Category: Design research

  • Celebrating the diversity of research in the built environment

    Celebrating the diversity of research in the built environment

    A few months ago I took part in a ‘video challenge’ being run by the international, open access journal, Buildings & Cities. The challenge was for PhD students and those who had recently completed their PhDs to explain ‘why their research matters’ in a two minute video aimed at a general audience. The purpose of […]

  • Designing Intelligent Mobility

    Designing Intelligent Mobility

      This week I received a long-awaited early Christmas present. My Design Group colleagues, Matthew Cook, Miguel Valdez, James Warren and I had written a chapter entitled Towards an Intelligent Mobility Regime in the second edition of the Elsevier book Intelligent Environments.  As often happens for a major internationally co-authored publication, this has been almost […]

  • The inclusive design studio

    The inclusive design studio

    I have been fortunate to experience diverse studio-based education approaches in different parts of the world and in different modes (hybrid, virtual, community-based, etc.). I position myself as a design education scholar with a particular interest in diversity and the socio-cultural contexts of designing. As a Senior Lecturer in Design at the Open University, I design online studios and […]

  • Celebrating our Gurnos

    Celebrating our Gurnos

    On a lovely sunny Saturday at the end of September, people on the outskirts of Merthyr got together to celebrate the place and community of Gurnos. The celebration was the outcome of several activities in partnership with the Open University in Wales as part of two different projects: the Creu Cyffro Community Renewal Funded project, […]

  • John Christopher Jones: In Memoriam – by Nigel Cross

    John Christopher Jones: In Memoriam – by Nigel Cross

    The first Professor of Design at the Open University, the pioneering, internationally renowned and influential design researcher John Christopher Jones died on the 13th August 2022, in London, at the age of 95.  John Chris at his 80th birthday party, Hampstead Heath and at the 50th Anniversary DRS conference, Brighton, 2016 (Photos: Robin Roy) Known […]

  • Sense and the city

    Sense and the city

    New OU Design Group Publication! Sense and the city: An Emotion Data Framework for smart city governance Christian Nold This paper demonstrates what emotion can ‘do’ when citizen actively use emotions to participate in the problem framing in smart city governance. The paper offers a framework of smart city participation with emotion data by […]

  • My Design@50 Research story

    My Design@50 Research story

    Last month, Jeff Johnson and I were interviewed in the online event OU Design Research @50. In the discussion, ably steered by Claudia Eckert, Jeff and I reflected on how design research has developed at the OU and what is distinctive about the OU’s design research approach. I thought for this blog it might be useful […]

  • Art-Based Research Methods, STE(A)M and Global Challenges

    Art-Based Research Methods, STE(A)M and Global Challenges

    Over the past two weeks, I shared some thoughts about Art Based Research (ABR) methods with students and colleagues. I thought I would also write my reflection here. Personally, I have always been driven toward ABR for my need to think through making and my passion for the arts. But aside from my strictly personal […]

  • Design research snapshot

    Design research snapshot

    The design group is multidisciplinary and engages in a wide range of research, including on sustainability, education, inclusion, systems thinking, arts and activism. Working at a distance, it is difficult to keep track of what everyone is up to, and so, we have monthly meetings to discuss our projects and papers. Do look out for […]

  • Growing cross-sector design collaboration in placemaking

    Growing cross-sector design collaboration in placemaking

    The UK Government recently announced its Levelling Up plan aiming to ‘spread opportunity more equally across the UK’, and to narrow the social and economic disparities that exist across different places. Part of this plan is to give more power to local governments to regenerate their own town and cities. Placemaking is back on the agenda, […]