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Art and Design Research and Engagement Group

The AnDRE Research Group brings together research active staff from across the School, including both senior, proactive researchers and emerging early career researchers. Members are engaged in theoretical and practice-based creative investigations across a broad range of arts and design-related areas, collaborating with academics from across the University as well as external practitioners and industry professionals.

Key researchers in this group were returned successfully to the 2008 Research Assessment Exercise (RAE) and 2014 Research Excellence Framework (REF), and will contribute towards REF 2020. Transformative projects—such as the longstanding Design Against Crime initiative, arts-based community engagement work and growing Designamics research—focus on achieving high quality research outputs that deliver real-world impact.

  • Socially Responsible Design (SRD)
  • Design Against Crime
Initiated at Salford in 1999, this high impact research is driven by the Design Against Crime Solution Centre—a unique partnership between the University of Salford, Greater Manchester Police, and Dutch research consultancy DSP-groep. The Solution Centre is a leader in the field of human-centred, design-led crime prevention in Europe, with action research in this area relating to the design of products, environments, services and systems.
  • Designamics
Building on work in the SRD area, Designamics seeks to maximise the unique value of applying dynamic, human-centred design thinking research and practice to complex societal challenges. As a multidisciplinary approach to transformative design research, work in this area combines sophisticated social science research methods—from fields such as psychology, sociology, ethnography and anthropology—with creative and empathic design thinking, analysis, prototyping, engagement and communication methods.
  • Design for health & wellbeing
This is a defined research domain flowing out of the Designamics area, and looks at the role of designed environments, products and services in providing for and improving human health and wellbeing.This theme draws on expertise in environmental psychology and organisational psychology within AnDRE, and combines this with the group's human-centred design and service design capability to define a research area that overlaps with emerging postgraduate programmes.
  • Contemporary fine art practice, environment and site-responsiveness
Addressing contemporary debates in the realm of site-specific public art, placing artists at the core of planning and critical thinking in urban development and community building. Research involves the exploration, navigation and reinterpretation of physical places and social spaces through critical writing, visual arts and sound art, as well as fostering audience interaction in public sites.
  • Contemporary fine art practice, social inclusion and multicultural collaboration
Critical discourse on diversity of practice and contemporary hierarchies of fine art, folk and craft practices, with international collaborations with musicians, performers and filmmakers. Research involves widening participation, supporting social inclusion and projects that unite deprived, disconnected communities through creative community engagement
  • Games for Social Change and Community Engagement
Investigating the potential for physical and digital games to support community engagement and knowledge transfer, and to promote participation, reflection and discussion of local problems. 
  • SecurePART

SecurePART is a EU Framework 7 project that aims to contribute to the increased engagement and involvement of civil society organisations in EU-funded security research in order to: (i) improve the capacity for social, non-technological  innovation; and (ii) address the problem of public acceptance of security research outputs.

    For more information about this project, visit

  • EU COST Action TU1203 – Crime Prevention through Urban Design & Planning (CP-UDP)

COST is an intergovernmental framework for European Cooperation in Science and Technology, allowing the coordination of nationally-funded research on a European level. The objective of the Crime Prevention through Urban Design & Planning Action is to contribute to structuring existing knowledge and developing innovative approaches to building more secure and safe cities. The Action develops new knowledge and innovative approaches, bringing together theoretical thinking and practical experience.

    For more information about this project, visit

  • ProtectED Code of Practice

ProtectED is an accreditation scheme for assessing the work done by universities to look after their students’ safety, security and well-being. The project is the result of a unique partnership between AnDRE academics, university professional services staff and external security assessment company K7 Compliance. ProtectED is designed to ensure universities provide the services and structures that enable students to avoid problems and focus on their success.

    For more information about this project, visit

  • Operational and Horizontal Assistance to the European Microcredit Sector in the framework of JASMINE/EaSI (European Investment Bank)

Subcontracted by consortium providing training and technical assistance to microfinance institutions in the EU under the EaSI programme. Providing technical assistance, advice and consultancy to consortium members, microfinance providers, regulators, policy-makers, funders and other key stakeholders.

  • External evaluation of Pan London Project ‘Community Money Mentors’ (Toynbee Hall)

Conducting three-year external evaluation of the impact of Community Money Mentors project run by Toynbee Hall. Involves statistical analysis of survey data, interviews with delivery staff and beneficiaries, design of evaluation process and report on findings and recommendations in external report aimed at stakeholders and funders of project.

  • EVALUATION OF EMN 2014–2017 within the framework of the EC funded EaSI Programme: “EU-level NGOs networks active in the promotion of social inclusion and poverty reduction or microfinance and social enterprise finance” (European Microfinance Network)

Conducting annual evaluation of the trade body for the European microfinance sector in relation to a European Commission-funded contract. This involved interviewing practitioners and key stakeholders, including representatives from the European Commission and EIF. On the basis of the evaluation, the team made a series of recommendations concerning the performance and future development of the Network.

  • Articulating British Asian Art Histories

This research project will undertake new primary and secondary research into the contributions made by South Asian diaspora artists to British art history over the past 30 years. Regarding these contributions as internal and integral to, but hitherto marginalised from, official narratives of British art, this project seeks to expand the parameters of contemporary British art history. During the 1980s some Asian artists, notably Rasheed Araeen, forged productive allegiances with artists from Britain’s African and Caribbean communities. While affiliations were fluid, the self-identification of these artists as ‘Black’ positioned them and their work within a specific anti-racist discourse set against the backdrop of discriminatory police practices and civic unrest. While this period from the late 1970s to the early 1990s is a growing area of art historical research, much of the recent historicisation of the so-called ‘Black Arts Movement’ has overlooked the activities of artists with Asian heritages. This project seeks to redress this imbalance. This research is funded by The Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art (

Further projects may be added when details received from other AnDRE members

  • Design Against Crime  
The role of design in improving real and perceived security and reducing victimisation
  • Dementia design  
The role of design in addressing issues of dementia care and living with dementia
  • Design for health  
The role of design in addressing health issues and improving wellbeing
  • Design for sustainability  
The role of design in social, economic and environmental sustainability
  • Design for public services  
The role of design in improving the efficiency, effectiveness and quality of public services
  • Design for behaviour change  
The role of design in creating positive behaviour change (e.g. ecological, sustainable, socially desirable, etc.)
  • Design and policy  
The role of design in shaping and delivering policy, and in empowering democratic processes
  • Design for society  
The use of design approaches and/or creative practice to engage disadvantaged groups and support cultural and social vitality
  • Design insight and innovation  
Understanding the nature of design approaches, "design thinking" and their value outside traditional design contexts

North West Consortium Doctoral Training Partnership

Currently available funded PhD studentships for 2019-20

Andrew B. Wootton
+44 (0)161 2952693