Skip to content

Because the world needs: new solutions

From challenging stereotypes to helping local communities, creative thinkers have a unique power to come up with innovative solutions to the world’s problems. We look at just some of the ways in which UAL staff and students are using the potential of art, design and the creative industries to help shape a better future.

Landscape of Fontecchio in Italy
Field research for social design project carried out by Madelaine Dowd, BA (Hons) Interior and Spatial Design, in Fontecchio, Italy

Designing for disasters

While studying at UAL, Madelaine travelled to Japan to help redesign tsunami escape routes. Since graduating in 2016, she has co-founded a product design company taking on life-saving challenges, including designing a new approach to make pilot transfers at sea safer. Learn more about Madelaine’s work to use human-centred design to tackle life-saving challenges.

“The project in Japan was life-changing for me as it offered the opportunity to work in another country with a completely different approach to design. Designers have so much potential to change the world and impact people’s lives. I’ve somehow managed to form a company focused purely on doing that and I’m so excited about it!”

Madelaine Dowd, BA (Hons) Interior and Spatial Design, Chelsea College of Arts (now at Camberwell College of the Arts)


Writing refugees

The Refugee Journalism Project works with displaced or exiled journalists who arrive in the UK with great skills but are struggling to re-start their careers. Through mentoring, workshops and internships, the project helps them get their voices into the mainstream.

“It’s not just about finding them work and developing their journalism skills. It’s also about offering practical support and reducing feelings of isolation. Our participants have important contributions to make to the UK, but just need a little bit of support to achieve them.”

Vivienne Francis, Project Director and Reader, London College of Communication


Challenging conventions

Through innovative projects, research and event programmes, our 3 new Institutes all challenge traditional ways of approaching art and design.

Social Design Institute: champions social and sustainable design, helping to improve our communities, our society and the environment.

Decolonising Arts Institute: challenges colonial legacies and disrupts ways of seeing, hearing, thinking and making art.

Creative Computing Institute: works at the intersection of creativity and computational technologies to explore the technology shaping our world.