Art and design research centre

The Centre for Art & Design Research

The Centre for Art & Design Research (CADR) is the home for research spanning the creative and theoretical disciplines of Art and Design with the aim of supporting and developing a top class research-led academic community. 

CADR provides support for academic staff and research students enabling collaboration in an inter-disciplinary, cross-disciplinary and discursive environment. Our artists, curators, designers, writers, historians and theorists are undertaking a wide range of artistic research, critically appraising and engaging in creative disciplines from contemporary and historic perspectives in relation to political, economic, social and cultural developments, debates and ideas.

The Centre for Art & Design Research (CADR) is co-led by Professor Anne Chick and Professor Steve Dutton and managed by the Centre committee membership. CADR facilitates Art and Design research, research collaborations and discussion and debate, leading to symposia, conferences, exhibitions, capital investment decisions and funding bids.

The Centre aims to continually improve:

  • The attraction, retention and development of research staff and students
  • Research income generation and enterprise
  • The School’s research environment
  • Outward-facing research partnerships and collaborations
  • The dissemination and impact of the School’s research.

Examples of our academics practice-based art and design research.

Research Themes

Art, Design and Cultural History

A focus on all facets of the material world, past and present and thus the interests are diverse and research specialisms range from (amongst others): Cultural History, Victorian Studies, British Popular Culture and Social History.

Staff are also members of the Nineteenth Century Research Group and 21st Century Research Group.

Academics engaged with this theme are:


Artists' Books and Performance Print

The interplay between the written word and visual communications particularly in the context of the artist book, pamphlet, small independent printing press and mainstream publishing.

Barrie Tullett and Philippa Wood are part of a collective called The Caseroom Press, an independent publisher whose work explores the function and format of the book. 

Academics engaged with this theme are:


Contemporary Art and Curatorial Practices

In recent years there has been a growth in the role of artist/curator resulting in research into contemporary curatorial practices and the blurring of roles between artist and curator.

Academics engaged with this theme are:


Design and Designing

Addressing material culture through designing, design studies and creative entrepreneurship.

Staff are also members of the Nineteenth Century Research Group and 21st Century Research Group. 

Academics engaged with this theme are:



The promotion of drawing, understood in its widest sense; research into and through drawing bringing together scholars and specialists, nationally and internationally, to collaborate through a multi-disciplinary creative process.

Academics engaged with this theme are:

Diss, Dunne, Edwards, Esson, Oliver, O’Reilly, ShepleyTwells.

Image and Sound

A focus on the contemporary practice-based inquiry into the relationships between image and sound, and independent film making.

Academics engaged with this theme are:


Participatory Arts and Sustainable Design

Artistic (architecture, design, fine arts and performance arts) and theoretical explorations of how creative community projects, events and exhibitions can aid a more sustainable and inclusive society and how to democratically create with communities.

Professor Anne Chick is project team member of the AHRC funded Design for Social Innovation and Sustainability (DESIS) UK Research Network. (Information from the 2013 Enterprise and Employability Workshop)

Anne Chick and Chris Heighton are Critical Friends and members of the Management Board for a major Arts Council England ‘Creative People and Places’ funded initiative called Transported.  

Academics engaged with this theme are:

ChickHeightonLawson (School of Computer Science), O’Coill (School of Architecture & Design), OnolStockerWatt (School of Architecture & Design).

Research Students

We have a growing population of around 20 full-time and part-time UK and international research students. They are supervised by staff who are internationally recognised as experts in their field and have access to world class facilities to complete their studies.

MPhil / PhD Students

Rod Adams
Explaining an interactive relationship between humans and the interior work environments they inhabit

Monisola Adesina
Social Innovation, a methodological approach to flood mitigation in East Lindsey, Lincolnshire

Julie Bush
The life and work of William Logsdail (1859 - 1944)

Dawn Correia
The Design, Development and Impact of the Kaleldoscope: An assessment of Sir David Brewster's contribution and of the contestation of his authorship 1810-1820

Cilla Eisner
Collage Grids: Generative principles and metaphor

Emmanuel Estename
The Mobile Watering Hole: The design and development of a multimedia prototype resource on mobile phones to support the teaching of plastographic printmaking in Nigerian higher education using Constructive Design / Action Research (AR) methodologies (prototyping and collaborative action research)

Amanda Hufford
Visual Slang: Grammar of digitally mediated architectural images

Geoff Lee
An investigation of the Ceramics Blague

Yuen Fong Ling
A Body of Relations: Reconfiguring the life class

Annie Morrad
Rhytham and improvisation in Contemporary Art and music practices

Kezhen Wang
A decade of innovation in Chinese jewellery design education (2003-2013)

Will Wilson
Catalysing Participatory Social Learning: reformulating the design process as means to engage all parties in making conscious and informed behavioural changes towards more sustainable practices, particularly in respect to domestic energy use

Rukia Xu
Art and text collisions in contemporary Chinese Art

David Younger
Theme park theory

Alison Fairhurst
European textiles and leather shoes from 1700 - 1800 and their conservation

Michael Healey
The Scottish colourists and their influence in contemporary Scottish paintings

MA by Research Students

Clementine Monro
Architectural decay. Communicating the physical encounter

John Revell
Interaction design by hacking

Transported Initiative

Transported is a strategic, community-focused programme that aims to get more people in Boston Borough and South Holland in Lincolnshire enjoying and participating in arts activities. The Arts Council England ‘Creative People and Places’ funded project is managed by a consortium from artsNKLincs Artist Forum and Lincolnshire CVS

The Creative People and Places fund focuses investment in parts of the country where people’s involvement in the arts is significantly below the national average, with the aim of increasing the likelihood of participation.  This investment aim to encourage long-term collaborations between local communities and arts organisations, museums, libraries and local authorities, as well as empower them to experiment with radically different approaches, and develop inspiring, sustainable arts programmes that will engage audiences in those communities.


CADR staff are also active in the Centre for Conservation & Cultural Heritage Research and English Research Groups

Please contact Professors Chick and Dutton for further details on the Centre for Art & Design Research: and