Design PhD Conference 2015

Better by Design: Environment, Society & Self

Lancaster University, 2-3 July 2015

We would like to invite you to the Design PhD Conference 2015, co-hosted by the ImaginationLancaster Creative Research Centre at Lancaster University and the Centre for Design Research at Northumbria University.  Since its inception in 2008, this conference has provided an exceptional forum for Design PhD researchers from around the world to present their work, network with other researchers and businesses, and learn about the variety of approaches being used today within the Design PhD.

The conference offers an opportunity for researchers and businesses to meet, exchange knowledge and ideas, and learn about the latest developments in design thinking, methods and research projects.  We welcome attendees from PhD and Masters programmes as well as from the private, public and third sectors. 

The details

Better by Design: Environment, Society & Self

Design in the 21st century has a responsibility to address the critical issues affecting society and the natural environment while also striving to create more personally meaningful notions of material culture. The last century’s ideas of progress and innovation yielded an ever-growing culture of waste, pollution and social inequity. This model still dominates our culture. As populations grow and the natural environment continues to degrade, with little political will for substantive change, there is a need not only to develop new, better ways forward, but also to manifest and demonstrate alternative possibilities. The applied arts can play an important role in this arena in visualising a world that is Better by Design – better for the environment, better for society and better for each of us as individuals.

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Keynote speakers

We are delighted to welcome two leading experts in their fields to speak on this year's themeBetter by Design: Environment, Society & Self.  

Dorothy Mackenzie, Co-founder and Chair for Dragon Rouge, will be speaking on the evening of Thursday 2nd July.

Sara Parkin OBE, Founder Director and Trustee of Forum for the Future will be speaking on Friday 3rd July. 

Keynote titles announced

The titles of the keynote lectures from Dorothy Mackenzie and Sara Parkin have now been announced. 

Dorothy Mackenzie: Keynote Lecture

Sara Parkin OBE: Keynote Lecture

Full Programme now available

Download the full programme and find all the information you need about this year's Design PhD Conference.

Project Team

WalkerWalker Stuart Walker Design for Sustainability ; Design, Values & Spirituality
DunnDunn Nick Dunn Urban Design, Design Thinking, Design & Manufacturing, Mapping, Visualisation, Speculative Design, Future Cities
HandsHands David Hands Design Policy Development; Design Briefing; Design Leadership; Designing against Crime; New Product Development.
WhithamWhitham Roger Whitham Human-Computer Interaction, Collaboration, Tools, Visualisation, Virtual Work Environments, Facilitation
PritchardPritchard Corinne Pritchard Design Visualiser
SarjentSarjent Nicola Sarjent Team Coordinator


Keynote by Sara Parkin OBE

Keynote Title: Sustainability Literacy in Life and Design

This keynote will look at ways of conceptualising the problems we face as a society, so that the solutions become more apparent. It considers strategies and tools for deciding and acting in a way that favours sustainability in...Read full update

Keynote by Dorothy Mackenzie

Keynote Title: Envisioning the Circular Economy: the role of design in focusing on future opportunities

The circular economy is attracting a lot of interest from businesses and government. However, much discussion is theoretical, abstracted and generalised, making it hard for individual...Read full update

Conference Venue

Conference Venue

The LICA Building

The Design PhD Conference 2015 will be held in the LICA Building (Lancaster Institute for the Contemporary Arts) at Lancaster University.  The LICA Building is an innovative, timber-framed building wrapped in translucent cladding which filters varying degrees of...Read full update

Travel and Accommodation Information

The Design PhD Conference 2015 will be held in the LICA Building, Lancaster University

Lancaster University maps and travel information can be found at the main Lancaster University website. Directions to the LICA Building in particular can be found here.   On-campus Accommodation ...Read full update

Programme announced

This year’s theme is Better by Design: Environment, Society & Self and we are delighted to welcome two leading experts in their fields to speak on this topic.

Co-founder and Chair for Dragon Rouge, Dorothy Mackenzie, will be speaking on the evening of Thursday 2nd July.  This will be...Read full update

PhD Presentations Call

The Design PhD Conference 2015 was pleased to invite proposals for presentations

We invited proposals for presentations from 1) doctoral students in their final year, and 2) recent PhD graduates.   Presentation places are limited and presentations were selected on quality of...Read full update