Image: One to Twenty (by Barber Swindells, 2012)

Here in the School of Art, Design and Architecture at the University of  Huddersfield, we are conducting research into how people engage with contemporary art and design. In particular, we are interested in exploring the different ways in which members of the public are able to encounter and interpret new art and design works. 

Through an examination of previous and current exhibitions of work by University of Huddersfield researchers and practitioners, including a 2012-14 partnership exhibitions programme (entitled ROTOЯ) with Huddersfield Art Gallery, we are exploring different ways of measuring public engagement across these disciplines.

We hope to use this web log as a dialogic resource; to address further some of the questions that have arisen during these exhibitions, by sharing our findings and inviting others to contribute their views and ideas. This will include asking about  people’s understanding of the terms ‘the public’, ‘impact’, and ‘engagement’ in relation to art and design. 

The site will be frequently updated with images and information about the new art being created by our staff and students, to reflect upon the different ways it might be having an impact upon its audiences. By asking how and why different works and exhibitions might appeal to different people, and questioning how this might be captured and communicated, we also hope to help engage new audiences – in contemporary art and design, and also in the dialogues which surround them.

Through this site we will also be providing regular updates on the progress of the public Engagement in Contemporary Art and Design research project, with a view to helping communicate it in the public domain.

For more information please contact Dr. Anna Powell: or Professor Steve Swindells

To lean more about Radar, the School’s research journal (the Review of Art, Design and Architecture Research), please see