Design Against Crime Research Centre
Founded by Lorraine Garman in 1999, Design Against Crime (DAC) is a practice-led design research project that emerged from Central Saint Martins College of Art & Design (CSM). Having been championed by design educators from CSM School of Graphic and Industrial Design for a number of years, in 2005 the DAC was recognised as a formal research centre by the University of the Arts, London.
The work of the Design Against Crime Research Centre (DACRC) has been innovative in its acknowledgement of the need for designers to be educated in a field where creativity and intelligent design can make a fundamental difference to the economic, cultural and social well being of society.
Committed to “Socially Useful Design” whereby design methodologies are utilised as a means to reduce the incidence and adverse consequences of crime, the centre is based on the understanding that design thinking as well as design practice can and should address security issues without compromising functionality and other aspects of performance, or aesthetics.
As part of their work, the DACRC have challenged students across the University, from all disciplines, including fashion, communications, industrial design, technology and cultural studies by including crime prevention as standard criteria in design briefs. Projects undertaken by the centre have included a collaboration with the sports brand Puma to design a folding bicycle, furniture designs that help secure peoples property in public spaces, and a number of promotional campaigns to raise awareness of the patterns of crimes such as theft.
Projects such as these demonstrated the DACRC’s pioneering work and led to studies against crime undertaken by the Design Council being further developed by the center’s practice led approach. As part of this drive to innovate, the DACRC has also been visited by staff from the Home Office on a number of occasions to help introduce greater scientific methodologies into research projects.
To ensure that information is constantly updated and new developments logged, the DACRC has maintained daily contact with relevant government bodies, police and international organizations and networks.
University of the Arts, London