+44 (0) 1524 510871
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).
New paper published in the International Journal of Business Systems Research.
New paper published in the Journal of Artificial Intelligence for Engineering Design, Analysis and Manufacturing
Flourishing Organisations - 20th May 2021
ImaginationLancaster investigates major areas of modern life from health to travel to help shape the future of two local districts
ImaginationLancaster Design Summit
Towards Recovery and Resilience
Strategy and Research Plans for 2021
ImaginationLancaster Design Summit: Flourish Together
an online film premiere to rival any blockbuster movie
ImaginationLancaster Design Summit Series 2021
Charting the developments, challenges and opportunities for design research in addressing global challenges facing the developing world
The launch of a series of new short films which capture the essence of the spirit of Imagination
Now available to download
Interview with the Major Projects Association
Socio-Technical Design Research for 21st Century Technologies
Using icon design to explore the issues around widespread adoption of AI
This little book tells you about research that we did as part of the Liveable Cities project, looking at wellbeing in neighbourhoods.
As a result of a 3-day Communication Symposium held in March 2017 in Lancaster, Liveable Cities has produced a series of informative videos.
International Symposium on Urban Health and Wellbeing in the Asia-Pacific Region
the International Symposium on Urban Health and Wellbeing in the Asia-Pacific Region!
Our research using Design Fiction to consider futures for the Internet of Things is featured by IOTUK
Pete Rai, Cisco, Mark Prisk MP and Rachel Cooper OBE, meet to explore the potential of connectivity posed by the continued growth of the Internet of Things (IoT)
Final report from the AHRC study on the Value of Design in Innovation
Birmingham City Council creating 'bottom-up' natural capital plan using design methods
Rachel Cooper and Christopher Boyko received the Best Paper Award 2016 in Urban Design and Planning journal
On 24th November The Creative Exchange - a joint project between Lancaster, The Royal College of Art and Newcastle University - held a Parliamentary event exploring the value of creativity in education, artistic practice, industry and local commissioning
Join us for our next Skype Session about ecosystem services in cities
Have some interesting stories about sharing? Live in the Moseley and King's Heath area of Birmingham? If so, come to our workshop and share
Researchers are collecting data on the condition of built environment features within different neighbourhoods
Interested in making cities more liveable? Have a background in urban design, architecture or design management? This job might be for you!
Official launch of our survey – Collaboration with Innovate UK
Lancaster Sharing City Workshop pushes the boundaries on what sharing means in cities
Understanding the network of studies related to our project “Design Value: The Role of Design in Innovation”
Kick off meeting of our project "Design Value: The Role of Design in Innovation"
Imagination Lancaster hosts 'open ideas' day to generate future visions for the North
Misunderstanding density: Why we are building the wrong sort of cities
How will traditional media such as television and radio adapt as they become part of a larger Internet of Things
An Inspirational Masterclass delivered by the Worldwide CEO of Saatchi & Saatchi, Kevin Roberts on Monday 10th of February
For blind and partially sighted people, just navigating around a city can leave them feeling tired, anxious and vulnerable. Can technology make it a seamless, enjoyable experience?
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
Kevin Roberts will inspire and inform an audience of creative and digital small and medium businesses
Design Council announced that it will be leading a consortium to deliver the European Design Innovation Platform (EDIP) with Lancaster University as key partner
Making in the City [3D Printing], offered a successful and acclaimed introduction to the series of Cities Design Jams, by the Imagination team at Lancaster
Co-creation through intense collaborative activity...Hexagons and Lego leading innovative 'thinking'
Forty-five arts and humanities practitioners, academics and funding partners gathered at a N8 event in Lancaster to participate in a workshop that explored how the imagination is being used to influence social and cultural development in the North
N8 'New Thinking from the North' network holds its fourth workshop in Lancaster
Call for Papers: wide range of contributions accepted; these include - Full length research papers; short papers; workshop proposals. All submissions are subject to a rigorous double-blind peer review process. Deadline: 31 October 2013
Bringing London-based digital and creative small and medium businesses together to create innovate concepts for cities
N8 'New Thinking from the North' network holds its third workshop in Manchester
N8 'New Thinking from the North' network holds its second workshop in Sheffield
N8 'New Thinking from the North' network holds its first workshop in Durham
A warm welcome to Cosmin Popan and Serena Pollastri
Lancaster University welcomes consortium members to progress work on DeEP European design innovation policy evaluation tool
We are looking to recruit two university funded PhDs to work on the EPSRC Programme Grant Liveable Cities, Transforming the Engineering of Cities for Global and Societal Wellbeing
Project team discusses progress, engages in knowledge exchange with expert stakeholders
The DeEP project has launched itself onto social media
DeEP Consortium members debate the European design innovation policy eco-system at intense 2-day workshop
DeEP host a high-level design innovation policy workshop in London attended by key UK stakeholders
The Urban Futures project is ending this April and the team is giving away free copies of their Practitioner Guide to celebrate
April 2012 sees the launch of the Urban Futures publication, entitled 'The Little Book of Density'
Lancaster University is seeking to recruit five PhD students to participate in an exciting collaborative project with a range of academic and industrial partners in the creative and digital industries
The Creative Exchange is picking up pace after the first management meeting for 2012
Findings from an online survey about density and decision-making to be discussed in Vancouver, Canada
The Urban Futures team meet for two days in Lancaster
Findings from online density survey written up in report
New HighWire cohort selected for 2011-12 entry
Workshop 3: Next Generation Sustainability in Policy 13th May 2011, Innovation Space, BIS, London
Views needed on aspects of density and decision-making in the urban environment
Embedding new sustainability thinking into day-to-day activities of civil engineering can result in substantial social, economic and environmental benefits for all stakeholders, but, to date, sustainability in consulting engineering is still more of a reactive activity than a proactive one. Through engaging with Civil Engineering consultants, educators and regulators as stakeholders, the series of workshops aims to bring together fresh perspectives on sustainability in consulting engineering in the supply chain
Workshop with local authority and private sector decision-makers to understand the sustainability issues of an urban regeneration site in Lancaster city centre
How 'we' can design futures of connected places
Global design response database for COVID-19
Socio-Technical Design Research for 21st Century Technologies
Design Research for the 21st Century
Service Design and Innovation Conference at Lancaster University
Helping industry, educators and policy makers think about sustainable futures
Stimulating reinvention and influencing economic growth across the North
Ambitious £5m project to inspire and support growth in the digital industries
Lancaster University is embarking on a new initiative to leverage its global reach for the benefit of UK businesses
Creating Innovative People for Radical Change
Exploring the roles design can play in innovation and the conditions enabling those roles
Flexibility and change for healthcare service providers
Design For Europe aims to increase the use of design for innovation and growth across Europe
Evaluating and Sharing Design Innovation Policies for European Growth
Innovative Mechanisms for Knowledge Sharing
Creating New Contexts for Growth in the Experience Economy
Providing fresh perspectives on real world issues and facilitating innovation
Privacy, Ethics, Trust, Reliability, Acceptability, and Security
Transforming the Engineering of Cities for Global and Societal Wellbeing