• Research Team
  • Researchers
  • - Eckert, Claudia
  • - Earl, Christopher


One of the main objectives of design research is to support design practice through the development of theories, processes and tools. We work closely with design practitioners and design managers in industry, the public sector and academia to understand needs and barriers.

We compare practice across domains, such as engineering, fashion, construction and product design, and aim to transfer learning and insights. Most commercial products are designed by modification from existing products. We support this through our work on engineering change, trends and inspiration. The research spans all phases of the design process from idea generation and creativity to planning processes and testing products. In this theme we work closely with national and international researchers from different domains and different disciplines.


D2RHECC: Design & Delivery of Robust Hospital Environments in a Changing Climate, EPSRC, 2009-2012(Cambridge, OU, Loughborough, Leeds)  http://www-edc.eng.cam.ac.uk/robusthospitals/

CONVERGE: Supply chain integration and real-time decision making in non-hierarchical manufacturing networks, Funder: EU Framework 7, 2009 – 2011, (CNRS – Bordeaux, OU, others)  http://www.converge-project.eu/

Considerate design for personalised fashion products, EPSRC / AHRC Design in the 21st century grant, 2007 – 2009 (LCF, OU, Cambridge)


Eckert C M, Blackwell A, Bucciarelli L, Earl C , 2010, Shared Conversations Across Design, Design Issues 26, 27–39

Blackwell A, Eckert C, L Bucciarelli  L,  Earl C, 2009, Witnesses to Design: A Phenomenology of Comparative Design, Design Issues 25, 36-47

Giffin M, de Weck O, Bounova G, Keller R, Eckert C, Clarkson P  J, 2009, Change Propagation Analysis in Complex Technical Systems, ASME Journal of Mechanical Design, 131

Song D , Earl C, 2008, Optimal empty vehicle repositioning and fleet-sizing for two-depot service systems, European Journal of Operations Research 185(2) 760-777

Song D, Hicks C, Earl C 2007, Dynamic scheduling for complex engineer-to-order products, IJPR 45, 3477-3503

Song D, Hicks C, Earl C 2006, Ordinal optimisation based Genetic Algorithms to schedule complex engineer-to-order products, IJPR  44, 4877-4895

Keller, R., Eckert, C.M.,  Clarkson, P.J, 2009, Using an engineering change methodology to support conceptual design  Journal of Engineering Design, 20 (6), 1466–1837

Ariyo, O. O. , Clarkson P.J.. Eckert, C.M., 2009, Challenges in identifying the knock-on effects of engineering change, International Journal of Design Engineering (IJDE), 2(4),414–431, 2009

Stacey, M.K.,  Eckert, C.M., 2010, Reshaping the Box: Creative designing as constraint management, International Journal of Product Development, 11(3/4), 2010

Eckert , C.M., Clarkson, P.J., 2010, Planning Development Processes for Complex Products Research in Engineering Design, 21(3), 153–171

Nilsson, B. Peterson, B., Holden, G.,  Eckert, C M, 2011, Design Med Omtanke: participation and sustainability in the design of public sector buildings. Design studies, 32(3), pp. 235–254,

Jarrett, T., Eckert, C.M.,  Caldwell, N, Clarkson, P.J. , 2011, Planning Development Processes for Complex Products, Research in Engineering Design, 22(2) 103-124.

Stacey, M.K., Eckert, C.M. Earl, C.F. , 2009, From Ronchamp by sledge: On the pragmatics of object references  In J. McDonnell & P. Lloyd (eds) About: Designing: Analysing Design Meetings. Leiden, Netherlands: CRC Press, pp. 360-379.

Muir Wood, A. P. Moultrie, J,  Eckert, C.M., 2010, Product Form Evolution, In A.Silva & R. Simoes Handbook of Research on Trends in Product Design and Development: Technological and Organizational Perspectives (Hardcover), IGI Global

Stacey, M.K., Eckert, 2010, What is a Process Model? Reflections on the epistemology of design process models,In Modelling and Management of Engineering Processes. Heisig, Peter; Clarkson, P. John; Vajna, Sandor (Eds.) 1st Edition., 2010, XII, 3-14

Eckert, C.M. Schadewitz, N., 2011, Disziplinen der Produktentwicklung aus der Perspektive des angelsächsischen RaumsIn Gerhard Banse; Lutz-Günther Fleischer (Hg.) Wissenschaft im Kontext. Inter- und Transdisziplinarität in Theorie und Praxis (Abhandlungen der Leibniz-Sozietät der Wissenschaften, Bd. 27)

Alink, T. Eckert, C.M.,  Ruckpaul, A, Albers, A., 2011, Different function breakdowns for one existing product: Experimental results, in Gero J S (ed) Design Computing and Cognition ‘10, Springer

Recent OU PhD projects:

Claudia Eckert (1997), Intelligent support for knitwear design

Current PhD projects:

Khadija Tahera,  Virtual and physical testing in engineering design

Saad Hasan, Exchange of tactical and strategic information in supply chains

Pam Garthwaite, Refurbishment for resilient hospitals

Arno Verhoeven,  Objects, narratives and design conversations

Philipa Crommentuijn, Consumer attitudes to sustainable fashion

Amy Yan Liu, Power relationships in supply chains