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ImaginationLancaster provides a uniquely powerful bridge between industry, society and policy. Directly and through collaboration our design-led research contributes to a healthier, more prosperous, and sustainable world.

We are a globally recognised open and exploratory design-led research lab at Lancaster University, one of the top ten universities in the UK. Founded in 2006, we apply our exploratory research to address the complex challenges identified by industry, public and private sectors, national and international governments.

Our sixty-strong team of diverse design researchers includes architects, engineers, technologists, product designers and more.

Our research explores people, physical spaces, digital worlds, artificial intelligence, health and human behaviours from every angle. As researchers with wide ranging interests we have developed Special Interest Groups (SIGs) to explore commonalities, collisions, and cross-disciplinary ways we can create impact with our research.

Design research at Imagination takes an open ended, anti-disciplinary approach. Because innovation often occurs at the boundaries of disciplines and knowledge our design focus and interdisciplinary approach results in radical innovation, transforming products, places, services and policy for the common good.

ImaginationLancaster is housed within the Lancaster Institute of Contemporary Arts (LICA) – the award winning purpose-built creative arts facility with our bespoke facilitation space Imagination Lab. We’d love to tell you more, please contact us.


going beyond imagination brochure front cover

The project ‘Beyond Imagination’ explored and demonstrated how cutting-edge design research can create a healthier, more prosperous and sustainable world. Funded by Research England and Lancaster University, this £13.2 million 3-year project put design research at Lancaster firmly on the global map, transforming the University’s ImaginationLancaster design team with the 33 new roles – a significant increase. It addressed current global challenges such as Ageing Society, Artificial Intelligence and Data, Clean Growth, Health and Wellbeing – and also identified and tackled future emerging complex, global challenges.

Our publication ‘Going Beyond Imagination‘ celebrates the achievements of the ‘Beyond Imagination’ project and is a snapshot of who we are now, and what we are aiming for going forward into 2023 and beyond.

You can download the pdf here.

The films below give an introduction and overview of each of the research clusters and themes we devised during the Beyond Imagination project. They capture the spirit of Imagination at that time and were created in partnership with Wash Studio.

Transcripts for all the films can be downloaded as PDF documents.

During the Beyond Imagination project our team was divided into five clusters …

…and four themes

The Imagination team January 2020

Lancaster University logo

Research England logo

If you would like to watch all the films together as one film then please watch the ImaginationLancaster Film Premiere.

All the transcripts can be found on this page