Institute of Art and Design research groups

Design and New Product Development

Design and New Product Development is a multidisciplinary research group. Working across all the schools of design within the Faculty, it embraces Product, Furniture and Interior Design; Fashion, Contour Fashion and Footwear; Design Crafts, and Social Dimensions of Design.

The group was formed to perform pioneering research – empirical, theoretical, collaborative and practical – in both established and emerging domains. Special research interests include:

  • Additive manufacturing in design
  • Design for industry
  • Medical products and devices
  • Innovations in packaging
  • User informed design
  • Retail, consumers and technologies
  • Resource-efficient design
  • Historical, cultural and future issues in design

The Design Unit

Sustainable design, new product development and new design ideas.


This is a multidisciplinary research and business innovation area at DMU. We embrace Product, Furniture and Interior Design; Textiles, Materials, Fashion, Contour Fashion and Footwear Design and Developments; Ceramics, Glassware, Jewellery and Crafts; and the Sustainable, Circular Economy and Social Dimensions of Design. 

The staff in this area are researchers, practitioners, innovators, technicians and business owners.  We have a strong record in working across the sector as part of the Midlands4Cities Doctoral Training Partnership, Innovate UK, UK Research and Innovation Initiatives and Research Councils.

Areas we cover include:

  • Design, Digital Design, Design Practice, Engineering Design, Manufacturing, CAD, 3D printing, Holography
  • Additive manufacture in design research, co-creation, computational design, digital craft, direct digital manufacturing, generative design, rapid prototyping and manufacture 
  • Upcycling, sustainable design and production, sustainable behaviour, consumption and lifestyles, circular economy, systems thinking and innovation, product-service systems and service innovation, sustainable businesses. 
  • Materials and manufacturing processes and innovation for furniture design, materials and manufacturing history, design pedagogy, research methodologies for product and furniture design  
  • Silver, design crafts, Challenging Material Perception and Material Value, Function and context of traditional silver objects,
  • Design Craft pedagogy, craft’s values to society, health and well being
  • Museum and exhibition design, the narrative space, Holography and Digital representations
  • Collaborations on live projects set by businesses linked with industry for all subjects
  • Design thinking, retail design, learning application design and accessibility and web design, UX and UI

 Short Courses, Knowledge Transfer Partnerships and Consultancy and Continuing Professional Development for Business and Industry

Contact Professor Christine White, Director of the Design Unit by email at or by phone on 07974176308.


Fine Art Practice


Researchers in the Fine Art Practices Research Cluster engage with a broad spectrum of contemporary Fine Art practices and debates. We have particular strength in photography, painting, sculpture, moving image and printmaking. Researchers have recently worked with the Tate in St Ives and London, exhibited in Chicago, and shown in Athens and Kassel as part of documenta 14. We currently supervise students in:

  • Fine Art research by practice
  • The arts and wellbeing

We are interested in hearing from prospective PhD students in the following areas, which align with our areas of research expertise:

  • Fine Art research by practice
  • Art and the working class avant-garde
  • Art and feminism
  • The making of meaning in material practice
  • The arts, social value and wellbeing

Fashion and Textile Research Group

Professor Jinsong Shen, Professor of Textile Chemistry and Biotechnology
Address: De Montfort University, The Gateway, Leicester, UK, LE1 9BH
T: +44 (0)116 257 7558

Textile, Engineering and Materials Research Group (TEAM)

TEAM was established in the early 1990s to undertake research in textiles.

Textile research is, by its very nature, multi-disciplinary and this is reflected in the wide range of projects undertaken. The group seeks to improve materials' performance and processing through applied research in four inter-related areas:

Textile Products and Processing

High performance technical, medical and military textiles|
Nanotechnology for enhanced performance
Industrial textiles, protective clothing and composites

Enzymes and Sustainable Technologies

Environmental and social assessment
Application of biotechnology
Re-use, re-manufacture and recycling of textiles

Agriculture and Natural Fibres

Plant fibres from non-food crops
Process engineering for plant fibre extraction
Processing of protein fibres and textiles

Material Performance and Design

Predicting the performance of fibres, yarns and fabrics
Bespoke software packages for yarn and fabric design
3D textile design

Contact TEAM:

Professor Jinsong Shen
Professor of Textile Chemistry and Biotechnology
Address: De Montfort University, The Gateway, Leicester, UK, LE1 9BH
+44 (0)116 257 7558