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Jonathan Chapman

Professor of Sustainable Design, Director of Design Research Initiatives, University of Brighton

Jonathan Chapman is Professor of Sustainable Design and Director of Design Research Initiatives. His research into sustainable design – and product life extension in particular – has advanced product design and business thinking in a range of settings, from Sony, Puma, Philips and The Body Shop, to the House of Lords and the UN.

Chapman's research tackles our throwaway society by developing radical design strategies for longer-lasting products, materials and user experiences — an approach he calls, 'emotionally durable design'. He first established this theory in his monograph, Emotionally Durable Design: Objects, Experiences & Empathy (Routledge, 2005; 2015). Today, Chapman's theory of emotionally durable design represents a core sustainable design strategy, and is widely adopted by professional designers, academic researchers and educators worldwide. The book is considered an essential point of reference for anyone working at the intersection of product design, user experience and sustainability.

In 2008 he was invited to stand before the House of Lords and present written and oral evidence as part of their Enquiry into Waste Reduction; advising on the development of EU environmental policies for the design and disposal of electronic products.

Chapman's work generates significant media attention, including New York Times, The Guardian, The Independent, and BBC Radio 4 (Something Understood, Material World, Click-On and The Today Programme). The New Scientist described him as a 'mover and shaker' and a 'new breed of sustainable design thinker'.

In 2009, Professor Chapman co-wrote and launched the university's acclaimed MA Sustainable Design, which he then ran as Course Director until 2015. He received an 'Excellence Award' (2011) from the University of Brighton, under the category of 'Most Inspirational Teacher'.

Professor Chapman is a member of several industrial advisory boards, including Puma, D&AD, Design Museum and the Metadesign Research Group, and is a regular reviewer for a number of leading academic journals, international publishers and funding councils.


  • –present
    Professor of Sustainable Design, Director of Design Research Initiatives, University of Brighton