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UAL Research Online

Designing Products Against Crime

Ekblom, Paul (2005) Designing Products Against Crime. In: Handbook of Crime Prevention and Community Safety. Willan Publishing Ltd., pp. 203-244. ISBN 1843921464

Type of Research: Book Section
Creators: Ekblom, Paul

Design against crime (DAC) uses processes and products of design to reduce crime and promote community safety through practice-led research. This invited chapter, for the first international academic handbook of crime prevention, culminates two decades of involvement in DAC.

Historically, DAC focused on built environments, but from mid-80s I helped broaden the agenda, first by researching ‘crime-free cars’. In 1998 I commissioned/guided research for the government’s Crime Reduction Programme, establishing a route for involving design researchers, Design Council and RSA, covering product and environmental design. There, and in this chapter, I applied the rigorous approaches I had developed to integrate general crime prevention: specifying causes of crime and preventive interventions (Conjunction of Criminal Opportunity); capturing good practice knowledge to facilitate replication/innovation in new contexts (5Is process); and horizon-scanning (Misdeeds and Security framework for identifying crime risks/preventive opportunities in scientific/technological innovations).

Novel developments in my work described in the paper include ‘troublesome tradeoffs’ between a product’s crime resistance and wider fitness; reconciling designers’ creativity with conceptual clarity and clear rationale of ‘problem, cause, intervention’; coping with changing crime risks and adaptive offenders by adopting ‘arms-race’ perspectives, empowering designers to out-innovate criminals; learning to run/avoid arms races from analogous ‘evolutionary struggles’ including military, predator/prey, bacteria/antibiotics.

The ideas in this paper were adopted widely e.g. through Project MARC (EU-funded work on ‘crime-proofing’ of products where I led expert workshops culminating in refereed journal article with Sidebottom (2007)), participation in CEN (EU Standards) expert group, and current work in CDAC on bike parking security. Invited presentations have included to the International Crime Science Network, US Problem-Oriented Policing Conference, European Forum on Urban Security and UK Designing Out Crime Association.

Official Website: http://www.willanpublishing.co.uk/cgi-bin/indexer?product=9781843921462
Publisher/Broadcaster/Company: Willan Publishing Ltd.
Your affiliations with UAL: Colleges > Central Saint Martins
Research Centres/Networks > Design Against Crime at the Innovation Centre (DAC)
Date: 2005
Related Websites:
Date Deposited: 05 Dec 2009 12:49
Last Modified: 09 Nov 2023 04:46
Item ID: 1107
URI: https://ualresearchonline.arts.ac.uk/id/eprint/1107

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