Representations are the lifeblood of the design process. They are created and applied by a wide range of professionals in the creative industries ranging from sculptors, fashion designers and film makers to engineers, architects and town planners.


Professor Steve Garner
Professor Chris Earl
Dr Claudia Eckert

Representations can take the form of sketches, digital models, test rigs, drawings and prototypes. In essence, representations stand in for reality in the design and development process. Understanding representations – and the potential of new forms of representation – potentially supports improvements to the process of designing and the artefacts, systems and environments that result.

Recent projects and outputs:

Designing with Vision
This two-year project, funded by The Leverhume Trust and led by Steve Garner, began in May 2009. ‘Designing with Vision’ is worth £196k and employs post-docs Miquel Prats and Iestyn Jowers. Alison McKay, Professor of Design Systems at Leeds University is the co-investigator.
The project uses eye tracking technology to identify participant interest in emerging sketch designs. Using a design shape computation tool in conjunction with eye tracking the system uses data on points of interest to offer designers variations on their preferred images as an aid to shape creation.  The Design with Vision video can be found here.

Writing on Drawing - Essays on drawing practice and research
A collection of original papers edited by Steve Garner and published by Intellect Books and the NSEAD Oct 2008. Steve Garner is the Director of the international Drawing Research Network