Dr Nicholas Spencer is Programme Leader for the MA/MSc Multidisicplinary Innovation degree at Northumbria University, UK. In this role Nicholas helps to develop international educational partnerships that develop new forms of innovation for external commercial and third sector organizations through novel academic, student and community co-creation. Nicholas’ first degree is in industrial design and his Doctorate focused on expert designers’ experience of practice. Teaching design research into the Design Department’s Postgraduate provision and supervising Doctoral Research programmes supports and is supported by the personal research focus of developing new understandings of networked design intelligence.
Questioning the ability of design activities to illustrate purpose with compelling and convincing stories, Nicholas is concerned with understanding the coupling of, and striving for, purpose, autonomy and technical mastery to underpin innovation. Nicholas’ research explores the experience of designing by understanding how designers’ experience of stress, uncertainty and discomfort influences design decision-making particularly in the area of Responsible Innovation. Nicholas also has a passion for social innovation, particularly in the fields of education for students with special educational needs.