Design Informatics and SHAPE in Innovation

Image: Edinburgh Innovations

The University of Edinburgh has just released its “SHAPE in Innovation” tool for understanding the role of SHAPE – Social sciences, Humanities and the Arts for People and the Economy – subjects in generating technological innovation to address major societal challenges. The tool, spearheaded by Christina Boswell, the University’s Vice-Principal of Research and Enterprise, highlights some of the key “societal missions” that researchers at the University of Edinburgh are addressing from a social science, humanities and arts perspective, and allows users to navigate around these missions to find research centres, groups and institutes at the University that are working in these spaces.


The Institute for Design Informatics (IDI) appears at many points throughout the toolkit, demonstrating the breadth and depth of our design-led, critically-engaged, research that is focused on ensuring people and planet thrive through and with digital technologies and data-driven systems. The tool highlights the importance of involving people – users, citizens, participants, people – in design processes and the role the methods and approaches developed by IDI researchers in working with such communities. The tool also guides users to find out more about a range of large research programmes we are core collaborators in – including the Advanced Care Research Centre and the Edinburgh Futures Institute.


If you’d like to know more about any of our projects and our approach to interdisciplinary, design-led, research – please do get in touch!


You can find out more about the SHAPE in Innovation tool here, and some of the thinking surrounding the tool from Professor Boswell here.