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Dr Rachael Luck

Profile summary

Professional biography

Throughout the twentieth century there have been distinct phases to the study of design. Each connects design research with different methods and particular understandings of human conduct in the material world. The research Rachael undertakes studies how design work actually takes place, with a deep analytic interest in interaction. Her research examines how people organise and coordinate their design work, design new realities and participate in collaborative design situations, looking closely at the ways that people inhabit and interact with designed things in built environments.

This research involves ethnographic and video-based studies of interaction in everyday settings. Her research has been funded by awards from ERC, EPSRC, ESRC and the RIBA and is undertaken in close collaboration with practitioners and participants. It is informed by Rachael’s experience working as a chartered architect in practice and scholarship in applied informatics (Capgemini prize), design and construction management.


ESRC Seminar Series ‘Designing inclusive environments: shaping transitions from theory into practice’ with Goldsmiths College London 2013-2014

     Seminar 3 'Translational practices and the operationally of universal design' held at the Michael Young Building, The Open University, 21st February 2014.

     Outreach design exercise: Designing Inclusively? conducted with Year 9 Design Technology students at Oakgrove School Milton Keynes, 10th March 2014.

European Research Council ‘Universalism, universal design and equitable access to the designed environment’ €853,000 to investigate the role and relevance of universal design with Goldsmiths College London 2013-2016

Responsibilities: Associate Dean for Research and Scholarship in STEM Faculty, Deputy Editor for the journal Design Studies, Tutor on the IDBE Interdisciplianry Design of the Built Environment course at Cambridge University.

I can offer PhD supervision in subjects connected with these research interests: studies of (architectural) design in practice, co-design and participatory design practices, embodied and multi-sensory experience in inclusive design practices. 


Access and mobility in Milton Keynes: an inclusive design history where urban planning ideals and design intent meet disability politics (2022-09-13)
Luck, Rachael
Diseña, 21, Article 6

Design research, architectural research, architectural design research: an argument on disciplinarity and identity (2019)
Luck, Rachael
Design Studies, 65 (pp. 152-166)

Participatory design in architectural practice: Changing practices in future making in uncertain times (2018-11-30)
Luck, Rachael
Design Studies, 59 (pp. 139-157)

[Editorial] What is it that makes participation in design participatory design? (2018-11-30)
Luck, Rachael
Design Studies, 59 (pp. 1-8)

Inclusive design and making in practice: Bringing bodily experience into closer contact with making (2018-01-31)
Luck, Rachael
Design Studies, 54 (pp. 96-119)

Organising design in the wild: locating multidisciplinarity as a way of working (2015)
Luck, Rachael
Architectural Engineering and Design Management, 11(2) (pp. 149-162)

Learning how to use buildings: an exploration of the potential of design interactions to support transition to low-impact community living (2014-11-27)
Luck, Rachael
Buildings, 4(4) (pp. 963-977)

Seeing architecture in action: designing, evoking and depicting space and form in embodied interaction (2014)
Luck, Rachael
International Journal of Design Creativity and Innovation, 2(3) (pp. 165-181)

Designing inclusive environments: rehabilitating the body and the relevance of universal design (2014)
Imrie, Rob and Luck, Rachael
Disability and Rehabilitation, 36(16) (pp. 1315-1319)

Articulating (mis)understanding across design discipline interfaces at a design team meeting (2013-04-18)
Luck, Rachael
Artificial Intelligence for Engineering Design, Analysis and Manufacturing, 27(2) (pp. 155-166)

‘Doing designing’: on the practical analysis of design in practice (2012-11)
Luck, Rachael
Design Studies, 33(6) (pp. 521-529)

Kinds of seeing and spatial reasoning: examining user participation at an architectural design event (2012-11)
Luck, Rachael
Design Studies, 33(6) (pp. 557-588)

Recovering the emergent logic of pair working in a software design exercise (2012-11)
Ikeya, Nozomi; Luck, Rachael and Randall, Dave
Design Studies, 33(6) (pp. 611-629)

Using objects to coordinate design activity in interaction (2010-08-18)
Luck, Rachael
Construction Management and Economics, 28(6) (pp. 641-655)

‘Does this compromise your design?’ Interactionally producing a design concept in talk (2009)
Luck, Rachael
CoDesign: International Journal of CoCreation in Design and the Arts, 5(1) (pp. 21-34)

Learning to talk to users in participatory design situations (2007-05)
Luck, Rachael
Design Studies, 28(3) (pp. 217-242)

Using artefacts to mediate understanding in design conversations (2007)
Luck, Rachael
Building Research & Information, 35(1) (pp. 28-41)

What is it about space that is important in interaction? … Let’s take the world from a situated point of view (2016)
Luck, Rachael
In: Dalton, Nicholas S.; Schnädelbach, Holger; Wiberg, Mikael and Varoudis, Tasos eds. Architecture and Interaction: Human Computer Interaction in Space and Place. Human - Computer Interaction Series (pp. 37-52)
ISBN : 978-3-319-30026-9 | Publisher : Springer

Towards the formulation of a research question: guidance through the glass bead game of research design (2015-10-17)
Luck, Rachael
In: Rogers, Paul and Yee, Joyce eds. Routledge Companion to Design Research (pp. 142-150)
ISBN : 978-0-415-70607-0 | Publisher : Routledge | Published : Abingdon

Project briefing for an inclusive universal design process (2001-05)
Luck, Rahael; Haenlein, Hans and Bright, Keith T.
In: Preiser, Wolfgang F. E. and Ostroff, Elaine eds. Universal Design Handbook (pp. 4441-4449)
ISBN : 71359575 | Publisher : McGraw-Hill Professional | Published : New York

Notions of designing inclusively from practitioner perspectives (2022-06-25)
Lamirande, Maxim; Alexiou, Katerina and Luck, Rachael
In : DRS2022 (5 Jun - 3 Jul 2022, Bilbao, Spain)

Design activism in a pandemic, towards a life otherwise (2020)
Luck, Rachael and Hamnett, Katharine
In : Participation(s) otherwise: 16PDC Participatory Design Conference (15 Jun 2020, Universidad de Caldas, Manizales, Colombia, [on-line])

User Centered Design Approaches to Measuring Canine Behavior: Tail Wagging as a Measure of User Experience (2018-12-04)
Cox, Elizabeth; Ruge, Luisa; Mancini, Clara and Luck, Rachael
In : Fifth International Conference on Animal-Computer Interaction (ACI2018) (4-6 Dec 2018, Atlanta, Georgia, USA)

Journeys in the City: Empathising With the Users of Transport Buildings (2016-06-26)
Harding, John Edwin; Luck, Rachael and Dalton, Nicholas
In : Proceedings of the Integrated Design Conference ID@50 Theme: Building our Future (29 Jun - 1 Jul 2016, Chancellors’ Building, University of Bath) (pp. 324-335)

What is it about space that is important in interaction? (2014-04-24)
Luck, Rachael
In : CHI 2014 (26 Apr - 1 May 2014, Toronto, Canada)