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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.



Professor Lucy Kimbell | Dr Ana Tudor | Dr Bethany Rex | Dr Makayla Lewis | Dr Patrycja Kaszynska | Natalia Davis

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 is a doctoral candidate at the Chelsea College of Arts. She holds a BA in Peace and Global Studies (Earlham College), a JD in Law (University of Toronto), and an MA in Critical Curatorial Cybermedia Studies (Geneva University of Art and Design). She also works as a consultant with the United Nations, governments, and NGOs on humanitarian policy issues.

Alongside global efforts to halt the devastating impacts of climate change, international norms — minimum agreed standards for state action — related to people fleeing from the impacts of natural hazards and climate change are undergoing a complex and politically-sensitive evolution. A multitude of actors are working to improve legal frameworks that provide inadequate protection to millions of people displaced each year. Among these actors are artists engaging climate change and displacement themes in their work.

Hannah's practice-based research project aims to propose potential strategies for artists seeking to contribute to broader efforts to improve protection for people displaced by climate change impacts. It seeks to better understand why and how art’s interdisciplinary capacity to reflect emotion and affect, and to prompt critical and reflexive thinking, could influence the norm-development process. The practice-side of her research focuses on curating the project DISPLACEMENT: Uncertain Journeys, which she co-founded with the late Prof. Chris Wainwright.

Supervisors: Dr David Cross (University of the Arts London); Prof. Lucy Kimbell (University of the Arts London)

Charlie holds an MSc in Global Governance and Ethics from University College London, and a BSc in Economics and Politics from the University of East Anglia. Before starting his PhD he worked for two qualitative social research agencies on a range of projects for Google, Money Advice Service and the Financial Conduct Authority, with varying degrees of design orientation. He has also helped develop an application for UNDP to perform statistical analysis of “micro-narratives” – qualitative short stories collected across Central Asia.

Charlie's research focuses on the extent to which ideas from design, broadly speaking, can be used to redesign democracy, in the context of the contemporary 'crisis' of democracy: the emergent and amorphous sentiment that democracy is struggling to adapt to technologies and politics of the twenty-first century.

As a political theorist, he is investigating possible synergies between the agonistic ideal of democracy and the deliberative practice of democracy, working on the basis that democracy is underpinned not just by robust institutions, but a democratic culture, particularly relations of mutual respect between citizens who might profoundly disagree. Taking this "democratic stance" adopted by citizens as the real engine of democracy, his research aims to design democratic innovations would meaningfully reproduce such relations between citizens.

Supervisors: Dr Adrian Blau (Kings College London); Prof. Lucy Kimbell (University of the Arts London)

Daniella Jenkins is a PhD student at UAL funded through a joint studentship with the Policy Institute at Kings College London and in association with the Pensions Policy Institute.

With a background in financial services, Daniella originally studied Philosophy and Politics at the University of Manchester, later qualifying as an MBA and most recently completing an MSc in Major Programme Management at Said Business School, University of Oxford.

Daniella’s research explores how pensions policy might be reframed in light of how women anticipate their financial futures. Combining perspectives from design, foresight, cultural studies and the history of UK pensions, Daniella hopes her research will result in a feminist pensions policy.

Supervisors: Prof. Lucy Kimbell (University of the Arts London); Prof. Pat Thane (King’s College London); Dr Rebecca Bramell (University of the Arts London)