Design Innovation academics awarded AHRC funding

Dr Sharon Prendeville (PI) and Dr Laura Santamaria (CoI) have received £250,000 of funding from the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) for their project which will explore the role of design in creating social change.

The research project aims to investigate the political aspects of design framing practices focusing on sustainability issues and how this is relevant to creating social change. The research project is entitled “Progressing the Sustainability Field: A New Approach to Framing Practices in Design for Social Change” [AH/T002875/1]

The project will work in partnership with UK-based citizen activist groups interested in social mobilisation including ECHO (who address diversity in social innovation through peer-to-peer exchange), and Citizens UK (who address social issues through citizen-led democratic processes), amongst others. The study will collaborate with these partners using participatory methods to develop a novel design approach (framework and tools) to facilitate strategic decision-making in these types of organisations.

The research grant has been awarded as part of the AHRC’s Early Career Researcher standard grants scheme.

On receiving the funding, the principal investigator Dr Sharon Prendeville said:

“I am delighted that the AHRC acknowledges the novelty and importance of the research agenda that we are developing at the Institute for Design Innovation, at the intersection of design, politics and sustainability, and we look forward to sharing the results of our study as the project gets underway”

Dr Sharon Prendeville and Dr Laura Santamaria are both lecturers within the Institute for Design Innovation.

The Arts and Humanities Research Council funds world-class, independent researchers in a wide range of subjects including contemporary research in design and effectiveness.