Tara Hanrahan

Profile image of Associate Lecturer, School of Design

Associate Lecturer, School of Design

London College of Communication


Tara Hanrahan is a communication designer and educator with a deep grounding in eco-social practice and a thorough understanding of process.

As co-founder of Conscientious Communicators her research objective is to investigate, explore and embed sustainable approaches, methods and tools within design education.

In her role as Special Projects Lead at London College of Communication she educates, directs, curates and designs events, exhibitions and publications (often in collaboration with industry partners) across the School of Design. Tara is also a visiting UK and international lecturer – tutoring on graphic design, acting as an industry mentor and facilitating workshops. She advises on sustainable design practices and lectures/runs activities nationally and internationally on design for behaviour change.

In her practice,Think/Do Studio, she applies an explorative and informed approach to the responsible creation and direction of communication materials and experiences across branding, print, exhibition, events, interaction and signage. In her former role as Creative Director of design agency Thomas Matthews she designed and directed award-winning projects for museums/cultural spaces, governments, global corporations and NGOs/charities.

She has an MA in Communication Art and Design from the Royal College of Art and a BA (Hons) in Graphic Design from University of Brighton.

Research interests

Communication design, sustainability, behaviour change, social design, disruptive innovation, design fictions, design activism, materials, reductive processes, resource efficiency, the circular economy, environmental design.

Research statement

Tara Hanrahan’s practice-based research focuses on ways to integrate sustainable thinking into design education. Exploring how a well-informed and holistic understanding (which considers form, function, value and sustainability in equal measure) can be built into the culture of creative problem solving.

There are some key strands to this exploration:

  • Thinking: Responsible innovation, committed to what and how we create.
  • Materials: Substrate intelligence which seeks to eliminate waste and develop new materials.
  • Process: Exploring alternative production methods and energy use, leading to reduced impact on global resources.
  • Message: Communicators engaging, persuading and provoking with inspirational messaging.
  • People: Changing attitudes and behaviours in regard to community and responsibility.

Project awards, and grants

UAL Sustainability Award 2014

UAL Sustainability Award 2013