The Centre for Media, Art & Design Research and Engagement (MADRE) has full-time, part-time UK/EU and overseas students studying for PhDs in a wide variety of subjects. These include visual arts, digital technology, creative media, design issues, heritage and art education. The approaches range from theory driven enquiry, through case studies and other techniques, to practice based research. Research students are supported by a supervisory team, comprising a main supervisor and co-supervisor, and assisted by a personal tutor. Seminar and training programmes offered by the School, College and wider University enable students to develop a disciplinary understanding alongside more transferable research skills. They also have access to extensive digital, media, information and workshop facilities. We encourage prospective students to contact us so that we can put you in touch with specialist staff with whom they can explore your research ideas and the opportunities we offer.
With over 30 research-active members of staff in the Centre for Media, Art & Design Research and Engagement (MADRE), including both embryonic and early career researchers, art and design research is engaged in theory and practice based investigations in creative technology, design innovation, socially responsible design, issues in contemporary fine art and public engagement.
Recent research activities and achievements in the field of design innovation and public engagement include the work resulting from Andrew Wootton and Caroline Davey’s partnership with Catch 22, the national young people's charity, to develop and deliver Youth Design Against Crime (YDAC), a creative community engagement programme empowering young people to design out crime This innovative project was awarded a Manchester Beacons for Public Engagement Recognition Award in November 2011. Other research in this area includes the work of Paul Haywood and Sam Ingleson with the AHRC funded Knowledge Transfer Fellowship ‘Supporting Arts and Enterprise Skills in Communities through Creative Engagement with the Local Area’ which has resulted in the highly successful ‘Guns into Goods’ project in partnership with the charity CARISMA and the Greater Manchester Police.
Practice based research in the areas of fine art and creative media includes ‘Golden Venture’ an exhibition by Jill Randall, at the National Waterfront Museum in Swansea, which attracted 75,000 visitors. Charlotte Gould and Paul Sermon have recently presented their interactive videoconference art installation ‘Picnic on the Screen’ between Shanghai University and the Liverpool Biennial. And Jonathan Carson and Rosie Miller presented ‘The Other Child’ at MediaCityUK, exploring cultural representations of childhood and featuring Rhian Harris, Director of the V&A Museum of Childhood.
In the 2008 Research Assessment Exercise (RAE), staff from the Centre for Media, Art & Design Research and Engagement (MADRE) made their first submission to a national assessment of research and secured an impressive national power ranking, positioning them in the top half of UK Higher Education Art & Design institutions. With the approaching Research Excellence Framework (REF) in 2014 the Centre are building on the platform provided by their initial submission through the impact of longstanding research projects such as ‘Design Against Crime’. The focus is on achieving high quality research outputs, making use of the world leading research facilities at MediaCityUK particularly the Digital Performance Lab and the EGG media exhibition space.
In addition to practice based research outputs, including installations, performances and exhibitions, art and design research is also disseminated via refereed journal articles, books, reviews and international conference papers. Much of the School’s work has an excellent record of high social and cultural impact. The Centre for Media, Art & Design Research and Engagement (MADRE) is also exploring the relationships between research in its disciplines with teaching and learning and how this should influence the curriculum. With the arrival of Professor Allan Walker as Head of School of Arts & Media in November 2011, the School is building on the strong links with the creative economy and its distinctive provision with a renewed commitment to high quality specialist and interdisciplinary programmes which are closely informed by research and are increasingly international. The School is exploring closer relationships between fine art and design disciplines, which have traditionally adopted different ideological positions, to inform a distinctive new teaching and research culture.
Professor Alex Williams
Prof. Alex Williams has worked extensively across three key areas related to design and new product development (and in collaboration with Chinese organisations) including implementing change within organisations, with particular reference to new product development and design, design management and market segmentation and consumer analysis. The recipient of a recent AHRC award ‘Design for the 21st Century’ and in collaboration with the University of Lancaster researching the challenges facing UK design consultancy and the design industry over the next decade. The project will establish potential scenarios, strategic directions, and a blueprint for the shape of the sector in 2020.
T: 0161 295 7165
Professor Alex Williams' research profile
Andrew Wootton is a Senior Research Fellow and Co-Director of the Design Against Crime Solution Centre and a Principal Investigator in the EPSRC Sustainable Urban Environments consortium VivaCity 2020 (www.vivacity2020.org). He has produced practical guidance material for industry on equality and diversity (Mix Matters, 2006) and Design Against Crime (The Crime Lifecycle, 2005; Guidance for the Design of Residential Areas, 2003; Design Against Crime Evaluation Framework, 2005). Andrew focuses on Socially Responsible Design—the use of design and ‘design thinking’ to address social problems and benefit society and has initiated a creative design consultancy DesignThinking.
T: 0161 295 2693
Andrew Wootton's research profile
Dr Caroline Davey
Caroline Davey a Reader in Design, Innovation and Society is Associate Director of Adelphi Research Institute. She is Co-Director of the Design Against Crime Solution Centre and a Principal Investigator in the EPSRC Sustainable Urban Environments consortium VivaCity 2020. Caroline was a partner in the AHRB Doctoral Research Training project (2004 -06) with University of Sunderland and Manchester Metropolitan University, and also in the EPSRC (2006) InSITU project. Caroline’s research has examined Socially Responsible Design—the use of design and ‘design thinking’ to address social problems and benefit society, and she initiated (with Andrew Wootton) an international conference track on this subject at the European Academy of Management conference, Munich, 2005.
Reader in Design, Innovation & Society
T: 0161 295 3577
Dr Caroline Davey's research profile
Dr Qian Sun (PGR Coordinator)
Dr. Qian Sun is currently course leader for the MSc. Design Management programme in the School of Arts and Media. She is actively involved in research in design management and has worked on a broad range of projects, including an AHRC-funded "Design 2020" project which explores the future of the UK design industry in coping with the uncertainties of 2020; an EU-funded "Asia Link" programme which aims to develop collaborative curriculum in design management; the British Council's "Prime Minister's Initiative for International Education" (PMI2) concerning student employability and entrepreneurship; and the School's "D2B" (Design to Business) International Design Management Conferences. Before commencing her academic career, she worked as an in-house product designer, and for a number of design consultancies in China.
T: 0161 295 6169
Dr Qian Sun's research profile