About the author

Lucy Kimbell

Lucy Kimbell, author of Service Innovation Handbook

I am an academic researcher, post-graduate educator and strategic design consultant.  I am Director of the Innovation Insights Hub and Professor of Contemporary Design Practices at University of the Arts London. Previously I was Principal Research Fellow at the University of Brighton, working as a researcher embedded in Policy Lab, an innovative team within the Cabinet Office of the UK government, through an award from the Arts and Humanities Research Council. I’m also Associate Fellow at Saïd Business School, University of Oxford, where I taught an MBA elective in design thinking and service design between 2006-2016 and where I deliver executive education. I also teach the design module on the BSc/MSc Management Science at UCL. I am an associate at NormannPartners, a boutique consulting firm that focuses on innovation, strategy and scenarios.

My academic research tries to help work out what “design” approaches bring to organisational and societal issues and challenges. My approach synthesises design studies, with management, ethnography and science and technology studies. My practical consultancy includes leading customer experience design teams at commercial organisations as well as supporting social entrepreneurs and small businesses.

As an academic researcher I have published more than 40 journal articles, book chapters, keynotes and essays, mostly on design thinking and service design. For many years, I have taught and examined MA and PhD design students at leading schools such as the Royal College of Art, UAL and Malmö University. Other activities include leading Central Saint Martins’ research and development work to create its design-led MBA programme in collaboration with Birkbeck College on which I teach a module on design thinking and systems thinking.

I originally studied engineering design and appropriate technology, then a masters in digital arts. My PhD at Lancaster University combined research in design and sociology. I’ve done lots of other things too, ranging from organising club nights in Warsaw, Poland, working as a BBC business journalist, leading a start-up innovation consultancy, and fundraising for women’s mental health charity. I’ve also worked as a volunteer English teacher in Sudan and the Gaza strip.

My artwork has been shown internationally including in the interdisciplinary exhibition Making Things Public (2005) curated by Bruno Latour and Peter Weibel; TED Global (2011) and Modern Art Oxford (2017). More recently I’ve been experimenting with doing stand-up comedy. I live in London with my family.

You can find me on twitter @lixindex.