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Dr Rachael Luck

Profile summary

Professional biography

Since the mid twentieth century there have been distinct phases to the study of design. Each connects design research with different methods and particular understandings of human conduct in the material world. The research Rachael undertakes studies how design work actually takes place in everyday settings, with close analytic attention to interaction. Her research examines how people socially organise design work, design new realities in collaborative situations, and engage with the societal challenge of social inclusion, through disability-inclusive design methods and practices.

This research involves ethnographic and video-based studies of interaction in everyday settings. Her research has been funded by awards from ERC, ESRC, EPSRC, Enable Foundation, AHRC and the RIBA and is undertaken in close collaboration with participants, practitioners and publics. It is informed by Rachael’s experience working as a chartered architect in practice and scholarship in applied informatics (Capgemini prize) and the built envionment.


Co-lead on Research Plan Next Generation project 'Researchers with disabilities' and the conference 'Exploring Equitable Research Careers' Open University 21st Septemebr 2023.

European Research Council ‘Universalism, universal design and equitable access to the designed environment’ €853,000 to investigate the role and relevance of universal design with Goldsmiths College London 2013-2016.

ESRC Seminar Series ‘Designing inclusive environments: shaping transitions from theory into practice’ with Goldsmiths College London 2013-2014.

Open University and BBC Partnership  Inventing the impossible: the big life fix

Outreach: Designing Inclusively? design exercise with Year 9 Design Technology students at Oakgrove School Milton Keynes.

OpenLearn: How we live and how we might live

Evidence adopted for Cross-Party Women and Equalities Committee, Building for Equality: Disability and the Built Environment, 12th October 2016  Government response:

Responsibilities: Associate Dean for Research and Scholarship in STEM Faculty (2019-2022), School Director of Research (2015-2019), Deputy Editor and member of the Editorial Board for the journal Design Studies (2007-2023), Member of Co-Design journal Editorial Board (2023 -). 

I can offer PhD supervision in subjects connected with these research interests: studies of (architectural) design in practice, co-design and participatory design practices, disability-inclusive design practices:



‘It is not rocket science but it can change our lives’: pluriversal design with FabLab Nepal at a spinal injury clinic (2024)
Campoli, A.; Luck, R.; Shrestha, P.; Pradhan, P. and Rana, P.
CoDesign: International Journal of CoCreation in Design and the Arts ((Early access))

“I just filled out a form” Experiences of Doctoral Students with Disabilities, Long-term Health Conditions and/or Additional Study Needs (2024)
O'Connor, Grainne; O'Dell, Lindsay; Álvarez, Inma; Tipi, Nicoleta; Bowes-Catton, Helen and Luck, Rachael
Scandinavian Journal of Disability Research ((In press))

Access and mobility in Milton Keynes: an inclusive design history where urban planning ideals and design intent meet disability politics (2022-09-13)
Luck, Rachael
Diseña, 21, Article 6

Design research, architectural research, architectural design research: an argument on disciplinarity and identity (2019)
Luck, Rachael
Design Studies, 65 (pp. 152-166)

Participatory design in architectural practice: Changing practices in future making in uncertain times (2018-11-30)
Luck, Rachael
Design Studies, 59 (pp. 139-157)

[Editorial] What is it that makes participation in design participatory design? (2018-11-30)
Luck, Rachael
Design Studies, 59 (pp. 1-8)

Inclusive design and making in practice: Bringing bodily experience into closer contact with making (2018)
Luck, Rachael
Design Studies, 54 (pp. 96-119)

Organising design in the wild: locating multidisciplinarity as a way of working (2015)
Luck, Rachael
Architectural Engineering and Design Management, 11(2) (pp. 149-162)

Learning how to use buildings: an exploration of the potential of design interactions to support transition to low-impact community living (2014-11-27)
Luck, Rachael
Buildings, 4(4) (pp. 963-977)

Seeing architecture in action: designing, evoking and depicting space and form in embodied interaction (2014)
Luck, Rachael
International Journal of Design Creativity and Innovation, 2(3) (pp. 165-181)

Designing inclusive environments: rehabilitating the body and the relevance of universal design (2014)
Imrie, Rob and Luck, Rachael
Disability and Rehabilitation, 36(16) (pp. 1315-1319)

Articulating (mis)understanding across design discipline interfaces at a design team meeting (2013-04-18)
Artificial Intelligence for Engineering Design, Analysis and Manufacturing, 27(2) (pp. 155-166)

Professionalism in digitally mediated project work (2013)
Jaradat, Suha; Whyte, Jennifer and Luck, Rachael
Building Research & Information, 41(1) (pp. 51-59)

Living From Home (2013)
Ewart, Ian and Luck, Rachael
Home Cultures, 10(1) (pp. 25-42)

‘Doing designing’: on the practical analysis of design in practice (2012-11)
Luck, Rachael
Design Studies, 33(6) (pp. 521-529)

Kinds of seeing and spatial reasoning: examining user participation at an architectural design event (2012-11)
Luck, Rachael
Design Studies, 33(6) (pp. 557-588)

Recovering the emergent logic of pair working in a software design exercise (2012-11)
Ikeya, Nozomi; Luck, Rachael and Randall, Dave
Design Studies, 33(6) (pp. 611-629)

Portals to the World: Technological Extensions to the Boundaries of the Home (2012)
Ewart, Ian and Luck, Rachael
Interiors, 3(1-2) (pp. 7-22)

Using objects to coordinate design activity in interaction (2010-08-18)
Luck, Rachael
Construction Management and Economics, 28(6) (pp. 641-655)

‘Does this compromise your design?’ Interactionally producing a design concept in talk (2009)
Luck, Rachael
CoDesign: International Journal of CoCreation in Design and the Arts, 5(1) (pp. 21-34)

Learning to talk to users in participatory design situations (2007-05)
Luck, Rachael
Design Studies, 28(3) (pp. 217-242)

Using artefacts to mediate understanding in design conversations (2007)
Luck, Rachael
Building Research & Information, 35(1) (pp. 28-41)

Architect and user interaction: the spoken representation of form and functional meaning in early design conversations (2006-03)
Luck, Rachael and McDonnell, Janet
Design Studies, 27(2) (pp. 141-166)

Longitudinal analysis of corporate real estate practice: Changes in CRE strategy policies, functions and activities (2006)
Gibson, Virginia and Luck, Rachael
Facilities, 24(3/4) (pp. 74-89)

Dialogue in participatory design (2003)
Luck, Rachael
Design Studies, 24(6) (pp. 523-535)

Annual CREMRU‐JCI survey of corporate real estate practices in Europe and North America: 1993‐2002 (2003)
Bon, Ranko; Gibson, Virginia and Luck, Rachael
Facilities, 21(7/8) (pp. 151-167)

Annual CREMRU‐JCI survey of corporate real estate practices in Europe and North America: 1993‐2001 (2002)
Bon, Ranko; Gibson, Virginia and Luck, Rachael
Facilities, 20(11/12) (pp. 357-373)

Annual CREMRU‐JCI survey of corporate real estate practices in Europe and North America: 1993‐2000 (2001)
Bon, Ranko and Luck, Rachael
Facilities, 19(11/12) (pp. 386-395)

Project briefing for accessible design (2001)
Luck, Rachael; Haenlein, Hans and Bright, Keith
Design Studies, 22(3) (pp. 297-315)

Outsourcing of property-related management functions in Europe and North America, 1993-1998 (1999)
Bon, Ranko and Luck, Rachael
Construction Management and Economics, 17(4) (pp. 409-412)

Annual CREMRU‐JCI survey of corporate real estate practices in Europe and North America: 1993‐1998 (1999)
Bon, Ranko and Luck, Rachael
Facilities, 17(5/6) (pp. 167-176)

The organization of construction research in British universities (1995-03)
Lansley, Peter R.; Luck, Rachael and Lupton, Sarah
Engineering, Construction and Architectural Management, 2(3) (pp. 179-195)

Foundational theory and methodological positioning at the outset of a design research project (2024)
Luck, Rachael
In: Rogers, Paul A. and Yee, Joyce eds. The Routledge Companion to Design Research (Second edition). Routledge Art History and Visual Studies Companions (pp. 141-150)
ISBN : ISBN 9781032022277 | Publisher : Routledge | Published : London

What is it about space that is important in interaction? … Let’s take the world from a situated point of view (2016)
Luck, Rachael
In: Dalton, Nicholas S.; Schnädelbach, Holger; Wiberg, Mikael and Varoudis, Tasos eds. Architecture and Interaction: Human Computer Interaction in Space and Place. Human - Computer Interaction Series (pp. 37-52)
ISBN : 978-3-319-30026-9 | Publisher : Springer

Towards the formulation of a research question: guidance through the glass bead game of research design (2015-10-17)
Luck, Rachael
In: Rogers, Paul and Yee, Joyce eds. Routledge Companion to Design Research (pp. 142-150)
ISBN : 978-0-415-70607-0 | Publisher : Routledge | Published : Abingdon

Towards a living future of calm (2012)
Luck, Rachael and Ewart, Ian
In: Rogers, P ed. Articulating Design Thinking (pp. 89-106)
ISBN : 9781907471513 | Publisher : Libri | Published : Faringdon, UK

'Does this compromise your design?' socially producing a design concept in Talk-in-Interaction (2009)
Luck, R.
In: McDonnell, J. and Lloyd, P. eds. About designing: analysing design meetings (pp. 233-250)
ISBN : 9780415440585 | Publisher : Taylor & Francis | Published : London

Design guidance sources (2005)
Luck, R.
In: Bright, K. ed. Disability: making buildings accessible special report. 3rd edition (pp. 121-127)
ISBN : 9781900648486 | Publisher : Workplace Law Network

Project briefing for an inclusive universal design process (2001-05)
Luck, Rahael; Haenlein, Hans and Bright, Keith T.
In: Preiser, Wolfgang F. E. and Ostroff, Elaine eds. Universal Design Handbook (pp. 4441-4449)
ISBN : 71359575 | Publisher : McGraw-Hill Professional | Published : New York

Notions of designing inclusively from practitioner perspectives (2022-06-25)
Lamirande, Maxim; Alexiou, Katerina and Luck, Rachael
In : DRS2022 (5 Jun - 3 Jul 2022, Bilbao, Spain)

Design activism in a pandemic, towards a life otherwise (2020)
Luck, Rachael and Hamnett, Katharine
In : Participation(s) otherwise: 16PDC Participatory Design Conference (15 Jun 2020, Universidad de Caldas, Manizales, Colombia, [on-line])

User Centered Design Approaches to Measuring Canine Behavior: Tail Wagging as a Measure of User Experience (2018-12-04)
Cox, Elizabeth; Ruge, Luisa; Mancini, Clara and Luck, Rachael
In : Fifth International Conference on Animal-Computer Interaction (ACI2018) (4-6 Dec 2018, Atlanta, Georgia, USA)

Journeys in the City: Empathising With the Users of Transport Buildings (2016-06-26)
Harding, John Edwin; Luck, Rachael and Dalton, Nicholas
In : Proceedings of the Integrated Design Conference ID@50 Theme: Building our Future (29 Jun - 1 Jul 2016, Chancellors’ Building, University of Bath) (pp. 324-335)

What is it about space that is important in interaction? (2014-04-24)
Luck, Rachael
In : CHI 2014 (26 Apr - 1 May 2014, Toronto, Canada)

Studying the impact of ubiquitous monitoring technology on office worker behaviours: the value of sharing research data (2012)
Moran, S.; de Vallejo, I. L.; Nakata, K.; Conroy-Dalton, R.; Luck, R.; McLennan, P. and Hailes, S.
In : 2012 IEEE International Conference on Pervasive Computing and Communications Workshops (PERCOM Workshops) (19-23 Mar 2012, Lugano, Switzerland) (pp. 902-907)

An ecology of design coordination: multidisciplinarity as a way of working (2011)
Luck, Rachael and Ewart, Ian
In : CIB W96 Architectural Management in the Digital Arena (13-14 Oct 2011, Vienna, Austria)

'So the big rocks we put in the jar': using situated reasoning to coordinate design activity (2010)
Luck, R. and Ikeya, N.
In : Studying Professional Software Designers (08-10 Feb 2010, University of California, Irvine, CA, USA)

Analysing design activity in architect and user talk-in-interaction (2009)
Luck, R.
In : 104th ASA Annual Meeting of the American Sociological Association, Information and Communication Technologies Section (8-10 Aug 2009, San Francisco)

Locating values and assessments in early project conversations- Improving Performance (2008)
Luck, R.
In : CIB W096 Architectural Management

Real estate: Changing policies, functions and activities 1993-2002 (2003)
Gibson, V. and Luck, R.
In : 10th European Real Estate Conference (10-13 Jun 2003, Helsinki, Finland)

Dialogue in participatory design (2002)
Luck, R.
In : Design Research Society international conference: Common Ground (5-7 Sep 2002, Brunel University, London, UK)

Project Crystal: accessible environments for deaf and hard of hearing people (2001)
Bright, K.; Cook, G. and Luck, R.
In : COBRA 2001: the construction research conference of the RICS Foundation (23-24 Jun 2001, Strathclyde, Glasgow)

Influence of colour on the inclusivity of an environment (2001)
Cook, G.; Bright, K. and Luck, R.
In : Include 2001: an international conference on inclusive design and communications (18-20 Apr 2001, Royal College of Art, London)

Project Crystal: englightening communication (2001)
Cook, G.; Bright, K. and Luck, R.
In : Deafhood: meeting the challenges of a changing world (12-14 Jul 2001, City University, London)

Deafness, design, and communication: an overview of Project Crystal (2001)
Luck, R. and Bright, K.
In : Assistive Technologies for Vision and Hearing Impairment: support technologies for independent living and work (29-31 Aug 2001, Castelvecchio Pascoli, Italy)

Developing shared language and value (2001)
Luck, R. and Haenlin, H.
In : CIB WO96 Architectural Management & Design Research Society Conference: Value through design (14-15 Sep 2001, Reading, UK)

Deafness, design and communication in the built environment (2000)
Bright, K.; Cook, G. and Luck, R.
In : COBRA 2000 (30 Aug - 1 Sep 2000, University of Greenwich, London)

Does inclusive design require an inclusive design process? (2000)
Luck, R.
In : CoDesigning 2000: Collaborative Design (11-13 Sep 2000, Coventry University, UK) (pp. 71-81)

Studying the effect of systemisation on design activity (1998)
Luck, R.
In : 14th Annual ARCOM Conference (09-11 Sep 1998, Reading, UK) (pp. 340-346)

Construction project integration strategies (1996)
Luck, R.
In : EPSRC/IMI Partnering and Supply Chain Management Seminar (1996, Salford, UK) (pp. 72-87)

The case for the integration of project participants' activities within a construction project environment (1996)
Luck, R.
In : CIB W065 8th International Symposium: Organisation and Management in Construction: Shaping Theory and Practice (1996, Glasgow, UK)

Use of construction research by industry (1994)
Luck, R.
In : 10th Annual ARCOM conference (14-16 Sep 1994, Loughborough University)

Construction research in UK universities and its use by industry (1994)
Luck, Rachael and Lansley, Peter
In : Proceedings of International Conference on Research, Higher Education in Building Construction (1994, Ecole Nationale des Ponts et Chaussees)

Evaluation of parish planning in West Berkshire: report for the West Berkshire Partnership (2006)
Parker, G. and Luck, R.
University of Reading, Reading.

Flexible working in central government: leveraging the benefits (2004)
Gibson, V. and Luck, R.
Office of Government Commerce, London.