Rachel Cooper, OBE
Distinguished Professor of Design Management and Policy at Lancaster University and Director, Imagination Lancaster
Rachel Cooper OBE is Distinguished Professor of Design Management and Policy at Lancaster University. She is founding Director of ImaginationLancaster, an open and exploratory design-led research centre conducting applied and theoretical research into people, products, places and their interactions. Her research interests cover: design thinking; design management; design policy; and across all sectors of industry, a specific interest in design for wellbeing and socially responsible design. She has published extensively on these topics, including books ‘ The Handbook of Design Management’, 'Designing Sustainable Cities', 'The Handbook of Wellbeing and the Environment' and ‘Living in Digital Worlds; designing the digital public space’. An academic leader with 20 years research experience and collaboration with industry partners. Rachel Cooper has led large interdisciplinary research programmes related to design. She has also led university departments and research groups, with experience of sourcing funding, managing budgets and teams across disciplines and institutions in industry and academia to deliver practical and relevant outcomes. She has attracted over £25m in research funding in the past 10 years. Professor Cooper has undertaken several advisory roles to national and international universities, government and non-governmental organisations. She was a Lead Expert for the UK Government Foresight programme on the Future of Cities (2013-2016), was on the Academy of Medical Sciences Working group addressing ‘The Health of the Public 2040’ (2015-16) and is a currently a member of the UK Prevention Research Partnership, Steering Group and Royal Society representative member of International Council for Science Programme for Health and Wellbeing in the Changing Urban Environment. She is also series editor of the Routledge series Design for Social Responsibility. She was founding editor of The Design Journal and also founding President of the European Academy of Design. She is currently President of the Design Research Society.