Research Groups & Spin Outs

​​​​​Cardiff School of Art and Design (CSAD) is home to a range of centres and groups engaged in cutting-edge, world-leading research.

​Through the use of innovative and participatory research methods and a collaborative approach to working with external partners, our staff use their art and design expertise to respond to challenges across a wide range of fields; from healthcare, wellbeing and vision science, to innovations in new technologies, exhibition practice, and the ecological performance of new and heritage buildings.

ARCA: CARDI (Climate Adaptation Research and Design Initiatives​)

Professor Hayles leads a team of researchers whose work examines human centred climate adaptation for living sustainably both now and in the future. Research focuses on supporting individuals and communities, to build resilience through adaptive design decision making and behaviour change. This includes working with external stakeholders to inform policy and facilitate lasting change.

ARCA: Design Futuring Research

​Contemporary concerns to be sustainable lie in finding a means to ensure a bio-diverse future for the planet, its species and ourselves. ARCA: Design Futuring Research aims to imagine how we might overcome some of the tensions and contradictions which plague such an ambition.

ARCA: Design Futuring Research is a transdisciplinary doctoral and postdoctoral research community exploring the interrelations between the technological, material cognitive, non-human and ecological temporalities that may inform our understanding of the past, present and future. We ask what role the humanities, art and design may play in(re)imagining such futures through critical posthumanist dialogues.

Artistic Research Cardiff

Artistic research is art that is practised as a form of enquiry, where the enquiry might be into the art-making process itself or the capacity of art to address wider, social, cultural or scientific concerns. The field emerged in the 1990s and can be seen as a new and exciting episode in the tension between art and knowledge that stretches all the way back to Plato. The Artistic Research Cardiff website contains recent examples of artistic research produced by artists and theorists at CSAD.

CARIAD (Centre for Applied Research in Inclusive Art & Design)

CARIAD researchers contribute to improving people's lives and address some of the most significant challenges facing society. While projects are diverse, they all share a common concern with innovating new technology systems that synthesise theory and applied research across the disciplines of the arts, science and technology.

Creative Learning Research

The Creative Learning Research Group highlights the pedagogic research work undertaken in the school in the context of Art & Design and interdisciplinarity. Areas of research include play and creativity; enterprise education; technology-enhanced learning; inclusive design; special educational needs; mindful meditation; and sustainable development.


FAB-Cre8 is a multi-disciplinary research and enterprise group driven by an interest in emerging technologies. FAB-Cre8 works in conjunction with FabLab Cardiff, bringing together researchers working with digital fabrication processes, physical computing, IOT and material investigation applied to a broad range of art and design contexts.


At Fovolab we study visual perception by combining ideas and research methods from art and science. We are primarily interested in the perceptual structure of visual experience and how it can be represented.

RiMS (Research into Masculinities)

The RiMS (Research into Masculinities) group examines the ways in which masculinities are constructed and performed. Using a range of theoretical lenses, from hybrid masculinity to feminist hermeneutics, the group's aim is to further the world of research into masculinities and to broaden the scope of what is currently considered to be research into masculinities.


The overarching aims of the Sustainable and Resilient Built Environment (SuRBe) Research Group are to augment the sustainability and resilience of the built environment, improve occupant quality of life and adapt to, and mitigate, climate change through our work.

We have a strong interest in environmentally-sustainable design, construction technology and operational performance, cultivated from different, but complementary, perspectives and at varying levels of resolution.

Our projects span widely in scope (from the building envelope to interior space and air quality), in architectural scale (from detailing of individual building components to broader design strategies) and in methodology (from qualitative to quantitative, from pre- to post-occupancy evaluation of buildings).


The UCD research group is a collaboration between CSAD and PDR with a shared interest in the importance of the prototype as a focus around which ethnographical research methods can be deployed in design praxis. Working closely with industry partners, many of the techniques developed through the group's research are deployed directly in commercial design projects through PDR's commercial UCD offering.

Visual Culture Research Group

The Visual Culture Research Group​ at Cardiff Met promotes inter-disciplinary research into still and moving images including Film and Television studies, Animation, Graphic Communication, Gaming, Photography, Fashion Branding and Costume on screen. Our work focusses on critical and cultural approaches to form, aesthetics, and materiality in all visual domains.

The group aims to:

  • Encourage synergies between creative practice and theoretical frameworks
  • Develop research-informed teaching strategies with an ethos of sharing good practice amongst experienced and early career researchers
  • Cultivate teaching and research collaborations across disciplines and schools within Cardiff Met
  • Foster an emerging postgraduate community

For further information on contributing to this group, please contact Dr Cath Davies

Spin Outs

Research at CSAD has led to the development of two companies.


FovoRender is the result of ten years' pioneering research by an interdisciplinary team at Cardiff School of Art and Design. Combining ideas and research methods from art and science, FovoRender emulates the true experience of natural vision in real-time computer graphics.


HUG™ is a sensory product designed to be cuddled. It has a beating heart within its soft body and can play music from a favourite playlist. HUG™ has been developed as a result of five years of academic research at Cardiff School of Art and Design, led by our Research Director, Cathy Treadaway. Knowledge gained from LAUGH (2015-18) and LAUGH EMPOWERED (2018-20) projects have helped us to create, develop and evaluate HUG™.

​Find out more about research at Cardiff School of Art and Design by visiting our online repository. Here you can access journal articles, conference papers, information on exhibitions and more published by CSAD’s staff.