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Dr Katerina Alexiou

Profile summary

  • Central Academic Staff
  • Senior Lecturer
  • Faculty of Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics
  • School of Engineering & Innovation
  • katerina.alexiou

Professional biography

Katerina is a Senior Lecturer in Design. She holds a professional degree in Architectural Engineering (Dip Arch Eng) from Greece and a PhD in Architecture from University College London (Bartlett and the Centre for Advanced Spatial Analysis). She first joined The Open University in 2004 as a researcher working in externally funded projects and held a RCUK academic fellowship for 5 years.

Research interests

Her academic research falls in the area of design theory and methods and she has published articles in design cognition, collaborative design, learning, creativity, and social aspects of design. She also has a special interest in complexity science. Her most recent research activity is focussed on co-design and co-production with civil society organisations and communities engaged in place-making and creative civic action.

Teaching interests

Katerina is currently chair of T218: Design for Engineers and a team member of T217: Design Essentials. Both modules teach design at undergraduate level 2. She previously was examination board chair of T211: Design and Designing, module chair of T189: Digital Photography, and team member of T183: Design and the Web and A178: Perspectives on Leonardo Da Vinci.

Research Activity

Research groups

NameTypeParent Unit
Design GroupGroupFaculty of Mathematics, Computing and Technology


Externally funded projects

Connected Communities & Design Highlight: Empowering Design Practices: historic places of worship as catalysts for connecting communities

RoleStart dateEnd dateFunding source
Co-investigator21/Oct/201420/Oct/2020AHRC Arts & Humanities Research Council
Empowering Design Practices is a five-year research project exploring historic places of worship and their potential as community resources. The project is funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council and includes the following partners: The Open University, Historic England, the Historic Religious Buildings Alliance, Heritage Lottery Fund and The Glass-House Community Led Design. Through this collaboration, the project aims to explore how community-led design can help empower those who look after historic places of worship to create more open, vibrant and sustainable places that respect and enhance the heritage. The project also aims to build national capacity for community-led design practice by developing open educational resources and training for design students, communities, as well as the professionals and support bodies who work with them. More information:


Types, obstacles and sources of empowerment in co-design: the role of shared material objects and processes (2019)
Zamenopoulos, Theodore; Lam, Busayawan; Alexiou, Katerina; Kelemen, Mihaela; de Sousa, Sophia; Moffat, Sue and Phillips, Martin
CoDesign: International Journal of CoCreation in Design and the Arts ((Early Access))
Learning from the use of media in community-led design projects (2015)
Alexiou, K.; Alevizou, G.; Zamenopoulos, T.; de Sousa, S. and Dredge, L.
Cultural Science, 8(1) (pp. 30-40)
Understanding design as a multiagent coordination process: distribution, complexity, and emergence (2011)
Alexiou, Katerina
Environment and Planning B: Planning and Design, 38(2) (pp. 248-266)
Coordination and emergence in design (2010-06)
Alexiou, Katerina
CoDesign: International Journal of CoCreation in Design and the Arts, 6(2) (pp. 75-97)
Involvement of right dorsolateral prefrontal cortex in ill-structured design cognition: An fMRI study (2010)
Gilbert, S.; Zamenopoulos, T.; Alexiou, K. and Johnson, J.
Brain Research, 1312(C) (pp. 79-88)
Exploring the neurological basis of design cognition using brain imaging: some preliminary results (2009)
Alexiou, K.; Zamenopoulos, T.; Johnson, J. H. and Gilbert, S. J.
Design Studies, 30(6) (pp. 623-647)
Design as a social process: a complex systems perspective (2008-08)
Alexiou, Katerina and Zamenopoulos, Theodore
Futures, 40(6) (pp. 586-595)
Towards an anticipatory view of design (2007-07)
Zamenopoulos, Theodore and Alexiou, Katerina
Design Studies, 28(4) (pp. 411-436)
Rethinking the cybernetic basis of design: the concepts of control and organisation (2007)
Zamenopoulos, Theodore and Alexiou, Katerina
Kybernetes, 36(9/10) (pp. 1570-1589)
Co-design As Collaborative Research (2018-09-30)
Zamenopoulos, Theodore and Alexiou, Katerina
Connected Communities Foundation Series
ISBN : 978-0-9935528-3-0 | Publisher : Bristol University/AHRC Connected Communities Programme | Published : Bristol
Varieties of Creative Citizenship (2016-04-06)
Zamenopoulos, Theodore; Alexiou, Katerina; Alevizou, Giota; Chapain, Caroline; Sobers, Shawn and Williams, Andy
In: Hargreaves, Ian and Hartley, John eds. The Creative Citizen Unbound: How social media and DIY culture contribute to democracy, communities and the creative economy (pp. 103-128)
ISBN : 978-1447324959 | Publisher : Policy Press | Published : Bristol
Asset mapping and civic creativity (2016-04-06)
Alexiou, Katerina; Aguista, Emma; Alevizou, Giota; Chapain, Caroline; Greene, Catherine; Harte, Dave; Ramster, Gail and Zamenopoulos, Theodore
In: Hargreaves, Ian and Hartley, John eds. The creative citizen unbound: How social media and DIY culture contribute to democracy, communities and the creative economy (pp. 181-204)
ISBN : 978-1447324959 | Publisher : Policy Press | Published : Bristol
Civic cultures and modalities of place-making (2016-04-06)
Alevizou, Giota; Alexiou, Katerina; Harte, Dave; Sobers, Shawn; Zamenopoulos, Theodore and Turner, Jerome
In: Hargreaves, Ian and Hartley, John eds. The creative citizen unbound: How social media and DIY culture contribute to democracy, communities and the creative economy (pp. 205-230)
ISBN : 978-1447324959 | Publisher : Policy Press | Published : Bristol
Mapping the complexity of creative practice: using cognitive maps to follow creative ideas and collaborations (2015-05-22)
Comunian, Roberta and Alexiou, Katerina
In: Duxbury, Nancy; Garrett-Petts, W. .F and MacLennan, David eds. Cultural Mapping as Cultural Inquiry. Routledge Advances in Research Methods (pp. 276-302)
ISBN : 9781138821866 | Publisher : Routledge | Published : Abingdon
Wards Corner Community Plan Case Study (2014-09-18)
Alexiou, Katerina; Alevizou, Giota and Zamenopoulos, Theodore
In: Lockton, D; Greene, K.; Casey, A; Raby, L and Vickress, A eds. Variety Pack: Inspiring Digital Ideas From Community Projects
ISBN : 978-1-907342-97-4 | Publisher : Helen Hamlyn Centre for Design | Published : London
Complexity: what designers need to know (2012-03)
Zamenopoulos, Theodore and Alexiou, Katerina
In: Garner, Steve and Evans, Chris eds. Design and Designing: a Critical Introduction
ISBN : 9781847885760 | Publisher : Berg
A complexity theoretic view of cities as artefacts of design intentionality (2012)
Zamenopoulos, Theodore and Alexiou, Katerina
In: Portugali, Juval; Meyer, Han; Stolk, Egbert and Tan, Ekim eds. Complexity Theories of Cities Have Come of Age: An Overview with Implications to Urban Planning and Design (pp. 327-346)
ISBN : 978-3-642-24543-5 | Publisher : Springer | Published : Berlin
Imaging the designing brain: a neurocognitive exploration of design thinking (2011)
Alexiou, Katerina; Zamenopoulos, Theodore and Gilbert, Sam
In: Gero, John S. ed. Design Computing and Cognition '10 (pp. 489-504)
ISBN : 9789400705098 | Publisher : Springer | Published : London
Embracing complexity in design: emerging perspectives and opportunities (2010-01)
Alexiou, Katerina; Johnson, Jeffrey and Zamenopoulos, Theodore
In: Inns, Tom ed. Designing for the 21st century: research methods & findings (pp. 87-100)
ISBN : 9781409402404 | Publisher : Gower Ashgate | Published : United Kingdom
The influence of complexity science in design: theoretical and methodological tools (2010)
Zamenopoulos, Theodore and Alexiou, Katerina
In: Tsoukala, K.; Daniil, M. and Pantelidou, H. eds. Postmodern Approaches
ISBN : 9789604582631 | Publisher : Epikentro | Published : Thessaloniki, GR
Complexity and coordination in collaborative design (2009)
Alexiou, Katerina
In: Alexiou, Katerina; Johnson, Jeffrey and Zamenopoulos, Theodore eds. Embracing Complexity in Design (pp. 73-93)
ISBN : 9780415497008 | Publisher : Routledge | Published : London, UK
Embracing complexity in design (2007-12)
Johnson, Jeffrey; Alexiou, Katerina; Creigh-Tyte, Anne; Chase, Scott; Duffy, Alex; Eckert, Claudia; Gascoigne, Damian; Kumar, Bimal; Mitleton-Kelly, Eve; Petry, Michael; Qin, Sheng Fen; Robertson, Alec; Rzevski, George; Teymour, Necdet; Thompson, Avril; Young, Robert; Willis, Mateo and Zamenopoulos, Theodore
In: Inns, Tom ed. Designing for the 21st Century: Interdisciplinary Questions and Insights (pp. 129-149)
ISBN : 9780566087370 | Publisher : Gower Publishing Limited | Published : Aldershot
Computer-aided creativity and learning in distributed cooperative human-machine networks (2003-10-13)
Zamenopoulos, Theodore and Alexiou, Katerina
In: Chiu, M-L.; Tsou, J-Y.; Kvan, T.; Morozumi, M. and Jeng, T-S. eds. Digital Design: research and practice, Proceedings of the 10th International Conference on Computer Aided Architectural Design Futures (pp. 191-201)
ISBN : 1-4020-1210-1 | Publisher : Kluwer Academic Publishers | Published : Dordrecht, The Netherlands
Structuring the plan design process as a coordination problem - the paradigm of distributed learning control coordination (2003-07-01)
Zamenopoulos, Theodore and Alexiou, Katerina
In: Longley, Paul A. and Batty, Michael eds. Advanced Spatial Analysis: The CASA Book of GIS (pp. 407-426)
ISBN : 1589480732 | Publisher : ESRI Press | Published : U.S
Embracing complexity in design (2009-09)
Alexiou, Aikaterini; Johnson, Jeffrey and Zamenopoulos, Theodore eds.
ISBN : 978-0-415-49700-8 | Publisher : Routledge | Published : UK
Communications by design? Community spaces, neighbourhood media & creative citizens (2013-06)
Alevizou, Panagiota; Alexiou, Katerini and Ramster, Gail
In : IAMCR 2013 Conference: Crises, 'Creative Destruction' and the Global Power and Communication Orders (25-29 Jun 2013, Dublin, Ireland)
Creative communities, creative assets: exploring methods of mapping community assets (2013)
Greene, Catherine; Alevizou, Giota; Ramster, Gail; Alexiou, Katerina; Zamenopoulos, Theo; Outten, Alan and Corzannelli, Cristina
In : Nordes2013: Experiments in Design Research: Expressions, Knowledge, Critique (9-12 Jun 2013, Copenhagen, Denmark/Malmö, Sweden)
Communications by design? Intersections of creative citizenship, community media and participatory design (2013)
Alevizou, Giota; Alexiou, Katerina; Greene, Catherine and Ramster, Gail
In : Communication and the City: Voices, Spaces, Media (14-15 Jun 2013, Leeds, UK)
Subtle interventions: How ambient displays influence route choice in buildings (2011-09-21)
Varoudis, Tasos; Dalton, Nicholas; Alexiou, Aikaterini and Zamenopoulos, Theodore
In : Respecting Fragile Places - 29th eCAADe Conference (21-24 Sep 2011, Slovenia) (pp. 933-941)
Making sense of assets: Community asset mapping and related approaches for cultivating capacities (2016-02-28)
Alevizou, Giota; Alexiou, Katerina and Zamenopoulos, Theo
The Open University and AHRC
Valuing Community-Led Design (2013)
Alexiou, Katerina; Zamenopoulos, Theodore and Alevizou, Giota
AHRC Discussion Paper