Brief Encounters

An AHRC Network project to explore new forms of collaborative design processes

The aim of this Research Network proposal is to explore the potential for new and emerging technologies to enable interdisciplinary collaborative design practices at distance. This research Network proposal was developed in a response to current trends taking place in industry where design is becoming an increasingly international activity undertaken with partners in geographically distributed locations. As a result design development team members are working 'at distance' in virtual cross-cultural, cross-disciplinary and cross-institutional teams whose interactions are mediated by ICTs, such as Web 2.0 technologies.

To achieve the aim of this Research Network project the following objectives were established:
- To create a working network of international collaborators with a wide range of research and design backgrounds
- To conduct two workshops with both physical and online participants using web 2.0 technologies
- To assign the participants a 'live' brief which may result in further project developments
- To film and archive the design process as a resource to better understand interdisciplinary and international collaboration. - To disseminate the outcomes from the network activities to fellow academics, research staff and students, industry, professional associations and other appropriate external stakeholders.
- To publicise the project activities and outcomes via: the project website, social networking sites, professional publications, journal papers, conferences and the workshops.
- To identify directions for future development of the network and potential future partners
- To prepare and propose future research projects as a result of this work

To achieve the Research Network project objectives, a consortium of multidisciplinary research collaborators has been established which includes: Northumbria, City and Lancaster Universities. In addition, relevant national and international representatives with diverse disciplinary backgrounds and from assorted organisations were invited to actively contribute to proposed network workshop activities. 

Project Team

CruickshankCruickshank Leon Cruickshank Open Design and Innovation, User Centred and User-Led Design, Interactive Design, Technology and Society, Design Methodology, Design Theory and Philosophy

Partners / Funders

Project Funders


Brief Encounter Workshop

Brief Encounter Workshop

Academics from around the UK and Europe attend a workshop with industry representatives to explore the possibilities to make distributed and digitally augmented design more effective and fun.

This one day workshop brought together academics for a wide range of institutions including Cambridge...Read full update

Preparing for Creative Conversations

Preparing for Creative Conversations

Imagination delivered a workshop with the theme of 'Creative Conversations' on Friday 20th April as part of the Brief Encounters project.

On Friday, 20th April, Imagination’s Dr Leon Cruickshank delivered a forty-five minute workshop at City University in London as part of the AHRC Network...Read full update

Brief Encounters: Funding Awarded

Brief Encounters: Funding Awarded

Really excited that this AHRC Network bid has been funded, we have an excellent group of international academics that we are bringing together to explore new forms of design process.

List of Participants: 1, Dr James Moultrie, Cambridge University, Cambridge, UK 2, Mr Luke Wilson, Mayborn...Read full update