Material Matters Conference - 2-3 April 2012, London


Profile: Raymond Oliver

Raymond Oliver is a Chemical Engineer and a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering. He spent 25 years with ICI plc as a company research scientist. For the last five years he was active here as Senior Research Fellow and now is a Visiting Professor at RCA. His main activity is at Northumbria University School of Design as Professor in Active and Interactive Materials. This industry – design history has convinced him of the need for multidisciplinary integration where creative designers can work directly alongside scientists & technologists in the same studio/laboratory environment and presently he is engaged in the creation of the P3i Interaction Studio – a postgraduate Design:STEM Interaction Studio Environment at Northumbria University’s London outpost. Its objective is the design of products, services and experiences to enhance future ways of living through the interaction of biology, electronics and polymers.

Talk: Communicating Design Futures to Resonate with the External World

I have the view that too much emphasis is still placed on the stuff associated with the outputs of science & technology then handed over to designers to deal with, rather than trying to foster the development of an environment where the design for human desires and needs inform the paths of technology, creating products and services to improve life, from health in communities to assets in life to experiential populations.

My talk will describe research we are developing to deliver effective benefits, often in unforeseen ways, from the ‘stuff’ of bio, electro and photonic materials through to the creation of the materials experience. We do this from the standpoint of exploration, investigation and questioning, utilising materials from a structural, functional and aesthetic or emotional point of view.

The P3i Studio consists of 5 designers and 5 technologists working together on printable, paintable, programmable materials that are capable of being made into intelligent devices and systems to enhance the lives of those who use them.