Prof. Rachel Cooper

Cooper
Co-Director
Design Management, Design Policy, Design Thinking, Urban Design, Urban Sustainability, Socially Responsible Design, Design Against Crime, Design & Manufacture
r [dot] cooper [at] lancaster [dot] ac [dot] uk

Rachel Cooper OBE is Distinguished Professor of Design Management and Policy at Lancaster University. She is a Director of ImaginationLancaster, an open and exploratory design-led research centre conducting applied and theoretical research into people, products, places and their interactions, and also Chair of Lancaster institute for the Contemporary Arts. Professor Cooper’s research interests cover: design thinking; design management; design policy; and across all sectors of industry, a specific interest in design for wellbeing and socially responsible design. She has published extensively on these topics, including books 'Designing Sustainable Cities' and 'The Handbook of Wellbeing and the Environment'. She is also series editor of the Routledge series Design for Social Responsibility covering topics such as designing for sustainability, inclusivity, service design, sport, health, transport and policy. She was founding editor of The Design Journal and also founding President of the European Academy of Design. 

 She is currently working on Liveable Cities, a £5m funded six-year research programme working to identify design and engineering solutions that will lead to low-carbon, resource-secure, future cities in which societal wellbeing is prioritised. Also ‘The Creative Exchange’, a £3m three year programme  looking at the growth of the creative industries through exploring the ‘digital public space' and a new types of PhD’s programme.  She has also just begun work on the recently announced 'Internet of Things' (IoT) Hub Lancaster University lead in a UCL led consortium that has received £9.8 million support from EPSRC as part of a £40 million investment programme from UK Government. She is Academic Lead for the N8 universities (the eight most research intensive Universities in the North of England: Durham, Lancaster, Leeds, Liverpool, Manchester, Newcastle, Sheffield and York.) on Urban Living Research.

 Professor Cooper has undertaken several advisory roles to national and international universities, government and non-governmental organisations. She was a member of Infrastructure and Environment Strategic Advisory Team of the UK Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) until 2005. She has also chaired EPSRC commissioning panels on Crime and the cross council review of UK National Collaboration on Ageing Research programme and she was mentor on EPSRC Sandpits on Mobile Health and Countering Terrorism in 2006/7. She is currently a member of EPSRC Strategic Advisory Network. Professor Cooper was UK Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) panel convenor for visual arts and media practice, history, theory Postgraduate awards between 2000 & 2005, and sat on the Council of the AHRC (2000/10). She was also a member of the advisory panel on the AHRC/ESRC's Cultures of Consumption programme and chairs the advisory panel for the AHRC/EPSRC's 'Designing for the 21st Century' initiative. She was a member of the UK Research Assessment Exercise Panel for Art and Design in 2008 and 2014 chaired the research review panel for art, design architecture and media for Aalto University, (2009) and is currently chair of Aalto  School of Arts  Strategic Advisory Board and was a member of the Research Assessment exercise for Gothenburg University 2010. In 2011 she was invited to be a member of the European Design Innovation Initiative Leadership Board that produced recommendations on Design for Prosperity and Growth for the EU. She was amember of the Blackett Review of the Internet of Things 2014.

 She is a also Non executive Director of the Future Cities Catapult, a visiting Professor at the Royal College of Art (RCA)and a member of RCA Council. Professor Cooper was a Lead Expert for the UK Government Foresight programme on the Future of Cities, is on the Academy of Medical Sciences Working group addressing ‘The Health of the Public 2040’ and is a member of the Partnership for Prevention Sciences Steering Group. She is the Royal Society representative member of the Scientific Committee for Health and Wellbeing in the Changing Urban Environment – an International Council for Science Programme co-sponsored with the United Nations University (UNU) and the InterAcademy Medical Panel (IAMP).

 

 

 

Updates and Outcomes

Survey Innovation Practices

Survey Innovation Practices

Official launch of our survey – Collaboration with Innovate UK

After working several months developing and improving a survey on design, innovation practices, and R&D, the past 25th March we finally launched it with the collaboration of Innovate UK in the “Creating Smart Products From...Read full update

Liveable Cities workshop on sharing in Lancaster is a success!

Event2 years and 29 days ago
Liveable Cities workshop on sharing in Lancaster is a success!

30th of March 2015, Friends Meeting House, Lancaster

Lancaster Sharing City Workshop pushes the boundaries on what sharing means in cities

Over 30 participants from Lancaster and Birmingham gathered at the Friends Meeting House in Lancaster to explore sharing in cities. The...Read full update

Measures to Assess Wellbeing in Low-Carbon-Dioxide Cities

OutcomeJournal Paper
Measures to Assess Wellbeing in Low-Carbon-Dioxide Cities

Policies aimed at reducing carbon dioxide emissions often focus on the need to change existing behaviours and social practices as well as to provide technological advances in energy supply, waste, transport, industry and infrastructure. While fundamentally important to the mitigation of climate...More information

Liveable Cities mobilities and wellbeing focus groups begin in Lancaster!

Liveable Cities mobilities and wellbeing focus groups begin in Lancaster!

Three mobilities and wellbeing focus groups took place in Heysham, Morecambe and Lancaster during the week of 1 December 2014... with one more to go!

Led by Dr. Katerina Psarikidou (Sociology) and assisted by Dr. Claire Coulton and Dr. Chris Boyko (ImaginationLancaster), 3 focus groups took...Read full update

European Design Days - Brussels

European Design Days - Brussels

Understanding the network of studies related to our project “Design Value: The Role of Design in Innovation”

As part of the process of review of previous literature and studies related to our project “Design Value: The Role of Design in Innovation”, we attended the European Design Days the...Read full update

Meeting at Business Design Centre

Meeting at Business Design Centre

Kick off meeting of our project "Design Value: The Role of Design in Innovation"

The 11th July the kick off meeting of our project “Design Value: The Role of Design in Innovation” was held in the Business Design Centre in London. The attendees of the meeting were: Prof. Rachel Cooper and...Read full update

Liveable Cities mobilities and wellbeing focus groups begin in Lancaster!

Liveable Cities mobilities and wellbeing focus groups begin in Lancaster!

Three mobilities and wellbeing focus groups took place in Heysham, Morecambe and Lancaster during the week of 1 December 2014... with one more to go!

Led by Dr. Katerina Psarikidou (Sociology) and assisted by Dr. Claire Coulton and Dr. Chris Boyko (ImaginationLancaster), 3 focus groups took...Read full update

European Design Days - Brussels

European Design Days - Brussels

Understanding the network of studies related to our project “Design Value: The Role of Design in Innovation”

As part of the process of review of previous literature and studies related to our project “Design Value: The Role of Design in Innovation”, we attended the European Design Days the...Read full update

Meeting at Business Design Centre

Meeting at Business Design Centre

Kick off meeting of our project "Design Value: The Role of Design in Innovation"

The 11th July the kick off meeting of our project “Design Value: The Role of Design in Innovation” was held in the Business Design Centre in London. The attendees of the meeting were: Prof. Rachel Cooper and...Read full update

Northern Futures 'Open Ideas Day'

Northern Futures 'Open Ideas Day'

Imagination Lancaster hosts 'open ideas' day to generate future visions for the North

On the 16th October Imagination Lancaster facilitated an 'open ideas day' for the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister. Lancaster was one of  eight Northern cities invited to produce a range of future...Read full update

Lancaster China Catalyst Programme Launch Event

Event2 years, 6 months and 1 day ago
Lancaster China Catalyst Programme Launch Event

27th of October 2014, Lancaster University Management School, LUMS Lecture Theatre 1, Bailrigg, LA1 4YX

Driving UK Business Growth through International Innovation

  ...Read full update

Article about density & design published in The Guardian

Article about density & design published in The Guardian

Misunderstanding density: Why we are building the wrong sort of cities

Dr. Christopher Boyko published an article today (29 July, 2014) in The Guardian's Housing Network pages about understanding density in cities. The article is based on empirical research undertaken with Prof. Rachel Cooper...Read full update

Fully funded PhD in Data Prototyping & Urban Futures: apply now!

Articleby Nick Dunn, Rachel Cooper
Fully funded PhD in Data Prototyping & Urban Futures: apply now!

Applications are invited for a full time, fully funded PhD studentship as part of our ongoing research into Urban Futures. ImaginationLancaster has an extensive portfolio and strong track record of major research into cities, working directly with policy makers and city stakeholders via UK Government Office for Science and the Future Cities Catapult. ...Read full article

Do sustainability measures constrain urban design creativity?

Articleby Christopher Boyko, Rachel Cooper
Do sustainability measures constrain urban design creativity?

Paper available at ICE Virtual Library. ...Read full article

Future Infrastructure UK: Engineering Roadmap Final Report

Articleby Rachel Cooper, Roger Whitham, Leon Cruickshank

This report describes the results of a workshop undertaken as part of a programme of advice commissioned by Infrastructure UK to consider the interdependencies and future engineering challenges as part of an ‘engineering roadmap’ for the next National Infrastructure Plan (due to be published in autumn 2011). This plan will include specific actions needed to achieve an integrated, reliable, secure and resilient national infrastructure. ...Read full article

Creative Exchange Launch Event

Articleby Rachel Cooper
Creative Exchange Launch Event

On 19th May we  launched the Creative Exchange. It was an afternoon and an evening of speakers and discussion at the Museum of Science and Industry, Manchester, in conjunction with  FutureEverything Festival.  We had a fascinating and diverse array of speakers. ...Read full article

You can find a list of Rachel Cooper's publications on the Lancaster University research pages.

Key Projects

Urban FuturesUrban Futures Urban Futures Sustainable Regeneration - from evidence-based urban futures to implementation
Design2020Design2020 Design2020 The UK design industry in 2020
HighWireHighWire HighWire Creating Innovative People for Radical Change
Design for WellbeingDesign for Wellbeing Design for Wellbeing How Design Can Contribute to More Liveable Cities
Creative IDEASCreative IDEAS Creative IDEAS Innovative Mechanisms for Knowledge Sharing
Design In PracticeDesign In Practice Design In Practice Flexibility and change for healthcare service providers