For an overview of our Lab’s work over the last 20 years, download our case study.


Our mission is to disrupt crime by bringing together government, businesses, local communities, prisoners and returning citizens to generate strong socially responsive, co-created crime prevention strategies and crime diversion projects. The Design Against Crime Research Lab (DACRL) aims to use socially responsive design to:

  • Reduce the negative consequences of criminogenic affordances (i.e. likely to cause criminal behaviour or serve criminal goals) of products, services, environments and communications and instead design affordances that are non-criminogenic but ‘fit for purpose’ and contextually appropriate.
  • Equip design practitioners and educators to best understand ‘environmental complicity’ with crime (what we want less of) so as to reduce crime and increase the wellbeing of individuals linked to the built environment (so what we want more of can flourish) in order to help construct sustainable communities.
  • Clearly demonstrate why ‘secure design does not have to look criminal’ or compromise on aesthetics via practice-led user-centred design and social innovation benchmarks aimed at public, semi-public and private space.
  • Share design against crime thinking, methods, tools, design processes and best practice with key stakeholders / dutyholders / policymakers / partners in the UK and internationally.
  • Equip design practitioners and educators with the cognitive and practical tools and resources to design against crime by introducing participatory and open innovation design methods to collaborate with stakeholders and dutyholders, and to help democratise innovation.
  • Prove and promote the social and commercial benefits of designing against crime to communities, manufacturing and service industries, as well as to those concerned with the ‘social economy’.
  • Transfer our effective practices and our methodology, which has a strong evidence base of success, to other social / policy issues by design (such as health, ageing, climate change, social justice and incarceration issues).

Ultimately we acknowledge that the causes of crime are complex and ‘wicked’ and that to be useful, design responses will usually need to address multiple drivers.

Consequently, our team operates across a variety of platforms, including our Public Collaboration Lab (PCL), in encouraging design students and PhD researchers to address these issues, as well as through collaborative engagement with staff from UAL’s Social Design Institute.


We are the Design Against Crime Research Lab and our team have delivered  practice-led socially responsive design research for over 20 years.  

At the core of the Design Against Crime Research Lab’s activity is research that serves the public and our communities. Our main focus is “socially responsive design and innovation”: its primary driver is social issues, its main consideration is social impact, and its main objective is social change. Overall, our approach embraces action research, user-centred and participatory design methods, as well as diverse ethnographic approaches.

They deliver design against crime responses that are recognised as impactful benchmarks. These address everything from personal security and theft to youth violence, public safety and social wellbeing. 
Our design work is delivered without compromising the look and functionality of objects or service provision. We use engagement processes that are connected to strong partnerships through an “open innovation” approach, as well as a rigorous design and crime methodology. Ultimately, the team believes that their designs should involve communities in the design process, be user-friendly and abuser-unfriendly, and also to serve communities, as well as business, commercial and public service providers and policymakers.

We have created numerous design platforms to do this and to enable collaboration between communities, UAL courses and students on projects that address diverse social challenges, specifically as part of our Public Collaboration Lab.

Headshot of Lorraine GammanDIRECTOR
︎︎︎ Lorraine Gamman
Headshot of Marcus WillcocksRESEARCH FELLOW
︎︎︎ Marcus Willcocks
Headshot of Adam ThorpeCO-DIRECTOR
︎︎︎ Adam Thorpe

Headshot of Jeffrey DoruffDESIGNER
︎︎︎ Jeffrey Doruff
Headshot of Zoe KahaneDESIGNER
︎︎︎ Zoe Kahane
Headshot of Chloe GriffithMANAGER
︎︎︎ Chloe Griffith

Headshot of Chryssi TzanetouDEVELOPMENT MANAGER
︎︎︎ Chryssi Tzanetou

Headshot of Judah ArmaniRESEARCH FELLOW
︎︎︎ Judah Armani

Headshot of Mary AshcroftADMINISTRATOR
︎︎︎ Mary Ashcroft


Danah Abdulla, Programme Director, Graphic Design, Camberwell, Chelsea and Wimbledon Colleges of Art

Carlotta Allum, Director, STRETCH Charity

Hena Ali, BA Graphic Design Senior Lecturer, London College of Communication

Ruby Cydney, Freelance Illustrator

Stephen Douch
, Research Associate, Helen Hamlyn Centre for Design, Royal College of Art

J McGill Winston (JW), Designer, Behaviouralist, Outreach Lecturer, Sceptic

Keith Gray, Senior Art Director, OLIVER Agency 

Pras Gunasekera, Senior Lecturer, BA (Hons) Interaction Design, CODE University of Applied Science

Peter Hall, Course Leader, BA (Hons) Graphic Design, Central Saint Martins

Jasmine Holland, Project Coordinator, Open Book, London College of Communication

Roman Krznaric, Author and Founder, The Empathy Museum

Matt Malpass, Course Leader, MA Industrial Design, Central Saint Martins
Betti Marenko, Contextual Studies Leader, BA (Hons) Product and Industrial Design, Central Saint Martins

David Matthews
, Writer and Journalist

Sue Newby-House
, Product Designer

Jackie Piper, Co-Founder, British Colour Standard and Associate Lecturer, BA (Hons) Product Design, Central Saint Martins

Alison Prendiville
, Senior Researcher, the Design School, London College of Communication

Tessa Read
, Deputy Head, Careers and Employability, University of the Arts London

Erika Renedo Illarregi
, Associate Lecturer, MA Industrial Design, Central Saint Martins

Sarah Rhodes, Programme Manager, The Bloomsbury SET at Royal Veterinary College, University of London

Dale Russell, Visiting Professor, Innovation Design Engineering, Royal College of Art

Steve Russell, Artist

Lara Salinas, Senior Lecturer, MA Service Design, London College of Communication

Nola Sterling, Freelance Research Consultant

Mark Simpkins, Associate Lecturer, MA Industrial Design, Central Saint Martins
Claire Swift, Director of Social Responsibility, London College of Fashion

Gamze Toylan
, UX Researcher, Market Logic Software

Rosanna Vitiello
, Co-founder, The Place Bureau

Rodger Watson
, Course Director, Master of Creative Intelligence and Strategic Innovation, University of Technology Sydney


Alistair Steele

Bahbak Hashemi

Carlotta Allum

Lucy Russell

Rosie Wallins

Roxanne Leitao

Katrin Ho


Design Against Crime started as a practice-led design research “initiative” at Central Saint Martins (CSM) in 1999. It was founded by Lorraine Gamman, a Research Fellow and coordinator of Contextual Studies for BA Product and Ceramic Design, as well as the contextual programmes for MA Industrial Design and MA Communication Design.

Design Against Crime was formally recognised as a Research Centre in 2005 by the University of the Arts London (UAL). Over the years (2005 - 2022) the centre has has developed multiple platforms and continues to work on and deliver award-winning research-led projects.

The Design Against Crime Research Centre (DACRC) has been primarily funded by UAL, as well as through international and national research council grants and / or knowledge exchange funding raised by the team. In 2023, the DAC team and UAL are rethinking our organisational structure given some of our socially responsive design platforms have expanded to operate beyond the original “crime” remit. The Design Against Crime Research Centre will now operate under the name Design Against Crime Research Lab (DACRL) whilst we continue to operate all our research platforms across Crime and Justice, Public Space, and Public and Social Innovation as usual.

Some of DACRC’s early design work was supported by the UK Government and the Design Council who, as part of the national Crime Reduction Programme, provided a little funding in 2000 for our team to deliver practice-led research. At this time the University of Salford, Sheffield Hallam University and the Royal Society of the Arts (RSA) were also funded to deliver student Design Awards under the Crime Reduction Programme, which included design briefs on crime-resistant laptops, ATMs, rucksacks, hospitals and schools. This funding ended in 2003 and the RSA, the Design Council and universities dropped their Design Against Crime programmes. DACRC continued their activities and have consequently led the field by generating significant design methodologies, research resources, academic publications and design outputs.
In 2006, the New South Wales (NSW) Department of Justice and Attorney General approached Prof Lorraine Gamman of DACRC to help establish an Australian Designing Out Crime Research Centre (DOC-RC). The Deputy Attorney General of NSW told the press this development happened because he was ‘inspired by other similarly established Research Centres, such as the one at CSM’.

Around the same time, the UK Home Office announced they would again fund the Design Council between 2007-2010 to restart their re-branded ‘Designing Out Crime’ programme. They coordinated a £1.6 million plan of action for the Home Office to use design to develop new solutions to a wide range of crime-related problems, particularly those which affect young people, and involved DACRL in this process. The scheme was led by Gloria Laycock of the Jill Dando Institute of Security and Crime Science at University College London (UCL), and later Sebastian Conran, with an alliance of industry experts reporting to the Design Council to tackle five areas where design can help to prevent crime. This included Schools (Sir John Sorrell), Hot Products (Prof Joe McGeehan), Housing (Prof Ken Pease), Alcohol-related crime (Prof Jeremy Myerson) and Business Crime (Prof Lorraine Gamman).

In August 2009, DOC-RC at the University of Technology Sydney (UTS), led by Prof Kees Dorst with funding for three years, invited Prof Lorraine Gamman and Prof Adam Thorpe from DACRL as Visiting Research Fellows to contribute to its design teaching and briefs. Today, the Research Centre is well established and led by Cameron Tonkinwise.


Is your business looking for inspiration and knowledge about innovative solutions to wicked problems, or imaginative versions of the future and learning through collaborative design?

Here are the different ways you can partner with our expert team and immerse yourself in the creativity and talent of our wide community of designers, design researchers, graduates and students.


Our expert team works with you on a commission basis to generate unique research insights informing bespoke design solutions that address specific business needs, tap into new market opportunities, and/or extend your services.


Whether you come from government, business or civil society, we will co-create new ideas and explore solutions with you that democratise innovation and knowledge through design that is socially responsive, collaborative, and participatory.    

We pride ourselves in bringing together, and working collaboratively, with multi-stakeholder groups to address the complex challenges we face as a society together. Also to generate greater knowledge exchange that helps us to imagine and create more aspiring futures now.   


We can help you apply for KTP funding. Here, the government supports the majority of your costs to employ a graduate, under the mentorship of our academic team, to support your organisation in making a transformational step-change.


You can access our global community of students by funding a design project with one of our courses at University of the Arts London. This will generate new ideas as emerging design students apply their skills and talent to benefit your business, generating a plethora of creative solutions that help you while also helping students develop their design practice.


One or more graduates are employed by us to work for you guided by our expert academics to design context-specific solutions for your business.


We design bespoke creative learning courses for your team or wider staff. These help unlock the transferable skills needed for your team, or community of learners to become more resilient in an increasingly complex and changing world through creativity, making, and play.


Chloe Griffith
Centre Manager
+44 (0) 20 7514 8537

Email : c.griffith@csm.arts.ac.uk

Chryssi Tzanetou
Development Manager
+44 (0) 20 7514 8716

Email : c.tzanetou@arts.ac.uk
Design Against Crime Research Lab,
Central Saint Martins,
1 Granary Square,