Design in science: exploring how industrial designers can contribute to scientific research

Alex Driver, Carlos Peralta Mahecha, James Moultrie

Research output: Book/ReportBook - authored


The Design in Science project involved bringing professional industrial designers into the science base at Cambridge University to work on ‘live’ research projects between 2009 and 2011. The aim of the study was to explore ways in which designers might be able to support the commercialisation of early stage science, and to understand what factors might influence collaboration between designers and scientists. This book describes the Design in Science project, including a series of case studies which saw the designers support the development of Biophotovoltaic technology, polymer-wood composites, multistable materials, medical and laboratory equipment, structural coloured polymers and stem cell research. The book outlines three main design contributions to scientific research, namely supporting the commercialisation of new technology, steering the research direction and assisting with the communication of science. The study suggested that design contributions to research are best specified according to the objectives of scientists. The book also presents a framework which allows the research group to investigate the roles of different artefacts in the scientific research process. The book is aimed primarily at designers and scientists in the hope that it will increase mutual awareness between the two disciplines and improve modes of future collaboration.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationCambridge
PublisherUniversity of Cambridge, Institute for Manufacturing
Number of pages130
ISBN (Print)9781902546476
Publication statusPublished - 24 Apr 2012


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