Transforming the world through interdisciplinary design-led research; people, products, interactions and places.
ImaginationLancaster is an open and exploratory globally recognised design-led research lab at Lancaster University, one of the top 10 universities in the UK. We conduct interdisciplinary design and architecture research into current and future challenges facing cities, communities, factories, workplaces and homes. Our critical mass of diverse, internationally acclaimed researchers work together in an open, ‘anti-disciplinary’ culture delivering new knowledge and concepts for places, products, services and policy. With partnerships across multiple sectors and industries, our rigorous and unique approach facilitates innovation and provides fresh perspectives on real world issues. We work at local, regional, national and international scales to deliver new solutions to complex global challenges. Our research contributes to a healthier, more prosperous and sustainable world.
Our Research Excellence is demonstrated by our research publications. ImaginationLancaster staff have published over 250 journal papers and SciVal data for staff in ImaginationLancaster between 2013-18 includes 157 publications of which 10% are in the Top Citation Percentiles, and 19% are in the Top Journal Percentiles. Since 2006, we have also produced over 40 books, 170 conference papers and created over 100 design artefacts and 25 exhibitions. We contribute to national and international research and policy agendas through membership of funding bodies (AHRC, EPSRC, MRC, and Catapult Centres); advisory boards and steering committees (Academy of Medical Sciences, Partnership for Prevention Sciences, and Royal Society); international bodies (European Commission, InterAcademy Medical Panel, United Nations, World Health Organisation); and leadership of disciplinary bodies (Prof. Cooper is president of Design Research Society and Rodgers is AHRC Design Leadership Fellow). We have presented our research internationally through 78 keynotes.
Our strength is in our diverse and open approach and our ability to collaborate with academics, industry, public sector and societal stakeholders to deliver impactful outcomes. For instance, our staff have engaged at a national level by:
1. Taken roles in the development of policy. Cooper: report to Go-Science Foresight Mental Capital and Wellbeing; Lead expert Go-Science Foresight Future of Cities programme; evidence to House of Lords select committee on the Built Environment. ‘Beyond the Castle’ report on use of land for Lancaster City Council, Consulting locally for Blackburn with Darwen Council and internationally for the UN in Uzbekistan).
2. Produced new products and services (Creative Exchange hub created 42 new products and services in digital public space, PETRAS three new product domains for homes of the future with the BBC).
3. Co-created new tools and services (Leapfrog project working with the V&A Museum, Blackburn with Darwen Council, World Design Week Organisation, Scottish Government).
The School of Design is the academic home for [UG/PG] teaching and research activities in Architecture and Design. Our approaches to the theoretical frameworks for cultural activities rest on rigorous enquiry into creative practice, theory and criticism. Staff, students, and graduates aspire to set agendas in, and make meaningful contributions to design.
faculties and departments
The Design Degrees at Lancaster University are managed by Imagination within The School of Design.
bachelor level programs
BA (Hons) Design - 3 years
BA (Hons) Art and Design - 3 years
master level programs
MA Design Management - 1 year
research activity and main areas
We are a globally recognised open and exploratory design-led research lab at Lancaster University, one of the top ten universities in the UK. Founded in 2006, we apply our exploratory research to address the complex challenges identified by industry, public and private sectors, national and international governments.Our sixty-strong team of diverse design researchers includes architects, engineers, technologists, product designers and more.
Our research explores people, physical spaces, digital worlds, artificial intelligence, health and human behaviours from every angle.
Design research at Imagination takes an open ended, anti-disciplinary approach. Because innovation often occurs at the boundaries of disciplines and knowledge our design focus and interdisciplinary approach results in radical innovation, transforming products, places, services and policy for the common good.
doctorate level programs
PhD Design - 3 years