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Cranfield University
C4D named one of the world's best design schools by BusinessWeek

C4D named one of the world's best design schools by BusinessWeek

for Business

About us


The Centre for Design (C4D) at Cranfield is the international centre for strategic product and service creativity. C4D develops and delivers interdisciplinary post-graduate programmes, research, executive training and industry based collaborative projects.


C4D operates globally, focusing on integrating strategic creativity into business through product and service innovation. We work with organisations to improve their capabilities to identify new insights and translate them into commercially successful ideas through informed creativity. C4D specialises in undertaking collaborative industrial based projects and applied research that brings together design, management and technology to deliver innovative value propositions.

C4D develops innovative design thinkers who have the capabilities and skills to draw new connections between questions, problems and ideas from unrelated fields.

C4D's approach to strategic creativity combines original thought and the identification of novel insights to help people, projects and businesses achieve their goals. The use of our unique 'visual thinking' tools and techniques helps us to rapidly identify and decode behavioural and technology insights. Not only do they improve performance but they also help create future innovation leaders.

Core Activities

C4D's strength and uniqueness is in its ability to deliver "informed creativity". By combining creative design practices with systematic applied research methods it enables us to rapidly visualise, prototype, test and validate new insights and ideas. This reduces uncertainty and risk for our partners.

We foster an immersive interdisciplinary environment that encourages the creation of innovative new ideas through a passion for inquiry. We encourage the search for new insights by connecting our staff and students with people and organisations with differing perspectives and advocate the provocation of new ideas through rapid prototyping and testing.

C4D explores the interrelationship between consumer behaviour and technology (vice versa) in order to identify and develop new product and service innovation. We specialise in insight development and idea management activities driven by sustainable design practices, underpinned by immersive applied research tools and rapid innovation techniques - from concept to realisation.

C4D collaborates with international best practice organisations such as Procter and Gamble, BSkyB and IBM to develop new leading edge tools and innovative product and service solutions. This affords our staff and students the opportunity to work nationally and internationally on exciting collaborative projects. The opportunity for our masters and research students to work globally with world-class companies and innovative local medium sized businesses makes them highly employable on graduation.