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  • Over 90%

    of our research rated world-leading or internationally excellent

  • We partner with leading studios and organisations

    including the Science Museum, Tate, the Parliamentary Archives, Pentagram and the Alan Turing Institute

  • 93%

    of our arts graduates employed or in further study

    15 months after graduating

    Source: Graduate Outcomes, 2020 to 2021


About the Department of Design

Design is responsible for shaping the world we live in. Our research and programmes of study explore the opportunities and potential of design to reshape how we experience, interact, and communicate with each other.

Design is an interdisciplinary practice with research and experimentation at its core. The Department of Design offers a range of undergraduate and postgraduate courses in practice-based design and the business of design. Our curriculums are aware of the global challenges and are agile to the changes in communication and technology. Taught by world-leading academics and industry experts, we ensure our graduates are situated at the cutting edge of this fast-paced global industry.

We nurture an environment of inquiry, innovation, and experimentation with making at its core. Excellent facilities ensure our graduates are equipped with the technical skills they need to thrive in an ever-evolving landscape.

We foster strong partnerships and collaborative links with creative communities, cultural organisations, art institutions and galleries. Students are recognised by professional bodies for their award-winning work, including:

  • International Society of Typographic Designers
  • Design & Art Direction Awards
  • Gianni De Conno Silent Book Award

We are dedicated to developing a diverse and inclusive community that embraces collaboration and pushes the boundaries of design education. Our human-centred approach combined with an exploration of progressive global debates equip our students with a deeper understanding of the societal impact of design.

Studios and facilities

Our studios and facilities offer a wide range of spaces and equipment to meet the needs of students specialising in design. Individual studios give them opportunity to work alongside each other as they would in industry.

Our studios and facilities offer a wide range of spaces and equipment to meet the needs of students specialising in design. Individual studios give them opportunity to work alongside each other as they would in industry.


We recognise the importance of emerging digital technologies and also the traditional methods and techniques of our craft. Our high-spec Apple Mac and PC suites offer the latest in industry standard software. They allow students to easily work across disciplines, from moving image and 3D modelling to design for print as well as:

  • virtual and augmented reality
  • motion capture
  • creative coding
  • open source electronics platforms such as Arduino


Our printmaking studio include industry standard screenprinting beds and equipment, an Alexandra relief press for lino and relief printing, letterpress and etching presses. Two risograph printers allow students to experiment in the field of digital screen printing.


Our video-editing studios and photography suites are professionally equipped. They are supported by a media store to support high quality image creation, production and editing.

Creative services centre

Our creative services centre offers large format printing across many different substrates - weights of papers and materials. Flat-bed printers, laser cutter, 3D scanners and printer, sublimation fabric printers and dry mounting are all facilities we provide on-site.

Technical support

All our technical facilities and studios are supported by specialist technicians and on programme in the first year of study.


Underpinning all academic, creative and professional practice is the Winchester School of Art library and its collections.

Research culture

We have a strong foundation in design research. Our research is world-leading and recognised for its societal impact. The Department of Design is home to 2 of Winchester School of Art research labs. 

Global Smart Lab

The Global Smart Lab was established to advance research at the interface of art and design with respect to smart technologies, experiences and living. Ranging across the domains of health, well-being, education, learning and leisure, the Lab is focused on core challenges relating to the futures of:

  • artificial intelligence (AI)
  • augmented reality
  • virtual reality
  • social and smart technologies
  • inclusivity
  • data culture
  • sustainability

To address real-world problems and challenges, we encourage multidisciplinary collaborations and provide our students with opportunities to engage with world-leading researchers, external partners and end users. The Lab is committed to building a global, network of hubs and pop-up labs.

Current areas of activity are:

  • immersive design for museum and education
  • smart service design for ageing populations
  • AI-enabled processes for creativity
  • smart textiles for health and well-being
  • zero waste/sustainability

Funding and partnerships include The British Council. Tate Britain, Hampshire Cultural Trust, 878 AD, Milestones Museum, Bracknell Forest Council.

Social Practices Lab

The Social Practices Lab seeks to advance research that develops responses to current urgent global and local societal challenges through creative practices and approaches.

The lab is committed to building a global network of partnerships, collaborations and projects that engage with real world issues of social impact and pressing societal need. The Lab UN sustainable development goals while aims to maximise the impact of research and innovation to improve lives and opportunity.​

Current areas of activity are:

  • social design for liveable cities
  • socially engaged art for building community cohesion
  • AI-enabled processes for social equality
  • socially engaged sustainable fashion practices
  • cause-related social action in voting and democracy
  • community art and place making

Collaborative projects and industry links

Collaborative practice is at the heart of our research and teaching practice.

Collaborative practice is at the heart of our research and teaching practice.

Collaborative projects bring together leading industry practitioners and institutional partners, professors and research with our student cohorts, and are at the heart of our teaching practice. These projects give us the opportunities to discuss contemporary issues and use research insights to explore contexts, dialogues and audiences. They are excellent opportunities for knowledge exchange and entrepreneurial activities.

Collaborative project ‘Protest.MP4’

Protest.MP4 is a collaboration with MUSEUMAND The National Caribbean Heritage Museum, Spin, Pentagram and Studio 3015. Our BA Graphic Arts students and staff worked with industry and institutional partners and social and political archives to analyse and reframe the societal perception of the Brixton Uprisings  of 1981.

The resulting exhibition was shortlisted for AntalisCreative Power Awards, Paris. The publication is featured on The Brand Identity, an archive that exemplifies design for good. It was also published within the Antalis Power Awards magazine.

Design guest lecture series

Our weekly guest lecture series supports our teaching and employability opportunities. We invite leading designers and from all over the world. They speak to our students about the impact of design, and how design is helping to solve some of the global issues of today.

Professional design practice

Studio 3015 is a professional design practice at Winchester School of Art. It leads on a wide variety of education, research and social projects. It supports activities within the School, across the University and working with external partners from a range of professional and civic domains.

Core to the Studio’s work is to:

  • employ graduates
  • facilitate learning opportunities for the School’s student body
  • offer live briefs and design projects

The Studio collaborates with design educators, alumni, internationally leading design studios and a network of key partners.

Our courses

Research and enterprise activities

Learn more about our research, and our enterprise work. We engage with the public and the wider local community.


Within the ever-changing, rich, and diverse practices of design it is important to develop a community of passionate designers who not only excel in their field but who also contribute meaningfully to the betterment of society.
Head of Dept, Design & Creative Inds
My research focuses on inclusive design for older people through smart design, ethnographic user studies, co-design collaborations, and improving innovation in product and service design.
I am passionate about creating new learning experiences through working in collaboration with internationally leading design studios and a network of external partners.
Senior Teaching Fellow
I explore how AI is intersecting with our everyday lives and design practices, questioning how our ‘Electronic Lives’ are evolving and what stake we can have in the making of emerging technologies.
Professor of Theory, Practice & Critique
Robert E. D’Souza is a Professor of Critical Practice, artist, designer, writer and editor. He is known for his socially engaged projects and AI-art collaborations.
Personal Chair

Work with us

  • Two design students work on a studio project together, viewing visuals on a desktop computer

    Jobs at Southampton

    Find out about job opportunities at the Winchester School of Art, including any current vacancies in our department.

Contact us

Get in touch, we’re happy to help

You can contact us by:
Winchester School of Art, University of Southampton, Park Avenue, Winchester SO23 8DL
We’re open Monday to Friday 09:00 to 17:00 GMT

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