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IIH Research

The Innovation Insights Hub undertakes action-oriented, cross-disciplinary research combining the expertise of UAL with the visions, needs and capacities of its partners and the communities they work with. Its projects are agile, creative and oriented towards achieving impact.

Current projects explore business models in the arts and cultural sector, the application of ‘design thinking’ to policy making practices and processes in government, and the intersections between design thinking and big data.

Creative Lenses: Arts organisations and business models

Creative Lenses is a four-year collaboration project (2015-19) funded by the Creative Europe programme of the European Commission. It aims to strengthen and develop the business capacity and sustainability of European cultural and arts organisation. The project brings together a range of partners from across Europe including two networks of arts organisations, as well as innovative cultural centres and venues and two universities. UAL’s role includes contributing an action research methodology to learn from a series of experimental ‘catalyst’ projects in which the arts organisations try out new approaches to develop aspects of their business models.

Design Thinking and Policy Practice

Design Thinking and Policy Practice is an evolving series of projects which together explore, investigate and assess the contributions that ‘designerly’ expertise can make to policy making practices and processes. It includes an international project that aims to contain Anti-Microbial Resistance in India through developing and prototyping ‘smart’ regulation and an innovative collaboration with The Policy Institute at Kings College London, which involves joint PhD studentships to build knowledge about this emerging field.

Design Thinking and Big Data

Design Thinking and Big Data, through funded projects and small experimental workshops, the Innovation Insights Hub is exploring the intersections between design thinking and big data. One new funded project looks at the potential and consequences of AI on professional services firms, using design research as a methodology to enable translating cross-disciplinary research insights to action.