Pengfei Xu, 2019
This project builds a dystopian society in which negativity is illegal. Negative youth are escorted to a hotel and treated for their negativity which involves submitting to aversion therapy. They wear a device that forces them to look energetic and are punished for their negative behaviour to correct their ideology. There are a series of absurd and ridiculous activities in this hotel. This design aims to raise concerns about the negativity of youth and make people think about a society which focuses on the development of technology and the economy, ignoring the development of culture, value, and morality.
Matthew Vella, 2019
Light and Play
This project is an attempt to explore the concepts of both light and play by treating them as two different design typologies which can be mapped and matched together. The ultimate aim is to create an interactive lighting piece which requires innovative user interaction and therefore creates a new ritual of use - one that aims to be both playful and engaging.
Hossain Saeb, 2019
UTell is a storytelling platform which aims to counter extremism through peoples’ stories. The project uses immersive storytelling as an empathetic tool that helps people to build a better understanding of each other’s perspective around Islamopobia in the UK. The platform runs storytelling workshops in collaboration with communities and institutions to work with people and facilitate them to share their stories, translating them into multiple immersive experiences. The Whispering Wall is an output of the UTell process, an interactive sound installation that has been created in collaboration with Muslim voices.
Elliot Quinn, 2019
This project explores ideas of power, decentralisation and group decision making. Through looking at these issues through the lens of participatory design, it explores the idea that a community can set the agenda and lead change. In challenging the facilitator’s role, it develops a process and a set of tools that allow the community to become independent. As the process leads to empowerment, it also improves social capital, building a foundation where people can truly shape their future.
Jacobo Prieto Gomez, 2019
Satory uses satire as its main tool to discuss issues of democracy, freedom of speech, nationalism, power and money. Through the use of visual ambiguity in the critical associative design practice, satire is engendered into objects to challenge the audience by establishing a dilemma of interpretation in relation to Western power structures and their faults.
João Pope Almeida De Carvalho, 2019
As new trends are emerging in millennials’ living habits, concepts such as job hopping are now common in developed cities. The Urbanomad project has investigated multiple fields associated with this trend to present a solution that assists young professionals relocating to rented apartments. It consists of a set of essential living objects and a suitable way to carry them in a suitcase that, once settled, converts into two pieces of furniture.
Yanbo Ni, 2019
Shop on Wheels
Shop on Wheels is a trolley designed to bring charity shops outside, in cooperation with The British Heart Foundation. The trolley displays and sells different products which are selected by shop staff as suitable for young people. Through promoting the effect, concept and activities of charity shops, it hopes to change people’s negative stereotypes of them and instead showcase what they sell while acting as a mobile donation station at the same time.
Jody Leach, 2019
Focal is a local food system that improves the physical access to good nutrition by providing free fruit and vegetables to primary school children.
Sixtine Neufville, 2019
Ordinary Species: Creatures of the 21st Century
This project offers a perspective on our 21st century through the categorisation of human behaviour. To reflect on our conduct, rules and conventions, a range of nine objects have been created to defamiliarise everyday life, questioning the role the designer plays in it, and our normality.
Lukas Nemec, 2019
Intended for people suffering from schizophrenia, Mirror Self explores the possibilities of applying design practices in a psychology and psychotherapy context. The initial question in the project was whether design can offer a mirror and serve as a platform of self-knowledge. The project applies a method of embodied metaphor
and explores ways that the process of transformation can become a subject of discussion and inner change. The process results in a physical product; an articulation of the problems of stigmatising which people with schizophrenia face.
Xiao Lin, 2019
Chinese square dance is an outdoor collective sport originating from Chinese broadcast gymnastics. Through studying people related to square dancing, this project aims to explore and deepen square dancing’s commercial and social value.
Dancing Youth’s service system optimises the capital and service chain of square dancing by adding the role of college designers to support in the design and production of material used in the activity, such that all the stakeholders related to square dancing can benefit. It does this through the design and delivery of an app- based platform efficiently linking relevant parties with an interest in square-dancing.
Changkun Lin, 2019
The Silent Speaker
The Silent Speaker is situated in an alternate present in which the USSR did not collapse. It speculates a national AI assistance under high levels of control. It follows citizens’ chain reactions to hacking this strict system, and celebrating the rebellious creativity that emerges out of systems of control. Here we see the party issue AI and consequent mechanisms of subversion applied through the hierarchical strata of the state.
Yeyang Liao, 2019
The Coffin Chair
Because of China’s large population and limited space, the “Green funeral” movement was implemented by the government in 2018. It aims to achieve comprehensive cremation by making coffins forbidden. There is a tradition of those in their 60s where they prepare a coffin early in order to wish for a long life. They live with their coffin before death. As a result of the movement, thousands of coffins were controversially forcibly collected from elders’ homes.
If coffins were seen as furniture, elders would have the right to keep them and the tradition could keep going. This project develops furniture which transforms into a Chinese coffin.
Muyao Li, 2019
In a time where narratives around an object have surpassed the narratives within it,
the project takes an open approach guided by intuition and instinct, finding unknown from the known by reconnecting narrative layers of meaning back into objects. Time is a series of clocks that embodies this idea and reflects the manipulation of cultural and formal components. Each clock is a self-contained story, each their own poetic substance.
Gabriel de Noray, 2019
Design with Stories
Beginning from the premise that stories are super powerful in raising people’s awareness, Design with Stories is a design tool which aims to embed stories into the design process as a generative method, creating story-teller products. The toolkit presents a canvas to fill out and follow, using narrative structure from well-known plots, in order to translate complex issues into stories. These stories are used to trigger design ideas during the early stages of a project. The tool has been applied here in a context of environmental sustainability and used to create a collection of products that tell the story of environmental issues through domestic products.
Qiang Huang, 2019
The project develops statement products made with components from shared bicycles. An association called ’Bike Scavengers’ is established to encourage people to disassemble millions of overproduced discarded bikes on the street and to turn them into valuable products. ‘New’ objects are created from semi-finished parts provided by the association using scavenged reclaimed components. At the heart of the project there is a critique of the environmental detriment caused by bike- sharing schemes in their operations and unregulated growth in China.
Zijie Lin, 2019
Live Like a Salmon
Live Like a Salmon is a speculative design project which explores how ‘family’ looks
if we have children after 65. Through a collection of products, this project pictures the details of family life in such a future from the perspective of child-rearing and elderly care. It proposes a new possibility of work-life balance, family relationships, and rethinks life cycles.
Yichuan Gong, 2019
Three Invisible Rooms store three people’s fictitious, interconnected dreams in which they each gain back what they have lost in real life. Composed of texts describing realities and objects constructing corresponding dreams, Invisible Rooms investigates an approach to using objects in order to tell stories in an irrational way and the relationship between personal experience and objects.
Tyler Gindraux, 2019
Making as a Means
In an immigrant integration context, the project explores ‘the making process’ as a means for bringing people together. Through developing more inclusive methods of engagement, the research influences a series of designed outputs while reflecting on a participatory designer’s role in shaping new integration strategies.
Inclusion Toolkit ↗
Xiaomeng Gao, 2019
Mental Health Self-Awareness Aid Tool
What if a future society were designed only for people living with depression? How could people without depression fit into such a social system? This minority group has sought a treatment based on technology rather than psychology, to find the best way for them to become depressed so that they can complete their self-development and fit into this new type of society. The project imagines a future in which design is focused on people living with depression. In response, these tools examine what it would be like to encourage people to become more depressed in a future social system. The project ultimately asks questions about the effect of our increasingly technologically mediated lives on mental health and wellbeing. It takes current trends in mental health and concerns of technological use to logical extremes.
Keyi Chen, 2019
Inte-Rest-ing Work Series
The Inte-Rest-ing Work Series aims to alleviate stress, activating and encouraging play at one’s desk while working. The playful interaction design challenges the intense and competitive working conditions that we see in a culture of extended hours. The range offers desktop tools which afford play and facilitate activities which distract and relax. These tools are supported by management who encourage wellbeing at work by ultimately improving efficiency through a more sympathetic and encouraging environment of micro-breaks and playful distraction.
Bharat Chaudhary, 2019
Domesticating the Daimonic
The psychological model of the human mind identifies two realms - the Ego and the Shadow. The former represents our social identity whilst the latter constitutes
the part of our personality which, in the course of our lives, is repressed and pushed into the darkness of the unconscious mind. This project aims to investigate the dark narratives (Narcissism, Sadomasochism and Transvestism) which emerge in our deep subconscious mind, engendering them into the typologies of everyday objects. The resulting transmutation personifies one’s hidden identities that are deemed as dark (daimonic) by mainstream society, therefore creating a scope for realisation of the true authentic self through an act of intensive introspection.
Lorena Catinari, 2019
LI_BOO: Visible Connection
This project aims to establish a space where the user is connected, secure, protected from external agents (or hacking) and living in the moment, both privately and productively. By exploiting Li-Fi technology, it focuses on a new approach to accessing the internet. The space is designed to satisfy the need for privacy and security in a crowded public space, where people often work, study, or are connected for an extended period of time. Li-Fi has the potential to improve current Wi-Fi performance both in terms of privacy and efficiency.
Clara Bernard, 2019
The Rhetorical Dinner
Let’s have a disturbing dinner... The Rhetorical Dinner is a materialisation of rhetorical devices expressed through tableware. By exploring the rhetorical function of everyday objects, these two elements - the object and device - are combined to reconsider the culture and value of the object and its rhetoric.
Victor Bassigny, 2019
Making Common Space
Through the project, a process for communities and councils to collaborate in making common spaces has been developed. It aims to effectively help people work together to build their public space and produce social ties through a series of collaborative tools and methods. Supporting a social inclusion scheme in the city of Caen, France, a range of participants from the council, making communities and local residents were brought together to produce furniture for common space. The materials come from local construction sites and are refurbished by long-term unemployed people. The process supports community integration and cohesion while promoting principles of circular economy situated within the city.
Di Peng, 2016
Dementia is a difficult disease to understand. Those caring for dementia sufferers, be they family members or healthcare professionals, may struggle to appreciate how the disease can affect everyday experiences. The Dementia Simulator provides a way to experience a variety of the disease’s symptoms, not only engaging empathy but also offering the user a route to reflect practically on future care.
While no one can truly step into the mind of another, the virtual reality headset creates an immersive environment that affects the senses. Users encounter distorted sights and sounds as well as experience difficulty speaking.
The Dementia Simulator is a provocation to move the dialogue about dementia forward.
Lily Saporta Tagiuri, 2017
High Heat, Low Water
Our climate is changing and our access to fresh water is becoming increasingly precarious. How can we modify our lifestyles to adapt to future climates?
High Heat, Low Water explores ways to increase democratic access to fresh water in a warming world. Designed as a network, the piece consists of three tools; together they offer a glimpse into the ways our domestic and individual lives will exist in the wake of climate change and the resulting power systems. This includes a set of culinary tools that conserve water and recipes using drought-resistant plants, a cloud catching kite that gleans fresh water from air moisture, and a cloud seeder which induces rain through chemical injection. Together these objects respond to the risks of a changing planet and highlight the potential for individuals to have resource sovereingty
Zhen Jiang, 2017
This project subverts and disrupts traditional design rules. The objects are intended to find a balance between fantasy and practical design. Through altering these systems, we might develop new behaviours of use. Adopting an opposing perspective exposes the limits of conventional design. These objects clearly ‘oppose tradition’: a mirror that is not flat, a table that similarly lacks a at surface, a warped photo frame and a dustbin placed on its head.
Through altering our perspectives, we alter our use of these objects. The objects are simultaneously unusable for their original purpose and useful in a new way. They enable people to realise that the object’s form in itself is not important, and the key is how things serve people. These objects oppose aesthetics of daily objects externally but connect with our daily life internally.
Anne Couvert-Castera, 2015
“Hindu Tales - souvenirs of a future” aims to question the interactions of spirituality and technology. It focuses on Hindu devotees and imagines how they could use new technologies in their religious practices.
“Hindu Tales” presents 3 fragments, vignettes of a potential future in a technological age.
The project consists of a set of props, belonging to fictional London Hindu migrants in the context of a "technological age". Each fragment depicts a scene from the everyday life of different personas from the Hindu diaspora. “Hindu Tales” imagines design responses to overcome this disconnect from Mother India; bringing to Hindus around the world a new way to practice spirituality, as well as promote a sense of a global Hindu community.
Marie Laffitte, 2017
How can the design process translate a philosophical educational theory into a pedagogical tool? How can permaculture principles, based on holistic alternative educative methods, inform pedagogical serious play for 8 to 11 years old children in an urban school environment?
HOLIS, A Permaculture Game is a set of classroom designs that argues how holistic permaculture principles
The project explores micro- politics for social transition, in a shifting landscape of design, drawing on the notion of transitional design; a movement which is global and is taking roots locally, between natural and social complex systems. The educational philosophical theory opens the debate of a strategic change in educational values and the possible points of influence and alternative pedagogical thinking from Celestin Freinet (France) applied to design can educate through serious play. In this context, the storytelling set of agonistic tools and boundary objects is based on an urban agriculture narrative, aiming to engage children to mobilise and improve the curriculum.
Marta Monge, 2015
Border Crossings aims to raise awareness and trigger debate on the current state of illegal migration. It focuses on African migrants and their perilous journeys, chasing an elusive European dream. The project paradoxically twists the vision of clandestine immigration provided by news media, by exploring the migrants’ point of view, looking at someone’s journey and many ordeals, revealed by the “discovery” by immigration authorities of fictional, improvised objects. This project exaggerates the public fear of “the other” that fuels anti-immigration sentiment and portrays the migrant as a threat lurking outside the gates of Europe. The result is a series of tainted objects, whose harmless appearance conceals the story of an invisible reality, much closer to us than we realise.
Cécile Maïa Pujol, 2014
Ceci n’est pas une chaise
Ceci n’est pas une chaise employs stories of production as a source of inspiration and a platform for critical engagement. It is the manifestation of the relationship between crafts and mass production. It aims to reconcile both.
The existing and the newly created, the original and the copy, the authentic and the fake, this project seeks to merge very different artefacts in order to create a new time scale.
When does the copy become original? Through the use of moulding and casting replication processes my physical interaction and manipulation of each individual object questions standardisation and sameness in mass production. The copy is used as an alternative proposition to what exists, and the mould becomes a medium of creation.
The project celebrates the beauty of the material and the process. Objects as drawings in three dimensions, going back to the sketch to draw a new form of life-objects become an illustration of an endless metamorphosis.
Materials: Wood, resin and gesso.
Sarah Gold, 2014
People are now aware of the manipulation and profiling made possible by the tsunami of data we all produce when using information technologies. The services that constitute the Internet depend on our data sustaining their businesses. In this scenario, recovering control of our privacy means regaining control of our data.
The Alternet is a fair trade, radically reinterpreted Internet structure that provides data ownership through straightforward data licences. It allows individuals to choose whether to share their data and how their data is used.
Users become participants as The Alternet is established and stewarded by the Alternet Co-operative, its users. In this way, The Alternet differentiates itself from the Internet and Darknets because it is a digital commons – a civic alternative.
Joao Gil, 2016
Biocomputer: Future of Health Institute
Welcome to the internet of bodies. Biocomputer goes beyond speculative design, offering the public an immersive experience of the future digitisation of healthcare. Humans are transformed into biocomputers connected to the internet in order to monitor and track the working realities of their bodies. Such consultation provides the haptic basis for an ethical discussion that moves from public to expert and from patient to scientist to policy-maker.
Drawn from current advancements in synthetic biology, body hacking and transhumanism, this project gathers insights for future worlds by engaging with the public in an experiential consultation process.
Sara Lopez Ibanez, 2017
What if mental distress could be assessed by those who have experienced themselves? Due to the lack of empathy in mental health services that rely exclusively on medical models, Mindnosis set out to discover what a person thinks and feels in emotional distress.
The result is a social enterprise that offers self- exploratory tools and one- to-one meetings developed by those who are thriving with good mental health. The service’s aim is to validate personal learning and help those who are experiencing mental distress for the first time and those who struggle to make sense of it, communicate it to others or seek help for it.
The tools can be ordered anonymously online to gain insight into personal circumstances remotely, in non-medical settings. A week after receiving the discreet parcel, users receive a text invite to meet one of the contributors to the tools, in order to talk about their experiences, learn about wellbeing alternatives and co-create an empowering action plan.
Mindnosis: Self Explore and Relate to Others was featured on Dezeen ↗
Marina Mellado Mendieta, 2016
Narratives about healthy or ‘clean’ eating have become de rigeur on social media, fuelling increasing anxiety about ‘good’ and ‘bad’ food. Overthinking the properties of every ingredient can crowd out a balanced view of what we eat.
Neurogastronomy is a set of tools to support the cognitive behavioural therapy for othorexia nervosa, a seemingly paradoxical eating disorder in which sufferers restrict their diet based not on quantity of food but on quality. The intentions may be for good health but the fixation can lead to malnutrition.
Working alongside the guidance of a psychotherapist, this set of cutlery and tableware encourages users to manage feelings of anxiety. The collection comprises cutlery that intensifies flavours through retronasal olfaction, a dish that allows the user to manage visibility and drinking cups that activate orthonasal smell. The language of each object, though consistent with the universal forms of tableware, is subtlety modified to avoid alarm, increase agency and sensory experience.
Pan Wang, 2015
As more cemeteries are getting full, there is a subsequent increase in the price. ‘Memetery’ is a project that combines the meaning of cemetery and memory together. It is a location-based digital cemetery that is connected to a physical location in the real world. The deceased persons digital data, which is stored in the cloud, is linked to a location. The location is identified with the use of data and location services present in mobile and wearable devices. The system used Augmented reality to translate a sensory input into a digital tomb using mobile devices. This allows people to digitally bury the dead anywhere in the world.
Evgeniya Chernykh, 2017
What if spiritual practitioners could use technologies to improve their healing rituals?
Digital Shamanism connects spirituality and science and advocates the power of metaphysical knowledge. In this project, I observed the healing nature of vibrations and explored applications in curing rituals. Interest in spiritual practices is increasing. People have begun to realise that they are losing a natural connection to their body. Such important rituals like visiting a doctor have become commercial and impersonal. A spectrum and growing range of issues in the health industry are related to the lack of emotional and spiritual condition in society.
Through a series of objects, Digital Shamanism it proposes a future where non-traditional ways of thinking and healing are scientifically supported and accepted and where spiritual practitioners can use technologies in their sessions and in such it questions contemporary doctor-patient relationships.
Gareth Ladley, 2015
Auxiliary Tools is an investigation into idling technology and explores this through opportunities for design in context using digital manufacturing. At the heart of the project there is an argument for open source tools in order to tackle issues such as obsolescence and e-waste. Through exploring these issues the project also opens up opportunities in object and service design that exploit the use of modern manufacturing practices that allow designers to design bespoke tools for targeted audiences. In this project the scenario of a designer working with a restaurant kitchen to design tools for molecular gastronomy inspired menus is a basis for designing tools that are powered by a central open source hand tool.
Elif Gengör, 2016
Mom Too: e-search for infantile colic
The causes of infantile colic are still unknown and though the condition is short-lived, parents often struggle to deal with the frequent and loud outbursts of crying from their babies. Mom Too is a research service solution intended to find the cause of infantile colic through design interventions that explore various theories. Tools like an air-pressurised tummy massager, a back massager, an automated swaddle and an infant carrier can be programmed to perform soothing actions. They are activated automatically and the data is recorded through a smartphone app.
Mom Too is a service that helps researchers discover the unknown, relieve parental distress and change the perspective of the medical community by proposing novel research methods.
Lucy Mulholland, 2017
Reframing Fashion Stigma
Assistive Technologies: Fit for Function but not for Fashion? This project aims to reframe the stigma associated with assistive technologies through the design of fashionable assistive technologies.
My research has inspired me to reframe the image of hearing devices from a medical device to a fashion statement – such as with glasses. Fashion is a much-neglected area of wearable medical devices. According to Action on Hearing Loss, in 2015, there are 11 million people with hearing loss and who wear a hearing aid. By 2033, it is estimated that there will be 15.6 million people with hearing loss in the UK. On average, it takes 10 years for wearers to address their hearing loss and buy a hearing aid. Reframing Fashion Stigma has two parts; the Embrace Collection a set of decorative adjustable hearing aid accessories for women.
The second part is the Smart Aid App which allows users to interface with their hearing and is accompanied by a set of thermo-electric battery jewellery that allows wearers to fashionably charge hearing aid batteries.
Xiang Guan, 2017
Reimagine and reflect the relationship between people and objects. And could we eliminate unnecessary waste in the spirit of a sustainable world?
Symbiotic Objects aims to make people reimagine and reflect on their relationship to everyday objects such as tables and chairs. Through making and experimentation, it questions: What if you had a symbiotic relationship to daily objects? If this symbiosis existed would we find more meaning and possibilities in everyday objects? Would we be inclined to throw them away so readily? And could we eliminate unnecessary waste in the spirit of a sustainable world?
Through a table, chair and lamp that require a person to complete them, Symbiotic Objects explores a new relationship with people and objects exploring how the relational characteristic of product and furniture design, in specific everyday moments and interactions, can provide
a method to challenge cultures of consumption and obsolescence at a time of global environmental crisis.
Anne Charpentier, 2017
In Quest of Alleviation
A recent study has shown that approximately one-third of the population in the UK are affected by chronic pain. Only 5% of the sufferers received an effective treatment an intuitive and playful way at home.
Prescribed by the care team, In Quest of Alleviation: The Personal Health Companion for Chronic Pain Sufferers is composed of a physical device and a mobile application. In the case of distress, it provides an immediate relief using games and tailored activities based on Mindfulness and CBT.
The physical device acts as a personal companion and a remote link with the care team, giving more autonomy and confidence to the patients. The application assists patients to make sense of their pain, easing communication with others and fosters actions to improve their quality of life despite the pain.
This project is the result of a ten-month collaboration with Pain Management Programmes and patients aiming to simplify the health journey of the sufferers. It results from the co- creation of a self-reflective tool simplifying the use of Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT) and Mindfulness for the treatment of Chronic Pain. It promotes self-management and empowers patients by applying those techniques in an intuitive and playful way at home.