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Friedemann Schaber is a Senior Lecturer in Product Design, Faculty of Arts, Science and Technology. PhD Vehicle Design research at the Royal College of Art and scholarship at Kyoto Institute of Technology on design applications of collagenic fibres and bio composites. He has worked as an industrial designer in Europe and the Far East, which has led him to explore national differences in the use of materials, design education, government promotion and brand marketing. With his students and colleagues, he investigates the understanding of design in different societies; how it is taught, how ideas, visual and technical information are transferred among locations and markets.

Knowledge transfer activities include KTPs, conceptual models, prototyping systems for industrial and transportation design, and the introduction of live client projects into the design curriculum. Schaber is lead academic for a KTP in health innovation, embedding user requirements into the development of novel imaging devices to enhance their translation into both a preclinical and clinical environment. He has initiated several live projects in which undergraduate Design students work within the community, including projects with the Sorrell Foundation.

Research Interests

Friedemann’s current research is concerned with particular mechanisms of knowledge transfer in relation to design management. Over a ten-year period, he and his colleagues have analysed the strengths and pitfalls of Knowledge Transfer Partnerships (KTP) in the context of the global toy, games and gift markets. This decade-long project culminated in an academic book on design and technology management entitled Handbook of Research on Trends in Product Design and Development, and more than £840,000 income for the University of Northampton.

He collaborated with the Sorrell Foundation and colleagues at the University of Derby as programme coordinator for two pilot projects with academies. This project subsequently led to the rebuild and regeneration of regional school campuses, and contributed to government policy on education through its ‘Building Schools for the Future’ programme.

Further, a project with stakeholders in India enabled the University Design programme team to foster appropriate design solutions for international communities.

Building on cross-faculty collaboration with entrepreneurship students, a project aims to develop third year students' future skills by collaborating on transitioning final minor projects into start-up venture and commercialisation. Students will gain training through the Changemaker Incubator using a variety of scheduled activities with the possibility of new venture creation based on the new product development (NPD) methodology.

His other research interests include design management, design pedagogy, and material innovation.

Teaching Interests

​As Senior Lecturer in Product Design, I encourage students to challenge the dynamic of functionality, desirability, the aesthetic, materials, sustainability, social contexts and ethics. These sensibilities have developed over the past decade, in part through my research and analysis of the relationship between Knowledge Transfer Partnerships (KTP) and design management – which has influenced my teaching methodologies.

These student design and community projects invigorate young people’s engagement with important areas of community life, and are built into the Design curriculum. Live projects in which undergraduate Design students work within the community include:

  • 78 Derngate, which involved working with a preservation trust
  • The Northampton Racecourse, working with a community grass-roots group on the local environment
  • Delapre Abbey, in which students worked with a heritage community group on the design of a visitor centre
  • The Sorrell Foundation’s Young Design Programme, a national partnership with local schools, in which university students work for pupils to develop design solutions in the school environment

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 9 - Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure
  • SDG 12 - Responsible Consumption and Production

Education/Academic qualification

PhD, Doctor of Philosophy in Vehicle Design, Royal College of Art

Award Date: 27 Jun 2022

External positions

External Examiner, Istituto Marangoni

31 Jan 200131 Dec 2031


  • TJ Mechanical engineering and machinery
  • Rapid prototyping systems
  • NC Drawing Design Illustration
  • Concept visualisation
  • Design sketching
  • Design Process
  • TP Chemical technology
  • Circular Economy
  • Biocomposites
  • Collagen fibres
  • Waste valorisation


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