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Meet me at the Precinct - Lucy Gannon

Design Research Hub

The Design Research Hub is focused on the production and dissemination of high quality research in design at Manchester School of Art.

The Design Research Hub encourages and supports both leading and and new researchers who are exploring the theories and practices of a diverse range of design and craft based activities. It consists of, and encourages collaboration between academics, researchers and practitioners drawn from a breadth of disciplinary specialisms including ceramics, glass, textiles, graphic design, illustration, interior and product design. Key themes and interests are

Community, Culture & Heritage, including social and cultural engagement with diverse cultures and their heritage, in particular with marginalised and displaced groups. More…

Design for Mental Health and Wellbeing, including the application of design to support people living with mental health, dementia and disability as well as addressing stigma, to improve social engagement, agency and quality of life. More…

Design driven innovation and speculative design, including working with businesses to facilitate design-led innovation leading to improved social and economic benefit.

Making and Materiality, including technical, material or process innovation to enable the creative and practical development of novel solutions in both analogue and digital areas. More…

Underpinning these four themes, there are two further trans-disciplinary areas

Sustainable Design, in acknowledgement of all design interventions having an effect on our natural environment, resource limitations and climate change, which therefore need to be considered in all undertakings

Design Education and the development of its teaching practices are essential to grow tomorrows cohort of ethical and responsible designers able to follow a publicly engaged, collaborative, interdisciplinary and challenge-led approach.

Researchers in this group are engaged in exploring all of the diverse range of the practices, theories, histories, and languages of design. The aims of the centre are to examine the role of design, in its diversity of forms, and to recognize, evaluate and profile its significance. The objectives of the centre are to disseminate designs past, present and future, through the production of a range of works and through many mediums. Our researchers are engaged in the production of objects, books, exhibitions, papers, and many other research initiatives and projects. The centre encourages interaction between subject areas, academic and practice-led projects, and institutional collaboration. It is an intersection between researchers and practitioners, academics and teachers, and a hub for positive exchange and creative production.

Watch four short videos about the Research Hub themes – Community, Culture and Heritage, Design Driven Innovation, Design for Health and Wellbeing, Making and Materiality.

Selected Projects

Responding to migration and social injustice by working with refugees on textile art projects to promote cross-cultural understanding.

Empowering people living with dementia through cultural and creative activities.

Understanding and supporting the sustainability of collaborative artisan crafts in Argentina.

Promoting strategic design as a driver of innovation and improvement in all sectors and industries across the UK.


Exhibitions & Publications


Kettle, AM., 2024. Slipware, Crafts Study Centre, Farnham.

Rooney, J., 2023. "Metamorphosis" a piece included in the "In Case You Missed It" Exhibition at the Modernist Society, The Modernist Gallery Manchester, 3/11/2023 - 24/12/2023.

Kettle, A., 2023. Threads: Breathing Stories into Materials, 8/7/2023 - 1/10/2023.

Kelly, R., Moriarty, S., Wu, D., Chu, L., Wu, E., 2022. Making Matters: China Challenge Exhibition at Manchester Metropolitan University and IM Motors, Shanghai, Manchester Metropolitan University, 1/12/2022 - 31/1/2023.

Jenkinson, J., Khan, F., Earnshaw, J., Kettle, A., Wahid, M., 2022. Reclaiming the Narrative: Portrait Youth, British Muslim Heritage Centre, 22/10/2022 - 27/10/2022.

Kettle, A., 2022. The Queens of Somerset House, COLLECT 2022: Somerset house, London; London Art Fair, Candida Stevens Gallery, 23/2/2022 - 27/2/2022.


Mulhearn, E., 2024. 'An(t)imate'.

Broadbent, S., Davidson, P., 2024. 'Global Patterns', Rochdale.

Royal Academy Summer Exhibition: Print - Beneath The EdgeImaginary Worlds

Whadcock, IJ., 2024. 'Imaginary Worlds.', Oriel Davies Gallery Newtown Powys Wales..

Mann, G., 2024. 'Poise'.

Mann, G., 2024. 'The Leith Pattern'.

Mann, G., 2024. 'The Second Line'.

Rooney, J., 2023. 'Cap 1 A Modular Typeface.',

Kettle, A., 2022. 'Flight Lines', Zhejiang Art Museum, Hangzhou, China.

Egan, K., 2022. 'Out of Place'.

Broadbent, S., 2022. 'Pilgrim Porch', Chester Cathedral.


Tournier, I., Orton, L., Niedderer, K., 2022. 'My I Can Do Pathway Guide and Workbook', Manchester Metropolitan University.

Kettle, A., 2022. 'Odyssey'.

Book Chapters

Adler, J., 2023. 'Design communicating space tech innovation'. In, 396.

Cocchiarella, F., 2023. 'Neighbourhood: More than_Human_Communities: How can design work with nature to steward new forms of communities, creating spaces and engagement where species meet?'. In Teaching for Sustainable Futures: Community, Construction and Creativity, Routledge.


Carpenter, A., Illingworth, S., Lloyd, T., Hall, A., Kelly, R., 2024. 'Testing The Field Film 2017'.

British Council, IM Motors, 2022. 'Making Matters: China Challenge Project Review Film for Exhibition_November 2022'.


Marinucci, S., 2022. 'Artisan Voices: dialogues for sustainable practices', The British Council.

Kelly, R., Marinucci, S., Sethi, R., Lombana, M., 2022. 'Crafting Futures: exploración del ecosistema en Argentina', Universidad Nacional de Córdoba, Facultad de Arquitectura, Urbanismo y Diseño.

Journal Articles

Niedderer, K., Townsend, K., Potter, G., 2024. 'Editorial', Craft Research, 15 (1), pp. 3-11.

Egan, K., Turner-Pemberton, B., Potter, G., 2023. '"Out of Place": Cross-Cultural Collaboration and Virtual Space', Textile: the journal of cloth and culture.

Tournier, I., Orton, L., Dening, T., Ahmed, A., Holthoff-Detto, V., Niedderer, K., 2023. 'An Investigation of the Wishes, Needs, Opportunities and Challenges of Accessing Meaningful Activities for People Living with Mild to Moderate Dementia', International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 20 (7).

Angelelli, C.V., Ribeiro, G.M.D.C., Severino, M.R., Johnstone, E., Borzenkova, G., da Silva, D.C.O., 2023. 'Developing critical thinking skills through gamification', Thinking Skills and Creativity, 49, pp. 101354-101354.

Morfill, S., 2023. 'Drawing beside the lines of writing: Letters to Anni', Journal of Visual Art Practice, 22 (2-3), pp. 245-272.

Mayo, N., O'Neill, C.J., 2023. 'Flightlines: conversations about life with clay', NCECA Journal, 43, pp. 158-161.

Niedderer, K., Tournier, I., Orton, L., Threlfall, S., 2023. 'I Can Do: Co-Designing a Service with and for People with Dementia to Engage with Volunteering', Social Sciences, 12 (6), pp. 364-364.

Ziebuhr, B., Zanasi, M., Bueno Aguado, Y., Losada Durán, R., Dening, T., Tournier, I., Niedderer, K., Diaz, A., Druschke, D., Almeida, R., Holthoff-Detto, V., 2023. 'Living Well with Dementia: Feeling Empowered through Interaction with Their Social Environment', International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 20 (12), pp. 6080-6080.

Niedderer, K., Townsnd, K., Potter, G., 2023. 'Making: Place, material and metaphor', Craft Research, 14 (2), pp. 191-198.

Kettle, A., 2023. 'Tying the knots', Craft Research, 14 (1), pp. 139-152.

Hackney, F., Setterington, L., 2022. 'Crafting with a purpose: how the 'work' of the workshop makes, promotes and embodies well-being', Journal of Applied Arts and Health, 13 (3), pp. 307-324.

Kelly, R., 2022. 'Creating paradise through a palimpsest of hybrid textile community-based research', Textile: Cloth and Culture, 20 (1), pp. 39-54.

Setterington, L., 2022. 'The Grenfell Memorial Quilt',

Walker, S., Evans, M., Zhang, W., Humphreys, P., 2022. 'The located making framework for supporting craft maker enterprises in China', The Design Journal, 25 (6), pp. 976-996.

Niedderer, K., Holthoff-Detto, V., van Rompay, T.J.L., Karahanoglu, A., Ludden, G.D.S., Almeida, R., Durán, R.L., Aguado, Y.B., Lim, J.N.W., Smith, T., Harrison, D., Craven, M.P., Gosling, J., Orton, L., Tournier, I., 2022. 'This is Me: Evaluation of a boardgame to promote social engagement, wellbeing and agency in people with dementia through mindful life-storytelling', Journal of Aging Studies, 60, pp. 100995-100995.

Non-Peer Reviewed Articles

Niedderer, K., Townsend, K., 2023. 'Editorial: Shifting craft's horizons: From individual makers to post-anthropocentric models of co-production', Craft Research Journal, 14 (1), pp. 3-8.

Niedderer, K., Townsend, K., 2022. 'Editorial: Nature as source and inspiration for materials and making', Craft Research Journal, 13 (1), pp. 3-8.

Conference Papers

Kelly, R., Perry, P., Moriarty, S., 2023. 'Closing the loop through circular design education', The 92nd Textile Institute World Conference, University of Huddersfield, 3/7/2023 - 6/7/2023.

Borzenkova, G., Tang, J., Niedderer, K., 2023. 'Co-designing with children with cerebral palsy: context and co-design principles', IASDR 2023: Life-Changing Design, Milan, Italy, 9/10/2023 - 13/10/2023, in IASDR 2023: Life-Changing Design.

Moriarty, S., Spruce, J., Mathai, S., 2023. 'Critical pedagogies for collaborative innovation', 25th International Conference on Engineering and Product Design Education, Elisava, Barcelona School of Design and Engineering, Spain, 7/9/2023 - 8/9/2023, in DS 123: Proceedings of the International Conference on Engineering and Product Design Education (E&PDE 2023).

O'Neill, C.J., Mayo, N., 2023. 'Flightlines: Lives lived with clay', International Ceramics Festival 2023, University of Aberystwyth, 30/6/2023 - 2/7/2023.

Niedderer, K., Fung, P.L., 2023. 'Living the life: evidence-based design and evaluation of psychosocial interventions with people with dementia', IASDR 2023: Life-Changing Design, Milan, Italy, 9/10/2023 - 13/10/2023, in IASDR 2023: Life-Changing Design.

Kelly, R., Moriarty, S., Perry, P., 2022. 'A conversation with Making Matters China Design Challenge and winners and Education Specialists', Making Matters, Online, 16/12/2022.

Spruce, J., Moriarty, S., 2022. 'A slight return: developing an augmented design studio pedagogy', 24th International Conference on Engineering and Product Design Education, London South Bank University, London, UK, 8/9/2022 - 9/9/2022, in DS 117: Proceedings of the 24th International Conference on Engineering and Product Design Education (E&PDE 2022), London South Bank University in London, UK. 8th - 9th September 2022.

Niedderer, K., Tournier, I., Orton, L., 2022. 'An overview of current practices and approaches to co-designing services with and for people with dementia towards developing a framework for best practice', 25/6/2022 - 3/7/2022, in DRS Conference Proceedings.

Orton, L., 2022. 'Are stereotypes, such as the 'headclutcher', in stock images for mental illness stigmatizing?', DRS2022: Bilbao, Bilbao, Spain, 25/6/2022 - 3/7/2022, in Proceedings of DRS2022: Bilbao, pp. 1-17.

Morfill, S., Giles, S., 2022. 'Drawing Descriptions: revealing dynamic lines of gesture through drawing', International Society of Gesture Studies Conference 2022 - Gesture: from description to application, Loyola University Chicago, 13/7/2022 - 15/7/2022.

Tournier, I., Dening, T., Orton, L., Niedderer, K., 2022. 'IDoService project: using a co-design approach to facilitate participation in meaningful activities for people living with mild dementia', 32nd Alzheimer Europe conference, Bucharest, Romania, 17/10/2022 - 19/10/2022.


Morfill, S., Giles, S., 2022. 'Synchronising Hand and Thought: Gesture, Language and Drawing', Keller Center, University of Chicago / online.

Other Outputs

Bradford Pit Memorial glass detailBradford Pit Memorial DetailBradford Pit MemorialBradford Pit Memorial contextInstallation Bradford Pit MemorialUnveiling of Bradford Pit Memorial

Gannon, L., 2024. 'Bradford Pit Memorial'.