Key opportunity for PhDs to be part of the design for the future

The LICA building

Lancaster University is offering ten funded PhD studentships as part of a radical new £13.2 million research project.

PhD students will work with leading design and architecture academics in the £13.2 million ‘Beyond Imagination’ Research Project, whose remit is to undertake cutting-edge, high risk and high impact design and architecture research.

‘Beyond Imagination’ will enable Lancaster University’s ‘ImaginationLancaster’ design research laboratory to expand its reach and expertise through a series of exciting initiatives including the UK’s first ‘Dark Design Lab’ examining nocturnal urban activity on health and wellbeing.

The bold and engaging ‘Beyond Imagination’ project will put design research at Lancaster firmly on the global map, transforming the University’s ImaginationLancaster design team with the advent of 33 new roles – a significant increase.

Professor Leon Cruickshank, the Principal Investigator for Beyond Imagination, said: “Being part of the £13.2m Beyond Imagination project offers the opportunity to place doctoral research on a global scale and be part of a world leading group of design researchers”

Beyond Imagination focuses on five key Clusters: home and living; communities and the public sector; factory and workplaces; cities and urban; and population and policy, and also four Themes: sustainability, health, international and prosperity.

Each cluster and theme is led by a senior research academic with new lecturers, post-doctoral researches and PhD students working together.

The expansion of ImaginationLancaster will see all areas of design being developed, including architectural design that will contribute to the new Lancaster University School of Architecture.

The Government is investing £7.6 million in the project through the modern Industrial Strategy and Lancaster University will provide £5.6 million funding.

The University funding will support the creation of a new visualisation studio in addition to funding PhD students, post-doctoral research and academic staff. 

Recognised as one of the top design research laboratories globally, ImaginationLancaster undertakes design research across a broad range of areas addressing issues around futures for people, places, products and services, for example; Ageing Society, Artificial Intelligence and Data, Clean Growth, Health and Wellbeing - and it will also identify and tackle future emerging challenges.

Internationally, ImaginationLancaster has worked with governments and the public sector across the world including Ukraine, Uzbekistan, Korea, Peru, Ghana and China. 

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