Cranfield University’s Centre for Creative Competitive Design (C4D) is celebrating its ten-year anniversary. The internationally recognised centre is an award-winning centre of excellence for creative design, strategy and leadership.

Over the Centre’s ten years it has been instrumental in hundreds of projects to help find ways to translate science and technology based opportunities into market ready solutions. C4D’s research uses a combination of design and engineering skills to bring ideas to life.

They have been influential in improvements to a world-leading brand’s production line technology, previously believed to be ‘impossible’; helped to provide solutions to the challenging design elements of a waterless toilet; and made hundreds of adjustable connectors for face masks, to support NHS staff and key workers during the COVID-19 pandemic.  

Professor Leon Williams, Head of Cranfield Centre for Competitive Creative Design said: “Ten years is a significant milestone for the Centre. By combining creative design practices with systematic applied research methods, we can rapidly visualise, prototype, test and validate new insights and ideas. This reduces uncertainty and risk for our partners. Design thinking is increasingly being adopted as a strategic business tool, requiring designers to deliver a competitive edge.

"In these challenging times, we have seen how we can use our design engineering community to create innovation for social good. By using insight development and idea management activities driven by sustainable design practices, students understand what can be achieved by working collaboratively and using their engineering skills to solve real and future issues.”

The Centre for Creative Competitive Design (C4D) continues to be at the heart of design thinking and innovation developments, with its creative application in solving real-world problems in industry and the wider environment. Its staff are dedicated to making social and environmental impact in teaching, research and the continually changing environment around us.