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About the Programme

IDL is an interdisciplinary research centre at the University of Huddersfield. IDL conducts theory based and applied research into design, and the built environment, pushing the impact of design thinking and practice to new areas. It cuts across the areas of architectural design, construction management, interior design, new product development, digital technologies, engineering, social sciences and healthcare. Our research focuses on solving real world problems through design innovation, mobilising the underlying theories as well as the enabling processes and technologies needed to deliver value to users and the society at large.

Themes within this research centre, include:

Lean Construction

Lean construction challenges conventional approaches to construction. Lean is about improving the project as a whole rather than just focusing on individual stages. The application of Lean approaches and tools can help achieve a joined-up approach, a focus on the whole project for reducing waste and increasing value. Areas of research include: theory building, synergies between Lean and BIM, Integrated Project Delivery, Production Planning and control, Visual Management, Target Value Design, Supply chain management, retrofit, logistics.

Digital Technology

IDL's Digital Technology theme focuses on developing solutions to support the generation value to clients and users of the built environment through improved development and adoption of existing and emerging digital technologies. Its core is in extending design thinking, modelling, simulation and visualisation into strategies, methods and models to support innovation and improve productivity and efficiency of the design and construction industry. Areas of research include: Smart Infrastructure Inspection Technology, Energy efficiency through modelling building occupant's behaviour, Serious Games, Unmanned Aerial Vehicles, Photogrammetry, Artificial Intelligence, Machine learning, Virtual Reality, Blockchain.


The primary aim of the Design4 research group is to deliver social and economic benefit to people and organisations in a local, national and global context through design. A ‘design to improve life' philosophy permeates our thinking and pluralistic approach, with evidence-based design, design ecologies, interdisciplinary working, pedagogy and experiential design underpinning the translation and exchange of new knowledge. Areas of research include: healthcare, people, interior ecologies, industry.

Postgraduate Research Study through the Centre

We invite research degree applications on the above themes, in addition to projects which you feel may resonate with the aims and objectives of the Innovative Design Lab. Within the School of Art, Design and Architecture we have a range of PhD programmes (both full-time and part-time). For further details, please follow the links below. Do please get in touch to talk through any ideas you may have about undertaking postgraduate research study with us.

Research Centre Director: Professor Patricia Tzortzopoulos
Named Director for PhD Projects – Professor Patricia Tzortzopoulos

Link to Research Centre - https://research.hud.ac.uk/institutes-centres/idl/

Link to the School of Art, Design and Architecture - https://www.hud.ac.uk/hr/jobs/artdesignandarchitecture/

Funding Notes

The PhD opportunities on this programme do not have funding attached. You will need to have your own means of paying fees and living costs and / or seek separate funding from student finance, charities or trusts.

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