Scott Brownrigg re-launches Design Research Unit


International design practice, Scott Brownrigg is re-launching Design Research Unit to the industry under a new guise.

Originally founded in London in 1942 by advertising entrepreneur Marcus Brumwell and designers Misha Black and Milner Gray, Design Research Unit was responsible for some of the most important design produced in post-war Britain. It pioneered a model for group practice, being the first consultancy in the country to bring together expertise in architecture, graphics and industrial design.

The Unit devised some of the first and most comprehensive corporate design schemes for British industry including work for Courage Brewery, the London Transport Network, Westminster’s street signs, the Festival of Britain and iconic corporate identities for British Rail, photographic company Ilford and Imperial Chemical Industries (ICI) to name but a few. By the 1970s it was one of the largest and most established design offices in Europe.

Work with the London Transport Network and British Rail played a significant part in the direction the Unit would take in later years becoming a specialist in transport, station and wayfinding design and planning. It undertook commissions in many world-wide cities with work including the Hong Kong MTR, Copenhagen Metro, Bangkok Metro, as well as Network Rail and London Underground.

Joining Scott Brownrigg in 2004 the Unit continued to work on significant transportation projects including the DLR, the award winning design for Langdon Park Station and the Victoria Station upgrade as well as many other commissions.

With a desire for the Unit to go back to its origins as a research and design think tank within the practice, Design Research Unit is now the research body and a center of expertise within Scott Brownrigg; simultaneously a knowledge base, school, driver for change and ideas fulcrum, tackling design, technological, sustainability, economical and sociological factors and issues that impact on the built environment.

Through internal and external collaboration, the Unit hopes to lead the way in incubating original thought, developing intelligent design and innovative technical solutions to address specific challenges. 

The practice is celebrating the ‘rebirth’ of the Design Research Unit and the launch of it first iA – Intelligent Architecture publication on the 1 May at its Endell Street office in London. 

The accompanying exhibition will be open to the public from the 2 to 30 May, Monday to Friday from 9.30am to 5.30pm following a Private View on the 1 May.