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About the Archive

Art, Design, Media Research Archive

This archive showcases work from two research centres that contribute outputs to the REF 2021 Unit of Assessment 32: Art and Design: History, Practice and Theory. These centres are the Art, Design and Media Research Centre and Lab4Living.


The Art, Design and Media Research Centre (ADMRC) is one of the longest established centres for research in the arts in the UK.

Founded in 1993 as the Art and Design Research Centre (ADRC), it is a centre of excellence whose researchers are involved in the development of new methods and techniques for research. The generation and application of these has produced new insights in the creation of designs, works of art, film and media that contribute to social, environmental, cultural and economic well-being regionally, nationally and internationally. Now led by Professor Lise Autogena (Professor of Cross Disciplinary Art) the centre develops, leads, delivers and manages research across its constituent disciplines.

For more information visit: ADMRC


Lab4Living is a trans-disciplinary research group based on a collaborative community of researchers in design, healthcare and creative practice. Set up in 2007, it is one of the longest established living labs in Europe. Our work has spanned more than 150 research projects and has included collaborations in over 80 academic, hospital and community organisations in over fifteen countries. The research team brings expertise from allied health and nursing, product design and packaging, fine art, visual communication, performance, media and the humanities.

For more information visit: Lab4Living

Sheffield Hallam University

As one of the UK’s largest and most progressive universities, our teaching, research and partnerships are characterised by a focus on real world impact - addressing the health, economic and social challenges facing society today.


Research activity takes place across three broad domains

  • Creative Practices in Health and Wellbeing

  • Physical and Digital Making: Theory and Practice

  • Social, Cultural and Philosophical Narratives. 


Creative Practices in Health and Wellbeing

The centre developed and fostered Lab4Living, an interdisciplinary community of researchers in design for healthcare. Lab4Living is now established as a world leading research centre in its own right, focusing on the role of design in conceptualising the 100-year life and ‘Future Home’.

Lab4Living - a trans-disciplinary research group, based on a collaborative community of researchers in design, healthcare and creative practices. We work together to address real world issues that impact on health and wellbeing, developing products, services and interventions that promote dignity and enhance quality of life.

Set up in 2007, Lab4Living is one of the longest-established living labs in Europe and is based at Sheffield Hallam University. Our work has spanned more than 150 research projects and has included collaborations in over 80 academic, hospital and community organisations in over 15 countries.

Lab4Living creates opportunities to share work and bring the wider design and health community together through a regular series of events and publications, established the international Design4Health conferences in 2011 and more recently, worked with leading publisher Taylor & Francis to launch an international refereed journal, Design For Health.


Paul Chamberlain

Project: Thinking Through Things


Claire Craig

Project: Journey Through Dementia


Heath Reed

Project: Support 4 All

Physical and Digital Making: Theory and Practice

Research themes within this group include wide-ranging research into making and commentary on making practices: from supporting the economic re-construction of the region; through R&D for new product development; new materials and methods; discourses around authenticity; and insights regarding body adornment and body augmentation. 

The Digital Materiality Lab explores human-computer interaction: ways in which the digital and material worlds connect and interact and the application of new materials. More recent research foregrounds ‘frugal making’ to sustainably address issues that are recognised global challenges.


Rachael Colley

Project: Ambiguous Implements


David Swann

Project: Can't Wait To Learn - Digital Tablet Desk


Christoph Zellweger

Project: Domesticated

Social, Cultural and Philosophical Narratives

The centre has a strong track record of artists engaging with societal and political challenges. Empathy and Risk is an interdisciplinary community of researchers that seek to address issues of empathetic and systemic failure within contexts of contemporary global crisis, conflict and contested sites. 

Social commentary and critique is a strong continuing focus, and the origination and generation of ideas through the practice of film-making, performance and fine art has led to significant areas of enquiry. Repositioning of Archives explores the creative processes of film ‘making’ and fine art to elicit new meanings from archive material, to re-state histories, illuminate social challenges and to reveal the sometimes hidden or suppressed.


David Cotterrell

Project: Thought Curfew


Lise Autogena

Project: Untitled (Superorganism)


Rose Butler

Project: Come & Go

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