Photo by Ev on Unsplash

Homelessness in the UK is a complex, multi-faceted and systemic social problem.

Our Centre for Doctoral Training – HOME – is a collection of Ph.D. projects aiming to approach the problem in a creative way, from multiple perspectives.

Our game-changing approach uses a creative lens to build empathy and understanding from new, under-represented perspectives and under-researched contexts across different types of homelessness. Our trans-disciplinary team pioneers collaborative working with citizens, communities and stakeholders.

We are developing new methods to give voice to those affected by homelessness and empower them as co-designers in improving policy. Working with our committed external partners we will creatively bring to life the relationships between power, policy and the material realities of home(lessness), to develop impactful and responsible solutions for policy change.

Our Supervisory Team is drawn from Loughborough University’s School of Design and Creative Arts, School of Architecture, Civil and Building Engineering on the East Midlands campus, and the Institute of Design Innovation at Loughborough University, London. We have an extensive partner network of external organisations in the Midlands and London who are supporting the CDT, along with an external advisory board.

Our Centre for Doctoral Training is funded by Loughborough University and will run from 2021-2024.  Initially we have 5 Fully-Funded Studentships available and we have the capacity to grow this further through self-funding students. 

For more information about studying for a PhD at Loughborough University, see the university’s Doctoral College webpages. 

Our Approach

Photo by Tim Marshall on Unsplash

This CDT establishes a new, timely and adventurous collaboration where uniquely, the collective creative disciplines at Loughborough University are the driving force, building cross-campus critical mass in a high profile and important area. Our ultimate goal is a self-sustaining, cross-campus, Trans-disciplinary Research Centre in Future Living.

Our trans-disciplinary CDT combines creative approaches from design, creative arts, innovation, urban planning, disaster risk management and architecture.

The projects will use innovative design technologies (e.g. mixed reality design platforms using augmented and virtual reality environments) combined with multimodal and performative methods from digital humanities (e.g. digital storytelling, photo voice, film) to understand the experience of homelessness.

We will explore the complex interconnections between the material realities of homelessness, power and policy, focussing on the UK, but recognising that we may learn from international contexts too. We take a place-based approach, focusing our research on two regions – the East Midlands, local to Loughborough, and East London, local to Loughborough University London.

We take a transparent approach to the design of our research, whereby individual projects will be shaped through open access, shared data and tools, and collaboration between PhD students, supervisors and external stakeholders.

Our adventurous projects will explore how designers as facilitators can transform the power dynamics between underrepresented and unheard voices and influential stakeholders to provide empirically-informed policy and design guidance.

Students will have a permanent base close to the primary supervisor with the possibility to spend time in other schools to encourage collaboration. The cohort approach for this CDT means that students will be part of a supportive community where collaboration is encouraged. Students will also interact with the wider team of supervisors, beyond their immediate supervisory team. 

We have a network of local and national external partners from the charity and local authority sectors involved with the CDT, ensuring that the research can be co-designed with research users and the research outcomes can have genuine impact. 

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