Exploring how industrial designers can contribute to scientific research

Alex Driver, Carlos Peralta Mahecha, James Moultrie

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This paper describes the findings of an empirical study exploring in depth how industrial designers might be able to support scientists in their research activities. The paper compares and contrasts the findings of a literature review, a series of interviews with scientists and studies in which designers collaborated with scientific teams at a university. It reflects on the designers’ contribution to research and highlights potential barriers and enablers to collaboration. In addition to the expected contribution of designers to supporting commercialisation of technology, the research demonstrated the potential for industrial design to have an impact on research itself. When involved earlier in the scientific research process it is concluded, designers can challenge the research direction and support scientists in demonstrating, communicating and exploring potential future applications. This paper is available to the public in the printed version of the journal and online in the web page bellow
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)17-28
Number of pages12
JournalInternational Journal of Design
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 30 Apr 2011

Bibliographical note

© 2011 Driver, Peralta, and Moultrie. Copyright for this article is retained by the authors, with first publication rights granted to the International Journal of Design. All journal content, except where otherwise noted, is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.5 License. By virtue of their appearance in this open-access journal, articles are free to use, with proper attribution, in educational and other non-commercial settings.


  • Collaboration
  • Industrial Design
  • Multidisciplinary
  • Science


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