Creating Innovative People for Radical Change

HighWire is a Doctoral Training Centre at Lancaster University. We have a post-disciplinary approach to innovation through research which crosses computing, design and management.

Each year we recruit 10-12 exceptional students interested in working between and beyond the disciplines of computing, design and management. Our HighWire students:

  • Perform research focused on problems, not disciplines
  • Have a real impact on industry and society
  • Work with world-leading commercial partners
  • Undertake a 4 year MRes+PhD programme
  • Receive a £16,690 p.a. enhanced stipend
  • Study in a new purpose-built facility on the Lancaster University campus
  • Understand and apply innovation to the digital economy


HighWire is a world class, cross-disciplinary and user-centric Doctoral Training Centre which places innovation at the heart of its curriculum and ethos. We go beyond traditional multi-disciplinary approaches by seeking a creative fusion between three key disciplines, namely computer science, management and design. The emphasis is on producing a new breed of innovative people who understand and are able to advance the state of the art in technical, design and business innovation: innovative people prepared to work in challenging roles in organisations and ready to drive radical change in the digital economy.

The centre is funded under the EPSRC Digital Economy programme and is supported by a range of companies including: AT&T, BBC, BT, Clifford Chance, CSMTC, HP Labs, Knowledge Partners, Microsoft, Mott MacDonald, O2 and Sony in addition to 20 micro-businesses and SMEs in the Northwest.

Go here to apply: highwire.lancaster.ac.uk

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
CooperCooper Rachel Cooper Design Management, Design Policy, Design Thinking, Urban Design, Urban Sustainability, Socially Responsible Design, Design Against Crime, Design & Manufacture
DunnDunn Nick Dunn Urban Design, Design Thinking, Design & Manufacturing, Mapping, Visualisation, Speculative Design, Future Cities
EvansEvans Martyn Evans Design, Design Management, Design Futures, Design Strategy, Design and Branding, Design Policy, Design Thinking, New Product Development
WalkerWalker Stuart Walker Design for Sustainability ; Design, Values & Spirituality
SangiorgiSangiorgi Daniela Sangiorgi Service Design, Design for Public Services, Service Innovation

Partners / Funders


Design Fiction at CHI 2016

OutcomeConference Paper
Design Fiction at CHI 2016

At this years CHI 2016 in San Jose CA, USA, which is considered the top conference for Human-Computer Interaction, Imagination presented three paper relating to its research on design fiction. Pushing the limits of design fiction: the case for fictional research papers available here. ...More information

Exploring Sustainability Research in Computing: Where we are and where we go next

OutcomeConference Paper
Exploring Sustainability Research in  Computing: Where we are and where we go next

This paper by Bran Knowles (HighWire), Stuart Walker (ImaginationLancaster) and Lynne Blair (Computing) develops a holistic framework of questions which seem to motivate sustainability research in computing in order to enable new opportunities for critique. Analysis ofsystematically selected corpora...More information

Proud and HighWire Event

Proud and HighWire Event

HighWire students helped to develop a code of practice or values for the 'open to all' participants in the centre when its formally open after a period of renovation in January

In a first event in the Proud space in the Storey Creative Industries Centre in the center of Lancaster we introduced...Read full update

HighWire at MOMA New York

HighWire at MOMA New York

Two high wire students are currently exhibiting some of their work in the Talk to Me Exhibition in New Yorks Museum of Modern Art.

Whether openly and actively or in subtle, subliminal ways, things talk to us. Tangible and intangible, and at all scales—from the spoon to the city, the...Read full update

HighWire Recruitment

HighWire Recruitment

New HighWire cohort selected for 2011-12 entry

After 3 exhausting but thoroughly enjoyable days we have selected the 12 students who will form the cohort for our 4 year HighWire programme. We welcome inventors, design managers, technologists and all the other successful...Read full update