What would it be like to live in a world in which beautifully-designed products and places could be used by everyone, regardless of age, ability or circumstance? At SURFACE Inclusive Design Research Centre, we are passionate about making this happen…

SURFACE is a multi-disciplinary centre forging a joined-up approach to teaching, research and consultancy in inclusive design. Committed to tackling ‘real world’ challenges, we explore design using the social model of disability, from the planning of the public realm to the detailing of the home, its products and technologies. We are part of the highest-rated built environment research institute in the UK, supported by a worldwide network of partners, including experts from policy and industry. Our team thrives on an international reputation for excellence, especially in the provision of award-winning distance learning.


The SURFACE vision is for a world that encourages inclusion, independence and choice; one in which places and products contribute to people’s wellbeing and enhance their overall quality of life.

Since 1999, we have sought to achieve this vision by providing strategic advice and practical guidance based on rigorous, user-led enquiry in inclusive design. We work closely with government, designers and the construction industry to shape policies and projects that achieve real results on the ground, with our input timed to effect optimum positive change. Putting the needs of people at the heart of all we do, we share expertise and innovation with those who share our passion internationally and educate practitioners to solve complex problems, both within and beyond their own environments.