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Personal profile

Research interests

I am fascinated by human behavior and how the built environment (both virtual and real) influences what we do, where, and when. Of particular interest is sustainable development, morality and ethics in design, interdisciplinarity, and collaboration.

My research activities seek to achieve social benefit through design. My approach to research is practice-based design research and generally conducted in collaboration with colleagues from other disciplines.

Research projects conducted in pursuit of these ambitions include:

‘Inter-Disciplinary Education Agenda (IDEA): An essential driver for innovation’, Funded by the EU TEMPUS scheme. This project helped to improve knowledge exchange and innovation between engineering and design disciplines and business, in higher education institutes.

‘The Human Body Form’ A collaborative arts/medicine pedagogic research study investigating the potential benefits of drawing as a method for inter-disciplinary learning.

‘Designing for the Future’ a multi-disciplinary design competition that seeks to develop design innovations to benefit an aging population, sponsored by The Future Perfect Company.

'Using Biomechanical data to inform student learning about chair design.' The study, which aimed to develop innovative models for interdisciplinary teaching, was funded by the Centre for Excellence in Teaching and Learning through Design (CETLD).

The successful completion of this project led to a second CETLD-funded research study titled: 'Design in the Clinical Environment.' The project was a further development of the interdisciplinary teaching model identified during the previous research and moved the focus from the chair to the built environment.

I am an External Reviewer for the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC); Fellow of the Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce (FRSA); and chair of the Tier 1 Research Ethics and Governance Committee for the School of Architecture and Design.

Approach to teaching

I am an active PhD supervisor and examiner, and course leader for the MA Sustainable Design, in the School of Architecture and Design.


Current Supervision

Sally Sutherland, University of Brighton. Working title: Design, Culture and Gender Matters: An exploration of design as a socio-material tool for UK public breastfeeding research. AHRC Design Star funded



PhD Examination, Catherine Speight, University of Brighton. Title: Looking Understanding and Making Meaning: HE Ceramics Students as a ‘Community of Learners’. AHRC Funded.

PhD Examination, Tobias Mulling, University of Brighton. Title: Embracing the gesture-driven interface: design and evaluation of a mid-air gestural approach based on manipulation.

MPhil/PhD Transfer Examination, Merryn Haynes-Gadd, University of Brighton. Thesis Title: Light, Emotion and Longevity: Applying Emotional Durability to Product and Service Innovation. AHRC Design Star funded.


Before these roles, I was a year tutor on the BA Design and Craft in the School of Art, University of Brighton. I have led several research-driven teaching projects, including interdisciplinary collaborative projects with internal and external partners including Politecnico di Milano, Shenkar College of Engineering, Kings College London, and Brighton and Sussex Medical School.

Working across disciplines is an important part of my teaching.  I seek to support individuals to develop the skills that enable them to participate in society - to be empowered and capable of expressing their opinions on issues of social, political, cultural and economic importance.

Fingerprint Fingerprint is based on mining the text of the person's scientific documents to create an index of weighted terms, which defines the key subjects of each individual researcher.

learning Social Sciences
medical student Social Sciences
education Social Sciences
creativity Social Sciences
Teaching Social Sciences
student Social Sciences
conversation Social Sciences
art Social Sciences

Network Recent external collaboration on country level. Dive into details by clicking on the dots.

Research Output 2013 2016

Drawing pedagogies in higher education: the learning impact of a collaborative crossdisciplinary drawing course

Lyon, P., Letschka, P., Ainsworth, T. & Haq, I. 16 Oct 2016 37, 2, p. 221-232 12 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Open Access
art education

Interdisciplinary Design in the College of Arts and Humanities at the University of Brighton

Boddington, A., Kermik, J. & Ainsworth, T. 2016 Creating Innovation Leaders: A Global Perspective. Banerjee, B. & Ceri, S. (eds.). p. 239-254 (Understanding Innovation)

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

medical student

Drawing conversation

Lyon, P., Letschka, P., Ainsworth, T. & Haq, I. 1 Oct 2013

Research output: Other contribution

open access

Activities 2011 2012

  • 1 Invited talk
  • 1 Oral presentation

'Collaborative drawing as a tool for learning in Craft and Medicine'

Lyon, P. (Presenter), Letschka, P. (Presenter), Ainsworth, T. (Presenter), I. Haq (Presenter)
11 Sep 2012

Activity: Invited talk


Drawing as a transdisciplinary approach in art and medicine

Lyon, P. (Presenter), Letschka, P. (Presenter), Ainsworth, T. (Presenter)
2 May 2011

Activity: Oral presentation