Supervisors in Design

Read about our tutors who consider supervising projects in Design. Further information about our PhD Design scheme can be found on our course pages.

Profile picture of Dr Sanem Bayar

Dr Sanem Bayar

My research interests lie at the intersection of architecture, design, built environment and computer science. My work explores the potential and limitations of data-driven approaches to support design in addition to analyse and envisage its outcomes.

Digital technology is changing the way designers can be creative. New integrations of data inside design tools will open up new experiences for architects and designers, expanding what we can see, imagine and design. My current research is trying to challenge notions around data-driven and computational design and investigating the following questions: How computational design can be a creative element of technology-driven workflows in the architectural design process? How can we use VR, AR and AI in real-time as part of Architects’ creative process?

More information can be found on Dr Sanem Bayar's profile.

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Dr Chris Boyko

I am interested in proposals from potential doctoral students in the broad areas of urban public space (e.g., the process of creating public spaces, the uses of public spaces), sustainable urban environments, urban design and behaviour and wellbeing.

More information can be found on Dr Chris Boyko's profile.

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Dr Pinar Ceyhan

I am a designer, design researcher and educator conducting mixed methods research to inform user-centred experiences. My research interests are centred around understanding audiences in digital and physical environments and understanding the role of experience design in cognition and meaning-making. I currently focus on formal and informal learning experiences and on methods and processes for embedding evaluation to evidence value and impact.

More information can be found on Dr Pinar Ceyhan's profile.

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Professor Paul Coulton

My research practice relates to Speculative Design and combines real and/or hypothetical extrapolations of the development of emerging technologies with a consideration of the cultural landscape into which they may be deployed. This activity is embodied as ‘research through design’ and, in particular, to the design of speculative physical/digital interactive games, playful experiences, and artefacts. I am happy to receive PhD enquiries about Speculative Design, Critical Design, Design Fiction, Design Futures, Design as Rhetoric, and Game Design.

More information can be found on Professor Paul Coulton's profile.

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Professor Leon Cruickshank

Leon is Director of Research for ImaginationLancaster and principle investigator for Beyond Imagination, a 3 year £13m E3 project, awarded to recognise Imagination as a nationally and internationally excellent research group. His focus is on co-design and involving a broad spectrum of stakeholders in research and creative processes. He was Director of Knowledge Exchange for the Creative Exchange, the £5m 4 year project focusing on digital public space. Leon also acted as associate director for HighWire, the cross disciplinary EPSRC CDT looking at digital innovation. He also leads the £1.2 million Leapfrog project, transforming public sector engagement through design and the follow on ‘Extending Leapfrog: Improving a million creative conversations’. He consults for the UN on innovation in government with a focus on open design thinking.

This has led to the emergence of designing knowledge exchange as a research area. He is currently involved in 6 funded projects in this area.

More information can be found on Professor Leon Cruickshank's profile.

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Dr Paul Cureton

I am currently accepting PhD supervision in a range of topics including Future Cities, Geodesign, GIS planning, Drones (UAVs) and new technologies for placemaking and future environments including novel sensing and City Digital Twins.

More information can be found on Dr Paul Cureton's profile.

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Professor Nick Dunn

I am Executive Director of Imagination, the design and architecture research lab at Lancaster University where I am also Professor of Urban Design. I am a Senior Fellow at the Institute for Social Futures, examining the insights that the arts, humanities and social sciences can bring to the ways we think, envision, and analyse the futures of people, places and planet. I welcome PhD enquiries relating to Urban Design, Future Cities, Night Studies, Post-industrial Landscapes, More-than-Human Design, Public Spaces.

More information can be seen on Professor Nick Dunn's profile.

Profile picture of Dr Mariana Fonseca Braga

Dr Mariana Fonseca Braga

I am a designer and Post-Doctoral Research Associate in ImaginationLancaster. My research focuses on the value and role of design in tackling organisational and ‘glocal’ challenges (UN Sustainable Development Goals [SDGs]) for building better futures. I am interested in understanding questions arising from design practices, theories, and principles particularly concerned with the transition from modern society to a fair, plural, responsible and sustainable society, such as:

  • how design can contribute to equity,
  • how design can contribute to bringing lived experiences to policymaking, informing and bridging policy plan and implementation,
  • understanding expert, co-design and diffuse design capabilities’ roles and values,
  • the future of design skills, practices and principles for a fair, plural, responsible and sustainable world.

Some of my recent publications look at the design value and challenges in organisations and design for community resilience during and beyond the COVID-19 pandemic. Full information can be found on Dr Mariana Fonseca Braga's web profile.

Profile picture of Dr Adrian Gradinar

Dr Adrian Gradinar

I am a Lecturer in Smart Home Futures and a strong believer that we live in the mixed-reality space emerging at the crossing of the digital world we experience and live and the physicality and materiality of the lives we actually have (and hopefully still like). I have a wide area of research mostly focusing on the socio-technical challenges our society and its people are facing. As a research designer, I design and study a range of experiential futures to tackle the adoption and implications of technological advances on our lives. This has led to a wide range of research avenues from designing better mixed-reality objects and spaces, to exploring ideas such as transparency, legibility, agency, and more recently the sustainability, of data produced by IoT/Edge devices. These speculative physicalisations have generated several public exhibits in venues such as The Tate Modern, The V&A London, FACT Liverpool, The Building Research Establishment in Watford, UK and PlayUK in Skopje, Macedonia.

Recently, I have been investigating the relationship between sustainability, cybersecurity and adoption around Edge technologies. Using experiential future design scenarios, this research looks at raising the public's awareness of the environmental costs of IoT datafication to facilitate citizens in making more sustainably informed decisions about their devices and data practices.

Full information can be found on Dr Adrian Gradinar's web profile.

Profile picture of Dr Naomi Jacobs

Dr Naomi Jacobs

My research is interdisciplinary and crosses areas including design, computer science, and fan and audience studies. I am particularly interested in interaction; between individuals, communities, disciplines or sectors, and between people and technology and media.

Much of my current research is related to how design research can be used in policymaking, particularly in the context of ensuring new technologies and digital platforms and services are ethical, transparent, trustworthy and respect privacy. I often use speculative methods such as design fiction to think about what possible futures might look like.

Topics on which I have published include the governance of smart cities, digital public space, livestreaming of fan conventions, and the potentials of AI and the Internet of Things in the food sector.

Full information can be found on Dr Naomi Jacobs' web profile.

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Dr Joseph Lindley

I lead Design Research Works, which is a small team dedicated to gathering evidence about and promoting the value of design-led research. I have a particular focus and interest on how Design Research can be applied to understanding the 21st centuries increasingly complex socio-technological challenges. I think humanity has used technology to make a brand new world very quickly indeed, now we need to use the technology that is Design Research to understand how to live in that world.

More information can be found on Dr Joseph Lindley's profile.

Profile picture of Carlos Lopez-Galviz

Dr Carlos Lopez-Galviz

I welcome proposals in any topic that speak to the broad areas of history, urban studies, and arts and heritage. I encourage proposals that are comparative, engage in a dialogue across disciplines, and have an international dimension. In particular, I'd be keen on discussing projects that explore the relationship between history and the future.

Further information can be found on Dr Carlos Lopez-Galviz's web profile.

Profile picture of Dr Alejandro Moreno Rangel

Dr Alejandro Moreno Rangel

My main research interests are sustainable architecture, particularly Passivhaus buildings, and its connections to health, urban and human behaviours. Through this, I explore the architectural design, energy efficiency methods, passive techniques and their impact on the indoor environment – indoor air quality (IAQ) and thermal comfort–, particularly in homes and their relation to the urban environment to create healthy homes.

Architecture has well responded to climate change mitigating the effects of the built environment. However, its impact on health is usually left aside. My approach to architectural design seeks to improve the quality of life for all citizens in an ageing society, delivering sustainable interventions that take a “whole house” approach. My research uses design research methods to explore the interactions between resident behaviours and the built environment to deliver healthier indoor environments, considering the impact of bio-psychological-social aspects of health, climate change impacts, and energy efficiency methods interactions.

My research interests also extend to the use of low-cost sensors as research tools and the effect that they could have on residential behaviour, design and human health & wellbeing. Full information can be found on Dr Alejandro Moreno Rangel's web profile.

Profile picture of Dr Michael Stead

Dr Michael Stead

I am Lecturer in Sustainable Design Futures. My current research interrogates the evolving relationship between emerging so-called ‘smart’ data-driven technologies and key sustainability challenges such as Net Zero 2050 and the Circular Economy.

I am currently collaborating with partners:

  • BBC Research & Development on the Edge of Tomorrow project which investigates the sustainability and cyber-security of data generated by our interactions with Edge-IoT technologies.
  • The Making Rooms on The Repair Shop 2049 project which explores the Right-to-Repair IoT devices and pathways for developing local repair infrastructures and circular economies.

I welcome enquiries from potential students interested in researching new ways for designing and adopting more sustainable technologies, practices and infrastructures across society. This work will contribute to our better understanding of the deepening relationship between sustainability issues (environmental governance, social equity and economic resilience) and emergent technologies (like the Internet of Things, Edge Computing, Digital Fabrication and Artificial Intelligence) and how this relationship is impacting climate change now and into the future. Such research could draw upon and advance research fields including Design for Sustainability, Sustainable Human-Computer Interaction, More Than Human-Centred Design, Designing for Transitions, Cradle to Cradle theory and Biodesign.

Further information can be found on Dr Michael Stead's profile.

Profile picture of Dr Lisa Thomas

Dr Lisa Thomas

My research investigates how design can challenge modern, techno-centric values that can be detrimental to developing more sustainable ways of living. I am especially interested in investigating technologies as being mediators of human-world relations – and considering the nuanced implications of this for designing more sustainably. I welcome proposals that seek to:

  • Broaden understandings of design for sustainability beyond eco-modern concerns.
  • Investigate the relationship between design and the philosophy of technology.
  • Develop radical methods and approaches for teaching design for sustainability.

Further information can be found on Dr Lisa Thomas' web profile.

Profile picture of Dr Emmanuel Tsekleves

Dr Emmanuel Tsekleves

I lead research at the intersection of design, health, wellbeing and technology. My research is driven by life’s mission to show there is always an alternative way of doing things, so that together we can change our world. Driven by the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, my research focuses on tackling community health challenges across the world. Examples of this include:

  • working on understanding how to best clean the home for preventing infection caused by dust at homes in Ghana (DustBunny project);
  • developing health and care policies for senior citizens in Malaysia through creative ways (ProtoPolicyAsia),
  • engaging local communities and stakeholders on water, sanitation and hygiene initiatives in Angola and Cameroon via an international network (WASHable);
  • engaging schoolchildren and students in Ghana and Nigeria in co-developing show labs, that showcase the benefits of turning waste to electric energy that can power their school (ACTUATE);
  • developing new seafood products for senior citizens across Europe and influencing policy (SeaFoodAge).

More information can be seen on Dr Emmanuel Tsekleves' web profile.

Profile picture of Dr Chaoran Wang

Dr Chaoran Wang

My research interests are: Structure and form in the visual arts and design, in particular, the geometric structures underpinning two-dimensional imagery. Including visual illusions and contradictory space. Currently research into the displaying of design works’ geometrical features in VR technology.

Information can be found on Dr Chaoran Wang's web profile.