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About the Innovation Insights Hub

The Innovation Insights Hub is a cross-UAL resource to connect developments in business, technology and society with expertise inside the university resulting in innovative outcomes.

The Hub aims

  • To connect UAL staff and students with emerging developments shaping innovation including technologies, methodologies and contexts.
  • To connect insights and ideas within the UAL community and its students, alumni and partners with developments outside the university.
  • To explore and describe the contribution that design and the arts make to business and societal innovation.

How the Hub works

  • Connector events, bringing together people across UAL with people from business, social enterprise, policy, voluntary group and from other research fields to exchange ideas and insights and explore potential collaborations.
  • Challenge projects, working with partners to bring together collaborative, cross-disciplinary teams including UAL staff and students on “sprint” projects to address an issue and explore and generate solutions together.
  • Capability building through training and short courses in applied creativity and design thinking.

Expected outcomes

  • UAL is a go-to resource for organisations wanting to apply creative approaches to their business, technology or societal challenges.
  • UAL contributes to a stronger narrative about how design and arts contribute to positive societal and business change that is grounded in research.
  • UAL is more strongly connected to networks using approaches from design and the arts to effect positive change for business and society.

Working with us

The Innovation Insights Hub engages in experiments with new ways to support individuals and organisations to develop capabilities in applying approaches from design and the arts to business, social and disciplinary problems. It has particular expertise in participating in cross-disciplinary, co-produced research through using design.

The Innovation Insights Hub provides an inspiring, energetic and intellectually stimulating platform for partners who want to investigate and apply art and design approaches to business and societal issues.

We are keen to work collaboratively with research centres and universities, enterprises and public bodies on joint initiatives aimed at developing pioneering and inspiring research projects on the application of design and the arts to business, policy and societal challenges.



Partners from business, the public sector and other disciplines

There are many ways to engage with the Innovation Insights Hub, whether you're looking to embark on an applied research project, interested in designing a training programme, curating an event, or wanting some innovation brain food from across UAL.

Visiting academics and practitioners

The Hub is based at Central Saint Martins in Kings Cross in central London. Visiting researchers with research interests in the topics the Hub is working on are invited to get in touch for light-touch visiting fellowships.

PhD Candidates

PhD Candidates, please refer to UAL’s application process for research degrees, which also gives information about funding including the London Doctoral Training Centre. Potential PhD candidates interested in researching design thinking, design for service innovation and design for policy are invited to get in touch with Lucy Kimbell.

Current PhD Students

Yemima holds a BA in Politics from the University of California at Santa Cruz and an MSc in Management Science and Organisational Behaviour from Tel Aviv University. Over the years she has gained experience in qualitative and quantitative research from a variety of lenses, including business, academia and film. She has also taught Organisational Behavior Theory at Tel Aviv University, and recently supported teaching in Strategy by Design and Design Thinking modules at UCL.

Her background in documentary filmmaking and experience as a generalist advisor at Citizens Advice inform her current research project which looks at public participation in policy-making through the use of video. Interested in hybrid multidisciplinary research, she hopes to develop video co-design methods that encourage participation, reflection and iteration.

Hannah holds a BA in Peace and Global Studies from Earlham College, a JD in Law from the University of Toronto, and an MA in Critical Curatorial Cybermedia Studies from the Geneva University of Art and Design. She has worked with the United Nations and NGOs on issues related to humanitarian affairs and displaced persons and taught at university level.

Hannah’s current research aims to propose potential strategies for artists seeking to contribute to international efforts to improve legal protection for disaster displaced people. In particular, she is exploring art’s interdisciplinary capacity to reflect emotion and affect to prompt critical and reflexive thinking as important contributions to policy debates. David Cross is her Director of Studies, and Professor Lucy Kimbell is her Co-Supervisor.

Charlie holds a BSc in Economics and Politics from the University of East Anglia, and an MSc in Global Governance and Ethics from University College London. He has worked for two qualitative social research agencies on a range of projects for Google, Money Advice Service and the Financial Conduct Authority, possessing elements of design thinking both large and small. A mixed methods enthusiast, he has also helped develop an application for UNDP to perform statistical analysis of “micro-narratives” – qualitative short stories collected across Central Asia.

His current research aims to fuse contemporary design thinking with scientific experimentation in deliberative democracy. Specifically, his work seeks to understand how existing models of deliberative democratic engagement – largely developed as exercises in political science/theory – might be augmented by design thinking, to push them beyond an experimental context, and to facilitate a higher standard of public debate.

(details to follow)