Social Design Futures: HEI Research and the AHRC

Leah Armstrong, Jocelyn Bailey, Guy Julier, Lucy Kimbell

Research output: Book/ReportCommissioned report


In the summer of 2013, the Arts and Humanities Research Council, recognising the opportunity presented by social design as an emerging subject for research, commissioned this mapping study to inform its strategy in this area. his report is, in the first instance, intended to inform the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC). It was commissioned by the AHRC to review social design research and practice in the UK and to help guide its future strategy in this area. Its primary focus is on academic research in Higher Education Institutions (HEIs), although research collaboration with other bodies is understood to be of importance. The research evolved out of earlier collaborations between members of the team and AHRC. From March 2012, the research team ran Social Design Talks, a monthly series of events created to open up critical debate in the context of social design’s rapid ascendance (see In 2012-13, research team members worked on the Design Commission parliamentary inquiry into re-designing public services (Design Commission 2013), which the AHRC sponsored. Research for this current report took place between November 2013 and July 2014 under the title ‘Mapping Social Design: Research and Practice’ (see http:// The research set out to: 1. Critically review HEI and non-HEI research and practice relating to social design in the UK and internationally; Understand developments in the economic, social and political contexts that have shaped social design; Produce recommendations and speculations on future research strategies, programmes and practices for the AHRC; Raise awareness of issues, challenges and potentials for social design amongst UK researchers.
Original languageEnglish
PublisherUniversity of Brighton
Number of pages82
Publication statusPublished - 14 Oct 2014

Bibliographical note

© 2014 University of Brighton


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