Driving growth and prosperity through 'Design Strategy, Design Futures and Design Driven Innovation'

Lead Research Organisation: Manchester Metropolitan University
Department Name: School of Art


How does the subconscious use of objects drive value creation for the user ? My research interests concern the potential of design to shape the strategic development of new products and services - in particular, the relationship between the development process, the user and the resultant end-product
(or service) - leading to a viable outcome or identifying conceptual directions for product development. I have a keen interest in the front-end development process, and opportunities for employing design to build long-term strategies for organisations ensuring their growth and prosperity. A key area of focus is through consideration of the visceral, behavioural and reflective levels of product design and services - visceral responses concerning visual stimulus, behavioural responses exploring product use, and reflective design interrogating product semantics. To emphasise, such reflective consideration teamed with end user expectations have remained and continue to be at the core of my creative and technological ideations. My preferred research theme of choice for the PhD is 'design strategy, design futures and design-driven innovation (Verganti, 2009; Brown, 2009)' as my work demonstrates exploration of such topics. In addition, individual research interests consider how strategy could benefit technology for the creative industries, and I wish to explore how innovation could improve manufacturing processes.


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Description Presented at 'China International Design Art Postgraduate Forum' at China Academy of Art (CAA) Shanghai Institute of Design 
Organisation China National Academy of Arts
Country China 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution I was invited to present my PhD research at the China International Design Art Postgraduate forum as it aimed to develop their strategy of internationalising their academy and to cultivate innovative thinking amongst students. This forum was held from 3rd - 7th November 2018 and it focussed on 'design-future-responsibility' with the theme of 'design & critical thinking.'
Collaborator Contribution The China Academy of Art Shanghai Institute of Design invited me to present and ran the forum. They also invited many other intonations PhD students to present this work, so this enabled me to connect and discuss research within an international sphere.
Impact I believe that there is a publication within China, however I have not yet received the DOI, so I will get hold of it and upload to the next submission.
Start Year 2018
Description Workshop Educator & Lecturer at China Academy of Art Shanghai Institute of Design (CAA) 
Organisation China National Academy of Arts
Country China 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution I delivered a workshop under the umbrella of my PhD project and named the workshop 'It Is What It Is.' The aim of this workshop was to cultivate inventive thinking applying the concepts taken from my PhD, in challenging how an individual interacts with, and perceives an everyday object. I carried out tutorials supporting individual creative and design progression for project; devised submission criteria and responded to student projects with a comprehensive feedback report issuing mark estimations. Additional supporting workshops covered, research skills training; interactive profiling; design thinking for story-making; an inventive mindset; reflexive creators; and presentation training in English. Designed a project brief as a continuation from 'It Is What It Is' project. Additional supporting lectures covered, research skills; critical analysis; research analysis in English; knowing your audience; an introduction to consumer theory; story-tools techniques; the contemporary designer; and theories of consumer use with objects.
Collaborator Contribution China Academy of Art Shanghai Institute of Design (CAA) provided the students who were a mixture of 3rd year and Masters 'Interactive Design' students. They also facilitated the teaching spaces, and materials.
Impact I have been invited to go back to teach again this June 2020, however due to my PhD workload and the current health situation I believe I will be unable to run a workshop this year. I believe this to be a great way of expanding the regional conversation of PhD research in England to an international scale.
Start Year 2019
Description Meeting of Minds: Collaborative Research in the Arts and Humanities Conference 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact A collaborative doctoral training programme, focused on design and creativity, 'Transformation North West' (TNW) was launched in Autumn 2017 and is funded by the NWCDTP, from the AHRC as a part of the NPIF. This programme spans five Universities in the North West of England, and comprises of a cohort of twelve doctoral researchers who are working together with businesses and organisations in response to the UK Government's Industrial Strategy.

The research projects explore how design and creative techniques can contribute to growth and prosperity, fostering impact in the region. Therefore a select group of the Transformation North West cohort wish to present diverse insights from their collaborative research on the programme thus far.

We will reflect on the unique benefits, challenges and risks of working in this collaborative research manner, as well as share research examples from a range of past and present projects in collaboration with various industry partners.

A project example is 'Re-Design by the Sea', whereby a creative business and school pupils in a Northern coastal town worked together to design elements of a festival, aiming to have a positive impact on the local community. Additionally, the project named 'Asteroid Mining', involved the first UK space mining company that encountered a creative boost through collaborating with TNW in the form of innovative brand and research development to promote an optimal market position. Further projects focus on how to engage intergenerational cohorts in user-centred design to give a voice to those who are often overlooked in the design of new technologies, such as children and the ageing population.

Conclusively, this presentation aims to highlight how creative skills and techniques can contribute to the growth of the North West economy and beyond.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
URL https://nwcdtpconference2019.wordpress.com/programme/
Description Techne: Interfaces: Collaboration - Interdisciplinarity - Impact Conference 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact Members of the TNW cohort would like to invite AHRC students and industry experts attending Interface to join them in a workshop to reflect upon the unique benefits, challenges and risks of working on collaborative research and to contribute to a collective charter for collaborative doctoral research. In 2018, members of the TNW programme gathered to collectively write a charter outlining how design research and practice can actively respond to issues facing England's North West, aiming to challenge the status quo of traditional design research. TNW will open their charter and invite the arts and humanities doctoral research community to explore and reflect upon how doctoral research can contribute to change through collaboration through three themes: 'knowledge', 'connections', and 'people'. The resulting document will provide a starting point for increased dialogue and collaboration between academia and industry to help foster a decentralised, fairer and more balanced economy at a time of great change.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2020