‘Design against crime’: awareness in design education

Whilst various social issues, such as ecological concerns, ageing and disability have received increasing attention within the design curriculum over recent years, crime and crime reduction issues have yet to be addressed to a similar extent. Informed design can be used effectively as a tool for reducing crime associated with environments, products and services through designing in crime reduction measures during the initial stages of the design process. This paper reports on research carried out as part of the Government's Crime Reduction Programme, looking at the topic of design against crime, assessing current awareness of crime amongst professional and student designers, and identifying methods to bring crime reduction more prominently into the design forum. The current awareness and inclusion of crime reduction in design education was explored by means of a questionnaire circulated to design course leaders, with follow-up in-depth interviews with key respondents. From the research gathered, ideas and recommendations are presented as to how crime reduction can be introduced as an integral part of design education.