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Personal profile

Teaching Interests

Her main focus is teaching design history and dissertation supervision but she also has experience teaching professional practice and business planning on the BA (Hons) Illustration programme.

Thomas’ collaborative Knowledge Transfer Partnerships, research and private design practice exposes her students to current production developments and new technologies in the design industry.

Research Interests

Thomas’ wide research interests are linked through her focus on design networks and exchange processes. Through her active membership in the Design Research Group, Thomas collaborates on a series Knowledge Transfer Partnerships (KTPs) that have had a direct impact on the lives of others – including her KTP work with palliative care charity Sue Ryder Care – and on providing employment opportunities, including an award-winning KTP Associate.


Vicki Thomas (AKA Battle) is Senior Lecturer in Design History and Cultural Theory, and part of the Design Research Group in the School of The Arts.

From an academic background in Sociology and Design History, Thomas teaches on the BSc Product Design and BA Interior Design programmes. Understanding the social and historical context of design practice is a core principle of Thomas’ courses. As a practicing designer, Thomas’ students benefit from her industry experience and her knowledge of current design practice and technologies.

Thomas has used the School of The Arts’ specialist Osborne Robinson Poster Collection in her teaching and has also drawn on its resources for research and publication in order to secure the Collection as resource for future students and researchers.

She also curates touring exhibitions and initiated A 1000 Words, an online research network for individuals and organisations interested in understanding the process of globally exchanging design and illustration theories.

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics where Vicki Thomas is active. These topic labels come from the works of this person. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

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Research Output 2007 2019

Work and Play: Experiences in Toy Town

Thomas, V., 28 Mar 2019.

Research output: Contribution to ConferencePaper

Open Access

Practice makes perfect: product design and external collaborations

Thomas, V., Berg, A. (ed.), Bohemia, E. (ed.), Buck, L. (ed.), Gulden, T. (ed.), Kovacevic, A. (ed.) & Pavel, N. (ed.), 8 Sep 2017, Building Community: Design Education for a Sustainable Future. Glasgow: The Design Society /Institution of Engineering Designers, p. 113

Research output: Contribution to Book/ReportChapter

product design
university administration
knowledge transfer

The Toy Box - The Changing Semiotics of Toy Packaging

Thomas, V., 1 Oct 2017, Semiotics and Visual Communication II: Culture of Seduction. Zantides, E. (ed.). 1st ed. Newcastle upon Tyne: Cambridge Scholars Publishing, p. 252-275 24 p.

Research output: Contribution to Book/ReportChapter

Visual Languages

Playing in Northampton: Connecting Past, Present and Future

Thomas, V., 5 Sep 2016, Celebrating 40 Years of Play Research: Connecting Our Past, Present, and Future: Play & Culture Studies, Volume 13. Patte, M. M. & Sutterby, J. A. (eds.). Lanham: Hamilton Books for The Association for the Study of Play (TASP), Vol. 13. p. 3-30 28 p. (Play and culture studies).

Research output: Contribution to Book/ReportChapter

Open Access

Product design education: a journey?

Thomas, V., 12 Sep 2016, Design Education: Collaboration and Cross-Disciplinarity: Proceedings of the 18th International Conference on Engineering and Product Design Education. Bohemia, E., Buck, L., Eriksen, K., Kovacevic, A., Ovesen, N. & Tollestrup, C. (eds.). Glasgow: Design Society and Institution of Engineering Designers, p. 228-233 6 p.

Research output: Contribution to Book/ReportConference Contribution

Open Access
product design

Good benefactors managing design expectations

Thomas, V., Bingham, G. (ed.), Bohemia, E. (ed.), Kovacevic, A. (ed.), McCardle, J. (ed.), Parkinson, B. (ed.) & Southee, D. (ed.), 3 Sep 2015, Proceedings of the 17th International Conference on Engineering and Product Design Education, Loughborough Design School, University of Loughborough, United Kingdom, 3rd-4th September 2015: Great Expectations: Design Teaching, Research & Enterprise. U.K.: Institution of Engineering Designers, The Design Society, p. 182-187

Research output: Contribution to Book/ReportChapter

Open Access
Product design
Intellectual property

Learning to adapt

Thomas, V., 1 Oct 2015, In : Art Buyer. Autumn, 2015

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticle

Open Access

Batteries Not Included exhibition evaluation

Thomas, V. & Davies, V., 1 Oct 2014

Research output: Book/ReportBook


Activities 2011 2018

  • 1 Participating in a conference or workshop
  • 1 Invited talk
  • 1 Oral presentation

International Toy Research Association (ITRA) 8th World Conference

Vicki Thomas (Participant)
11 Jul 2018

Activity: Participating in or organising a conference or workshopParticipating in a conference or workshopResearch


The Toy Workshop

Vicki Thomas (Speaker), Friedemann Schaber (Speaker), Randle Turner (Speaker)
1 Jul 2011

Activity: Academic Talks or PresentationsOral presentationResearch

The Toy workshop

Victoria Ellen Thomas (Speaker), Randle Turner (Speaker), Friedemann Schaber (Speaker)
1 May 2011

Activity: Academic Talks or PresentationsInvited talkResearch