Our research aims to realise the potential of a diverse set of digital processes through the relationship between 'things' and the people that use them. It covers a broad range of areas with a focus on meaningful outcome.
The research themes address
As the focus of the interaction, the user experience is paramount in ensuring success with both virtual and physical products. Change can be a difficult hurdle and is one of the biggest barriers to adoption. How can the changes we all face be met with experiences that ensure a meaningful outcome for not only the user but also the designers developing these new experiences?
The point of contact formed by the interface establishes a language and the conversation that follows indicates the success of the connection. This is true for both 2D and 3D interfaces. What does the designed object feel like in the hand and how does the screen encourage the conversation? What happens as these domains become increasingly interconnected?
The vast array of tools and techniques offered by digital processes can be overwhelming. When faced with a blank sheet of paper, anything can happen. In order to arrive at a goal, the designer introduces a series of constraints. Encouraging students to begin to introduce informed constraints is a valuable educational lesson. How can digital tools be constrained to help students realise their potential and are traditional tools, processes and techniques still relevant?
New manufacturing processes are redefining how material is manipulated into its final form. When complexity becomes less linked to cost of tooling and manufacture, how can material possibilities redefine the core of an idea? Creating bespoke multi material parts, post processing techniques, adaptable assembly and quality assurance procedures will all be issues faced by the factory of the future.
Is the idea sustainable when design and manufacture are no longer static and have the capacity to evolve? Will data driven customised outcomes forge new connections between consumer, service and object? Can holistic approaches and the idea of circular design reinforce connection and responsibility to product?