C0-Design research group

Leeds School of Arts

Academics from the Co-Design Research Group adopt participatory and human-centred approaches to design with or facilitate design by stakeholders across a range of contexts. Such Co-Design processes are often embedded in how researchers from the group approach teaching and projects in partnership with external bodies such as community groups, non-governmental organisation as well as public and private sector stakeholders. The Co-Design Research Group publishes on co-design theory, methods and impact, as well as outputs that arise through live projects and co-design workshops often as part of broader design-led investigations. 

The Co-Design Research group focuses on the following key strands:  

  • Co-Design in autism 
  • Co-design in international/community development
  • Co-Design in education 
  • Co-Design in the built environment   
  • Co-Design in employability
  • Community based design 

Co-Design Research Group Members

Marc's research is centred around participatory design methods, applied to the field of assistive and enabling technologies to help people lead healthier and happier lives. He uses Design Thinking methods to develop ideas that bring about positive change and innovation.  

Marc has published on design methodology, the use of technology for positive behaviour change, barriers and enablers for autistic HE students, and the technology preferences of autistic people.

Joan believes that human-centred design is crucial when creating enabling, inclusive spaces. Current autism-friendly design research involves the cross-disciplinary inputs of a sensory integration practitioner and a positive behaviour analyst, to deepen knowledge about the needs of autistic users.  

Joan’s research uncovers new information in the form of ‘10 spatial transitioning platforms’ relating to behaviour-informed design.  

Joan has contributed towards The National Autistic Societies, Autism Practice, Knowledge base, including an article on tips for creating autism friendly school environments. 

As Course Director of BA Product Design and owner of a product design business I am interested in optimising curriculum design and development to best serve the needs of the product design industry. In my teaching practice I often feel that my role is to ‘design designers’. With this in mind my research investigates the transition of product design graduates between higher education and the workplace and the impact this has on designing learning and teaching materials. My PhD study focusses on undergraduate product design and industrial design courses predominantly in the UK and acknowledges and utilises examples of best practice from courses worldwide.

Mick is interested in the widening variety of possibilities and outcomes for his commercial illustrative practice. Current projects include a 72 metre long play wall in a London park and a 30 metre long art wall connecting biological and animal sciences with mathematics and physics at Sheffield University. Other projects include a creativity card set based on Brian Eno’s ‘Oblique Strategies’ aimed at engineering graduates at AMRC/Boeing, ongoing regular editorials with The Times Education Supplement and has recently seen his work animated for Huddersfield University. 

Mick is also concerned with the role that good design plays in the education and wellbeing of children and has contributed to this sector with a book entitled ’50 Things To Do’ in collaboration with Julian Wood for Wybourn School and with an installation of prints at Sheffield Children’s Hospital for Artfelt.