UAL’s researchers are active in defining, describing and critically assessing social design and design for sustainability.
We do this through practical projects with partners in community settings, local government, business and public services.
The Social Design Institute draws on this varied expertise to bring together articles in which UAL researchers share insights, perspectives and positions.
Our working papers present original research by the Social Design Institute's researchers and collaborators, providing new insights on social design.
- Working Paper 1: Christian Nold carries out a global systematic review of contemporary design practices and the academic literature of design in relation to prisons:
Towards a Typology of Design in relation to Prisons (PDF 492KB)
- Working Paper 2: Christian Nold develops a tentative socio-material framework for categorising systems articulation within design:
Towards a Socio-material Framework for Systems in Design (PDF 485KB)
- Working Paper 3: Patrycja Kaszynska explores the concept of evaluation - its history, its purpose and its effects in the ‘real’ world: Evaluation: Concepts and Practice (PDF 445KB)
- Working Paper 4: Patrycja Kaszynska looks at the challenges of evaluation in relation to place-making interventions, considering places as part of wider systems and as systems in themselves: Value in Places and Places in Systems (PDF 363KB)
The Social Design Institute's specially commissioned position papers showcase some of the diverse thinking and innovative practice in social design and design for sustainability that exists across UAL.
What we've learned:
Social design is collaborative and participatory
- Dr Nela Milic argues that designers must be responsive to the needs of the community and makes the case for co-design as an important force in bringing about social change: Social Design is Responsive Design (PDF 703KB)
- Professor Alison Prendiville shows how design expertise enables meaningful trans-disciplinary collaboration:
A View of Design within Trandisciplinary Research (PDF 542KB)
- Professor Dilys Williams shows how fashion can be practiced as a means of creative self-expression and reflection as well as a way of promoting culture grounded in equity and sustainability:
Fashion as Sustainability in Action (PDF 430KB)
Social design makes change visual and tangible
- David Cross proposes that art, design and the humanities—as spaces for creativity and criticality – can promote ‘planetary health’ by developing and sustaining connections between social values and cultural practices:
Get Well Soon: Planetary Health and Cultural Practices (PDF 1.1MB)
- Professor Becky Earley shares how she uses textile design and making to open up conversations about unsustainable economic systems:
From Sustainable to Circular to Social Textile Design Research (PDF 726KB)
- Professor Pratap Rughani explores the role that design can play in promoting dialogue and understanding in times of political polarisation:
Design for Dialogue: Valuing Doubt in an Age of Conviction (PDF 397KB)
Social design connects experiences with structures and institutions
- Professor Sandy Black examines how design-led small and micro fashion businesses pioneer solutions for fashion industry:
Valuing Practice and Practitioners in Fashion Research (PDF 388KB)
- Professor Lorraine Gamman and Professor Adam Thorpe describe how the application of social-design centred methodology to their work within the criminal justice system has enabled them to address the use, abuse and misuse of objects, environments, systems and services: Design Against Crime: An Innovative and Inclusive Approach to Crime Prevention (PDF 443KB)
- Professor Lucy Kimbell discusses some characteristics of social design and the context in which it has emerged:
Double-Loop Social Design: An Introduction to Social Design and Design for Sustainability (PDF 671KB)
- Dr Betti Marenko reflects on how the ever-increasing use of technology impacts upon human experience, agency and creativity: Stay alert to the toolification of experience. The technocratic shift is here. (PDF 385KB)
Social design is critical, reflexive and contextual
- Dr Jamie Brassett explores the ontological conceptualisation of social design and argues for its institution as an 'assemblage'.
Assemblages of Social Design (PDF 189KB)
- Dr Maria Patsarika demonstrates how design is a form of social dialogue conducive to mutual learning:
Design Participation as Social Learning (PDF 413KB)
- Professor Malcolm Quinn shows how designing has been caught up with politics and publics for many decades:
Social Design and Social Observation: A Utilitarian History (PDF 521KB)
Alternatively, you can download all 13 position papers as a single document: