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Intelligent Mobility Design Centre

The Royal College of Art’s Intelligent Mobility Design Centre (IMDC) leads research at the intersection of people, mobility and technology within a complex and changing urban and global environment.   

Established as a world leader in the field of vehicle design and research, and with Professor Dale Harrow as Centre Director and inaugural Chair of the Hyundai Kia Laboratory, the IMDC is a multidisciplinary research centre with a design-led, human-centred approach at its core. The Centre focuses on new ways of designing, influencing new behaviours and developing new methodologies and mobility typologies that address societal issues.  

The IMDC operates at the intersection of design disciplines, at a time of radical change in modes of mobility – in technologies, but also in the commercial, social and cultural models with which they interact. Where previous university and corporate research has tended to focus on mechanics, engineering solutions to perceived problems and iterative developments leading to incremental market advantage, our track record in this area has demonstrated that the problem is much more subtle and complex, and requires human-centred approaches which are design-led. 

Previous research has tended to concentrate on the movement of objects, whereas the urgent need is to re-focus on the journey, the experience, the design of services and systems, and the complexity of the infrastructure and interactions that mobility in modern advanced societies entails. 

The Centre builds on Professor Dale Harrow’s successful research in autonomous vehicles, the design of the new emergency ambulance and a new taxi for London

Applications for PhD Positions Now Open

The Intelligent Mobility Design Centre welcomes applications exploring mobility within our core research themes of Automotive Transitions, People and Places, and Humanising Technology. Research topics could include but are not limited to the design of experiences and behaviours for driverless and shared rides; alternative vehicle types and typologies; understanding car culture paradigm shifts; end-to-end journeys; Inclusive design; the interplay between mobility and urban design; exploration and creation of mobility experiences informed by human psychology, human factors principles, and human centred design. We would welcome applications from candidates across disciplines including design, engineering, science and the arts. The PhD positions will commence in September 2020. Further information is available here.

PhD Studentship:  Inclusive Design for Shared Autonomous Vehicles

Applications are invited for a LAHP/AHRC-funded Collaborative Doctorate Award at the Royal College of Art in collaboration with Tata Motors Design UK. This studentship will commence in October 2020 and is fully funded for three and a half years, covering tuition fees and stipend. The successful candidate will have full access to the LAHP Doctoral Training Partnership development activities and networking opportunities. 

Applications close on 22 March 2020. For more information and to apply for the studentship, visit the LAHP website.


IMDC Research Spaces

IMDC Research Projects


  • Intelligent Mobility Design Centre
    Royal College of Art
    4 Hester Road,
    London SW11 4AN

  • +44 (0)20 7590 4186
    [email protected]