PDR is the lead partner on the SPIDER project. The National Centre for Product Design & Development Research (PDR) is a research and development unit at Cardiff Metropolitan University.

PDR have been established since 1994 and deliver business support and knowledge transfer programmes on behalf of the Welsh and European governments, as well as cutting-edge academic research and world-class commercial design services.

To find out more about PDR go to: www.pdronline.co.uk

PDR Spider Project Team

Paul Thurston – Service Designer

Paul leads the Spider Project at PDR. Since graduating from Central St.Martins School of Art & Design, Paul has worked at a number of design, brand and advertising agencies in London. For the past five years Paul has been head of design at the social innovation agency, thinkpublic. Whilst at thinkpublic Paul worked on projects that improved patient, staff and management communications and brought about new services and products for the UK public sector.

Paul has continued to build expertise in the field of service design by lecturing at several universities, including The Royal College of Art, London College of Communication and Kingston University. As well as consulting for organisations such as NESTA, The NHS and The Alzheimer’s Society.

Recently Paul contributed his experience of public sector service design to the book ‘Designing Services Using Innovative Methods’ (Mittien/Koivisto 2009). He is currently focused on building a hub of service design activity in Wales and has a particular interest in the advanced manufacturing sector.

Chris Brooker – Service Designer

Chris Brooker joined PDR to deliver The Service Design Programme to businesses in Wales. After graduating from the University of the West of England with a degree in Product Design, Chris worked at digital advertising, graphic and product design agencies before founding a service design consultancy in Bristol.

Chris worked on projects in the public/private sector for the likes of Oxfam and Bristol City Council; helping them to engage local communities around the future of their library service, as well as numerous SMEs in the financial services sector.

As a visiting lecturer, Chris taught the Service Design module on The University of the West of England’s Creative Product Design and Web Design degree courses. Making sure the students understood the methodology for designing innovative and sustainable services whilst working on live projects, like designing multi-channel social experiences for coffee shop brands to new journeys through NHS health services

Gavin Cawood – Operations Director


After gaining a degree in industrial design Gavin became a partner in a product design consultancy with clients as diverse as the Early Learning Centre, Marconi and Xerox.

With the opportunity to develop his skills further he took up an offer to work for Xerox where he became responsible for the product design aspects of all Xerox products manufactured in Europe.

In order to understand further how design fits into a practical business context he gained an MBA and subsequently developed the services of Design Wales to become an internationally recognised business support programme. His current focus is developing a portfolio of activites to offer design support services directly to industry and on behalf of regional economic developmnt offices – where ever they may be.

Particular current interests lies in how the service sector can make use of design to create innovative and appropriate offerings to customers.