situate themselves and understand opportunities.
Sectors Creative Economy,Digital/Communication/Information Technologies (including Software),Healthcare,Government, Democracy and Justice,Culture, Heritage, Museums and Collections

URL http://mappingsocialdesign.org
Description University of Brighton/Victoria and Albert Museum Design Culture Salons 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Monthly panel discussions engaging designers, policymakers, critics and academics from design and the social sciences.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014,2015,2016
URL http://designculturesalon.org