skip to main content

Your creative future starts here:


Video series sharing practice research in social design at UAL

People in a workshop. There is equipment visible
  • Written byCat Cooper
  • Published date07 June 2022
People in a workshop. There is equipment visible
Fashion tutors and ReGo project participants at Poplar Works. Photo by Francesco Mazzarella

Thirteen staff and PhD design researchers at UAL introduce themselves and describe their work in a new video series led by the Social Design Institute (SDI).

The collection reveals the distinctive role of practice research in design in achieving positive outcomes for communities and our planet. It shows how social and sustainable designers use practice research to achieve design and wider project objectives; from gaining people’s trust and their perspectives as users; to identifying gaps, testing ideas and prototyping new ways of doing; to processes of communication, collaboration and co-working across complex issues.

The videos are organised into 3 themes that mirror the broader university agenda:

Social justice and activism

  • Working with prisoners to tell their own stories and take part in making activity, as a key part of their rehabilitation: Carlotta Allum, PhD researcher, Central Saint Martins, UAL
  • Questioning and mapping the use of 'hostile design and architecture' to deter people from specific sites within privatised public spaces - and how we can co-design for better, more inclusive environments -  Adrienne Bennie, PhD student, Chelsea, UAL
  • Investigating gender inequality in pensions and what can be done about it - Daniella Jenkins, PhD researcher, SDI, UAL
  • Fashion activism for positive social change in project ReGo: working with young people from East London to repurpose knives into a bespoke fashion collection: Dr Francesco Mazzarella, Senior Lecturer in Fashion and Design for Social Change; Central for Sustainable Fashion, UAL
  • Bringing the expertise of designers to benefit communities, through collaborations based on social and participatory arts at a local level: Dr Nela Milic, Contextual and Theoretical Studies Coordinator, London College of Communication, UAL

Net zero and climate

  • Developing a sustainable and inexpensive fabric with an intentionally short lifespan that can be recycled or industrially composted: Professor Kate Goldsworthy, Chair of Circular Design & Innovation and Co-Director of the Centre for Circular Design, Chelsea College of Arts, UAL
  • Developing tools and processes so that different experts and stakeholders can work effectively together on the creation of a new circular system for textiles: Dr Rosie Hornbuckle, Senior Research Fellow, Centre for Circular Design, Chelsea College of Arts, UAL
  • Helping Southwark Council to map out and progress to a positive, carbon-neutral future for borough residents by 2030: Dr Lara Salinas, Senior Lecturer and Research Fellow, London College of Communication, UAL
  • Creating regulatory policy for the safe, planet-friendly disposal of electronic textiles: Jessica Saunders, PhD researcher and Programme Director: Fashion, London College of Fashion, UAL

Health, wellbeing and safety

  • Investigating how people with vision impairment can engage in creative education, through adapted teaching and learning approaches: Claudette Davis-Bonnick, PhD researcher at London College of Communication, Associate Lecturer at London College of Fashion
  • Designing with mature black women to improve the smart bra market, based on their experiences as bra wearers: Kadian Gosler, PhD researcher, London College of Fashion, UAL
  • Examining how to ‘do’ ethics though design: Dr Malé Luján Escalante, Senior Lecturer at London College of Communication, UAL
  • Working with communities and healthcare workers in rural India, on new healthcare diagnostics and treatments in the context of antimicrobial resistance: where some of the population have become immune to antibiotics: Professor Alison Prendiville, Professor of Service Design at London College of Communication, UAL

Watch the full series

Watch the videos and find out more about social and sustainable design on the Practice Research in Social Design page.

Symposium on practice research

The series was shared as a practice research showcase at SDI’s Practice Research Symposium: Definitions, Contexts, Futures pnline and at Chelsea, UAL on 19 and 20 May 2022. A recording of this event will be published soon.

Related content