The Bartlett School of Architecture


Designing for the 21st century: understanding and supporting group creativity in design

The rationale for the cluster activities relates to identifying the fundamental research questions, priorities and agendas raised by the cluster participants in considering how to address the need for a better understanding of creativity and creative practices in design, across the different disciplines. 

Currently, there is too little cross-discipline fertilisation of design ideas and understanding. Developing a leading and competitive edge to design means dynamic, evolving and timely use of new and current design practices being applied to new design problems. Creative design can be understood either in terms of being innovative and developing entirely new (Eureka) creative solutions to problems, on as new combinations of previously successful creative solutions. New ways of envisioning design problems and increasing computational power and storage capacity means that computing technology can be the enabling vehicle for developing both new combinations of problem solution, and innovative design solutions. 

Most of the work on creativity is concerned with individual as opposed to group creativity and this also has been the main focus in many areas of technological disciplines including computer science. Often software developed to support individual creativity, in reality hinders it. Given the extent of localised and dispensed group working, developing technologies which enhance, enable and create new potential for group creativity is crucial to the success of future design projects. Therefore, it is important that a principled and informed approach is taken to the design of interactive software to support creative design. 

Good user interaction design is the result of a participatory process by which users, clients and designers all play a role in the developmental process. Computer use in design for the 21st Century will act as the linchpin for the majority of creative design activities. The design of the technology must not only save user (physical and cognitive) effort but create new ways of working and envisionment, allow greater dissemination of information and designed artefacts, and enable increased social inclusion of stakeholders.

EPSRC Grant Reference: EP/C514203/1


Principal Investigator

Dr Hilary Johnson

Other Investigators

Professor Peter Johnson
Dr Eamonn O'Neill

Cluster Members

Coventry University

Jill Journeaux
Dr Andree Woodcock

Nottingham Trent University

Professor Judith Mottram

Queen Mary, University of London

Dr Nick Bryan-Kinns

The Bartlett, UCL

Prof Alan Penn
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Irene Lopez de Vallejo

University of Bath

Dr Hilary Johnson
Professor Peter Johnson
Dr Eamonn O'Neill
Dr Richard Joiner
Professor Chris McMahon
Andy Warr
Dr Leon Watts

University of Lancaster

Dr Linden Ball

University of Loughborough

Dr A. Chamberlain

University of Strathclyde

Dr Avril Thomson

University of Technology, Sydney

Dr Linda Candy
Professor Ernest Edmonds

Web Usability Partnership

Dr Sarah Burton-Taylor