Design Research Works is a UKRI Future Leaders Fellowship led by Dr Joseph Lindley.

Our mission is to show the world what it can gain from Design Research.

We aim to achieve that through community-focused research and leadership. This short video gives an overview of the broader motivation and approach.

Below are some further notes on what why, how, and what we’re doing.

What is a UKRI Future Leader Fellowship?

The Future Leaders Fellowship (FLF) scheme is aims to foster, retain and attract talented researchers and innovators in the UK. Uniquely, it offers long-term and flexible support for fellows to tackle ambitious or risky research programmes, multidisciplinary questions, and address new or emerging areas and partnerships.

In the case of Design Research Works we want to strengthen the foundations for the next generation of Design Research. The core principle is a belief that the world at large could benefit a little more from the value that Design Research can offer. We are attempting to produce the evidence to support this position and then using that evidence to promote Design Research in its broadest sense.

What is the strategy?

We have two strands to the project’s activities: the grass-roots strand and the meta strand.

Grass-Roots Strand

The grass-roots strand involves doing Design Research projects wherever we can. Each project expands the body evidence, helps us to strengthen our own understanding, and gives us an opportunity to show the value Design Research to people who wouldn’t otherwise have known about it. Examples of our grass roots projects include the Fixing the Future project and the Seeing With Sound project.

Meta Strand

The meta strand involves engaging with the Design Research community directly in order to strengthen that community and help us to collectively communicate the value of what we do to the rest of the world. The meta strand includes several initiatives including QuBr (an interactive documentary project), the 2022 RtD Jamboree (a residential event for 30 Design Researchers), and the upcoming Lab Engagement Series (visiting a range of leading Design Research labs to chart and champion the diversity of practice).