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Social Design

Image of perspex box with different cuboids of material

Between 2019 and 2022, the UAL Social Design Institute worked to support and promote social design and design for sustainability at the university. In collaboration with staff, PhD researchers and students from across the university, the Institute aimed to make connections, share knowledge and build capacity in social and sustainable design.  The Institute drew upon research insights to inform, shape and enhance understanding of design, in particular how it can be utilised to achieve positive and equitable improvements to communities, society and the environment.

Practice research

To support UAL’s new strategy for 2022-32, in 2022 the Institute delivered a body of work which brought together leading UAL and international researchers to define and articulate the potential and implications of practice research in design, an important means by which creative practice can advance social purpose.

Read about the Institute’s work on practice research.


The Institute published a number of papers by UAL colleagues presenting new thinking and different perspectives on social design, as well as project reports.

Read about the Institute's publications.


The Institute also delivered several high-profile events sharing research and practice in social design between 2019 and 2022.

Watch recordings of the Institute's events.

Knowledge exchange

The SDI worked on knowledge exchange projects with external partners, applying design thinking to policy and societal challenges.

Read about the Institute's knowledge exchange projects