Research and consultancy

Our students learn alongside tutors who are experts in their chosen fields. Our staff regularly take specialist commissions for industry and complete pioneering research.

We are in the top two modern universities for art and design research

In the 2014 Research Excellence Framework, Sheffield Institute of Arts was ranked second in the UK among modern universities, and in the top ten of all universities.

81% of our work was rated internationally excellent, with 42% described as world-leading.

Our world-leading research centre

Over the last 20 years the Art and Design Research Centre has built up an excellent reputation internationally.

Our artists, designers and filmmakers pioneer developments in health care, independent film, public artworks, and discourse on fine art practice.

Paul Chamberlain, head of the Art and Design Research Centre, says:

'Research is our way to inventive thinking. The production of artefacts, products and our built environment can both enhance our life and create problems. If they're not given intelligent thought and consideration, they can blight our environment.

'Designing in response to understanding can help us to create a safer, more enjoyable world.'

Paul Chamberlain

We are also home to the Communication and Computing Research Centre, which conducts research into interactive technology design, institutions, texts and representation, and cultures, identities and social issues.

John Kirkby

Repackaging iconic brands

Design Futures is our own in-house packaging and product ideas factory. The team provide some of the world biggest brands, retailers and packaging companies with new ideas, linking the worlds of industry and university together.

A range of multinational companies turn to us for assistance, including Adidas, Gillette, Matsushita, Umbro and Unilever.

Recently we worked with Marks & Spencer to replace fiddly plastic ties and wire clips and make it much easier to remove toys from their boxes. We previously redesigned their sandwich packets, inventing the now-familiar 'crumb tray' sandwich box.

Working together to change lives

We believe that for new ideas to flourish we need to break down the boundaries between art and science and work collaboratively across different subject areas.

Our Lab4Living programme brings together research and expertise from Sheffield Institute of Arts with researchers from health, rehabilitation, engineering and ergonomics to create design solutions which have a positive impact on people's quality of life.

For example, we worked with Devices for Dignity and the Sheffield Institute for Translational Neuroscience to develop a new neck collar for people with neck muscle weakness, with a focus on supporting those with motor neurone disease.

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