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Collaborative design

Study collaborative design with the Open University

Collaboration in design takes different forms and our research includes the study of co-design, participatory design, inclusive design and interdisciplinary design practices. From these perspectives there are different design problems and ways of understanding design situations that can be opened up for research inspection.

Collaborative design can be studied in different settings, making it a relevant area of research to a variety of disciplines including architecture, engineering design, graphic design, computer-aided design and in place-making at a community scale.

Collaborative design research may, for example, investigate changing ways of working of interdisciplinary design teams, how designers collaborate together on projects working over distance and innovative ways of collaborating on design work in education.

Within the Design Group at The Open University we have expertise in all these areas and have a body of funded research projects that apply and are developing novel collaborative design methods with the aim to advance our shared understanding of collaboration in design.

Qualifications available:

PhD or MPhil


For detailed information on current fees visit Fees and funding.

Entry requirements:

Minimum 2:1 (or equivalent)

Potential research projects

  • Creativity in design teams
  • Participatory design practices in civil society organisations
  • Community-led design
  • Interdisciplinary design teams
  • Co-design theory and methods
  • Inclusive design research

Further information

If you have an enquiry specific to this research area please contact:

Dr Emma Dewberry
+44 (0)1908 654138

For general enquiries please contact the Research Degrees Team via the link under 'Your Questions' on the right of the page.