DiscoverDesigned for Life
Designed for Life
Claim Ownership

Designed for Life

Author: Tony Ryan CEO Design & Technology Association

Subscribed: 12Played: 251


This is the official podcast of the Design and Technology Association. 'Designed for life' aims to entertain, inform and inspire, bringing the worlds of business and industry together. Design and Technology is a wide-ranging curriculum subject that, along with qualifications in other facilitating subjects, can open doors to students across an ever-increasing breadth of career. England was the first country in the world to introduce this subject to its mainstream curriculum offer in 1988. Where we led others, have followed and in various guises, it is now taught in countries around the world including India, Australia, China, USA, France and Finland. This podcast consists of a series of short, informal conversations with people from across the worlds of education, industry and design. The intention is to help to link business, industry and education, as the solutions to tomorrows problems are being educated today!
26 Episodes
With some stating that the last eighteen months are simply a 'blip', a disruption of business as normal and expecting us all to quickly return to where we were in early March 2020; while others are stating that all that COVID-19 has done is speed up a change process that was already inevitable...just where does the truth lie?In this first episode of Season Two of Designed for Life, I talk with Planner, architect, urbanist and university lecturer Ming Cheng RIBA MRTP about his somewhat unorthodox journey to his current position and how he thinks we will repurpose our workplaces and town centres to suit better a more flexible way of working, shopping and living. Ming is a Registered Architect, Chartered Town Planner and Urban Designer with over 20 years of experience in design and regeneration. His experiences range from working on designing residential and cultural buildings to large scale future planning for university campuses and growing communities in the UK, Ireland and New Zealand. In the podcast, Ming explains how we can and should use empirical data as evidence to design and possibly rethink urban spaces. This was a fascinating conversation on a topic that will affect us all in the coming months and years. So welcome back to Season Two. For those in education - welcome back to a new and hopefully less demanding term, kick off your shoes, settle into a cosy seat and enjoy Designed for Life in conversation with Ming Cheng.Brought to you with the help of our sponsors and partners The Edge Foundation and PTC Onshape. 
What happens when on a family holiday to Florida, you pop into the Kennedy Space Centre as a sixteen-year-old and there and then decide that you want to go to space?In Sophie Harker's case, you come back and get your head down to achieving academically what you are capable of. A love of Mathematics led to a Masters Degree course at Nottingham, where she met the first British astronaut, Helen Sharman. In conversation, Sophie was advised that engineering could be her route to space. And the rest is pretty much history. Sophie joined the BAE Systems Graduate Scheme, consisting of four engineering placements across various platforms and products, including the Eurofighter Typhoon. Sophie is currently embedded in the Team Tempest project working on advanced technologies for flight control systems. Sophie is one of the youngest engineers to have achieved chartered status at the age of only 25. In 2016 she became the BAE Systems Technical Graduate of the Year; SEMTA made her their Graduate of the year in 2017; in the same year, she was featured in the Daily Telegraphs Top 50 Women in Engineering. In 2018 Sophie was awarded the Bee Beaumont Award - Awarded to 'newly qualified engineers who have made an outstanding contribution to the business in the early stages of their career'. Also, in 2018, Sophie won the IET Young Woman Engineer of the Year and more recently was awarded the Sir Henry Royce Medal, which recognises her research in developing future technologies for the aviation history.  By Sophie's own admission, she did not set out on a mission to win these awards; in fact, when I mentioned them on the podcast, she was slightly embarrassed; these awards sprung from a career doing something that she loves to the very best of her ability. This podcast was an absolute joy to record. I am generally not a gambling man, and as Sophie points out, the odds of getting to space are stacked against her, yet I would have a few sneaky pounds on Sophie Harker following the same footsteps trod by a certain Helen Sharman. Sit back, pour a drink and be inspired. Designed for Life - In conversation with Sophie Harker. 
For many of you tuning in to this episode, Richard Seymour and Dick Powell will need no introduction. For those of you who have not come across their are in for a treat! As you will hear in this podcast, both partners brought (and continue to bring) very different skillsets to the business, advertising designer Richard Seymour and industrial designer Dick Powell were in different cohorts at the RCA and while their paths crossed, it was only a couple of years later while both lecturing in St.Albans that a common love of motorcycles brought these two creatives together and eventually led them to join up and create the powerhouse that is SeymourPowell. They quickly established a sound reputation for the innovative and forward‐looking design of many products for leading British and overseas manufacturers. Much of their work is not for public consumption, as it is geared to developing future strategies for companies and brands, often several years from the present day. Amongst such clients is the Renault automobile company, for whom Seymour Powell produced advanced interior concepts for more than a decade. Amongst the best‐known products designed in their London studio have been the seminal Freeline, the world's first cordless kettle (1986) for Tefal, the BSA Bantam motorcycle (1994), the Baby G watches for Casio (1996), sports cameras for Minolta (1998), and a bagless vacuum cleaner for Rowenta (2001) developed from the air intakes of desert helicopters. Other significant clients have included BMW, Nokia, Clairol, ICI, Ideal Standard, Panasonic, Yamaha, and Ford's Premier Automobile Division, showing Seymour Powell's F350 Concept Super Truck (2001) at the Detroit Motor Show of 2002. They have also won several design awards including a Design Week Award (1990), a D&AD Silver Award (1991), and a BBC Design Award (1994). Both partners have also been actively involved in the promotion of design and the design profession with a wide range of inputs in design and business circles, design journalism, and broadcasting. Seymour and Powell have attracted wider public attention through their television work, most notably programmes such as the six‐part Better by Design Series (2000, produced by Channel 4 TV in conjunction with the Design Council) which focused on the advantages that could accrue from a fresh appraisal of everyday products such as kitchen bins, shopping trolleys, and razors. One such case study concept, the Bio‐form bra for Charnos, became a best‐seller in the lead up to Christmas 2000.We are indebted to Dick Powell for generously giving his time not only to this podcast but to supporting design and technology education over the years, including his 2017 lecture delivered for the D&TA at the RSA in Battersea in 2017 and freed up from behind a members paywall to accompany the launch of this podcast grab a coffee, find a cosy chair, plug in your device of choice and enjoy Designed for Life in conversation with Co-founder and Chairman of internationally renowned design and innovation company SeymourPowell, Dick Powell. The Edge Foundation - We believe in a broad and balanced curriculum, interactive and engaging real-world learning, high quality technical and professional training and rich relationships between education and employers.Millions of students and educators worldwide use Onshape’s online CAD platform to learn engineering design in the classroom. Onshape is professional-grade 3D CAD accessible from any device, anywhere, anytime. Onshape lets everyone design together in real-time. Nothing to get in the way of design: no installing, saving, or syncing.  Sign up for free:
David is the founder and CEO of Do Company, a company founded in 2016 to "Deliver smart solutions to the challenges posed by rapidly changing living and working environments". He describes himself as a digital nomad and a serial entrepreneur. In this podcast, he talks us through his journey from school in rural Ireland to becoming a product designer, social visionary, and successful entrepreneur. Do Company is about product creation but also so much more. The company is focused on creating new ways of working while at the same time empowering more sustainable, inclusive and mindful work and learning environments. As such, it is bang in the centre of how we redesign what 'the office' looks and feels like as the world returns from a period of forced home working and learning to a new rethought and refocused hybrid way of working. Do Co utilises product creation (Nook Pods...which we will come to in a minute), thought leadership, workshops, events, retreats and editorial to drive these goals. This conversation with David hopefully captures the passion that he has around designing better solutions for both established and emerging problems while remaining focused on the study of the psychology and empathy required to identify how we help people to connect, collaborate and create in environments that are sympathetic to the process and the neuroscience around the very concept of what we generically call 'work'. Nook is a Bristol Made award-winning family of pods, shelters and booths designed with introverts and people on the spectrum in mind and built for the future's hybrid work, networking, and learning spaces. Nooks are designed with the needs of the worker or learner foremost and following the concept that a happy and comfortable worker is more creative and productive. This is a podcast about how to play to your strengths as a creative and an entrepreneur while at the same time recognising where your weaknesses lie and surrounding yourself with a team that collectively cover every base successfully.  It is also heavily rooted in how to make a business from a passion. I so enjoyed this conversation, and I think you will too. So take an hour to yourself, and while you settle with a coffee, go for a run or work out in the gym, enjoy Designed for Life in conversation with David O'Coimin. 
On International Women in Engineering Day, Designed for Life takes a moment to celebrate the work of two women who have made an amazing positive difference to girls exposure to STEM opportunities within their school. Rose Russell has been an outstanding Technician/Instructor/ STEM Coordinator at the Ursuline Academy Ilford (an all girl’s catholic school) for 29 years in both the art and design and design and technology departments. Trained in fashion, Rose is neither an engineer nor a scientist, but in the last decade, her enthusiasm for engineering developed into an ongoing dedication to encourage young women to consider STEM careers and is determined to make a difference with an improved vision to tackle the UK Engineering skills gap. Rose’s work in promoting STEM has been exceptional. She is passionate about her subject and goes the extra mile to ensure the girls of the Ursuline receive the very best in terms of exposure to the benefits of STEM careers. Her impressive commitment has exceeded the classroom and its teaching tools. She has inspired and equipped her pupils to take on and enjoy the challenges of shaping our world’s future through STEM. A fantastic role model for girls.Edna was a highly successful Head of Department at the Ursuline Academy for over 14 years, during which time she turned D&T into one of the most popular subjects in the school. The number of pupils taking D&T GCSE  was well above the national average and is a true testament to the innovative and creative curriculum that she implemented. Her GSCE results were the highest the school ever achieved, resulting in the best value-added score with large mixed ability groups achieving 100% A*-B. Edna created an award-winning department, winning several Crest awards, with projects catching the eye of the ex-Prime Minister David Cameron and HRH Princess Anne. She worked tirelessly to abolish archaic ideas that D&T and linked careers are only for males. Women in STEM frequently present to her classes as motivational speakers. Pupils return proudly describing how Edna’s inspirational examples have dispelled their fears that engineering was a male profession.It was an absolute pleasure to talk to such passionate advocates of D&T and wider STEM education. So grab a coffee, pull up a chair, give yourself 40 minutes off and listen to Designed for Life in conversation with Edna Reilly and Rose Russell. 
In this episode, I am delighted to bring you the second part of the conversation with International educator and leader,  IB guru and podcast host Jason Reagin. Jason is currently the IBCP Coordinator at Chadwick International School, South Korea. Since completing his educational studies at the University of Georgia, USA. Jason has pretty much dedicated his career to teaching overseas with posts in China and Bermuda before taking up his current position in Korea.  Jason is an IB Consultant and through this work has travelled and seen IB education in a number of countries worldwide including the USA, China, Japan, Thailand, Singapore, India and South Korea. Through this work and his own practice across a number of countries, Jason has developed a well-travelled, informed and far-reaching view of what constitutes a successful education.Jason is also the founder, editor and producer of the Design Cast podcast, a podcast that is essential listening for all design and STEM educators worldwide. The podcast is currently on issue 64 and through a series of conversations with educators worldwide more than fulfils its objective of  'creating a community of people around the world who are interested in design and STEM/STEAM education'.  You can find Design Cast on the Apple platform here: or on Jason's website you equip two passionate and committed educators (and podcasters) with microphones and leave them in a virtual room for a while; well, they will talk! As a result of this, I have broken this conversation down into two separate episodes, both of which we will release this week. So set 30 minutes aside, grab a coffee or a cool drink and enjoy the second part of Designed for Life, in conversation with Jason Reagin.     
In this episode, I am delighted to be in conversation with International educator and leader,  IB guru and podcast host Jason Reagin. Jason is currently the IBCP Coordinator at Chadwick International School, South Korea. Since completing his educational studies at the University of Georgia, USA. Jason has pretty much dedicated his career to teaching overseas with posts in China and Bermuda before taking up his current position in Korea.  Jason is an IB Consultant and through this work has travelled and seen IB education in a number of countries worldwide including the USA, China, Japan, Thailand, Singapore, India and South Korea. Through this work and his own practice across a number of countries, Jason has developed a well-travelled, informed and far-reaching view of what constitutes a successful education.Jason is also the founder, editor and producer of the Design Cast podcast, a podcast that is essential listening for all design and STEM educators worldwide. The podcast is currently on issue 64 and through a series of conversations with educators worldwide more than fulfils its objective of  'creating a community of people around the world who are interested in design and STEM/STEAM education'.  You can find Design Cast on the Apple platform here: or on Jason's website you equip two passionate and committed educators (and podcasters) with microphones and leave them in a virtual room for a while; well, they will talk! As a result of this, I have broken this conversation down into two separate episodes, both of which we will release this week. So set 40 minutes aside, grab a coffee or a cool drink and enjoy Designed for Life, in conversation with Jason Reagin.     
Apprentice turned Masterchef!Jamaar, by his own admission, struggled at school. But through a combination of his mum, who led him to explore cooking at home and teachers who recognised his engagement and enthusiasm for the subject, Jamaar left school aged 16 and started a chef apprenticeship with study at  Bristol City College. Jamaar is currently Junior Sous Chef at Michelin Starred Lucknam Park Hotel Restaurant and earlier this year was a Masterchef semifinalist at the age of 22. In this conversation, we follow Jamaar's journey from school, where a desire to work professionally with food drove him to buckle down and work closely with his teachers to achieve the grades that he required for college entrance.  Thus proving the importance of destination and context to student engagement. For the last three years, Jamaar has worked under Hywel Jones, Head chef at Lucknam Park Hotel and Spa who has held a Michelin Star here since 2006. Hywel has a reputation for spotting talent and promoting it through Masterchef, with three previous chefs also reaching Masterchef finals. The head chef stating "Jamaar's natural talent as a chef is evident for all to see, but it's his dedication, commitment and application that sets him apart". Jamaar had entered and experienced success since his earliest days at college when he won South West Chef of the Year at apprentice level and later in the professional chef category. This prepared him well for his appearance earlier this year in MasterChef, where he was the youngest contender in the competition and reached the semi-final. Chef Jones is demonstrating his confidence in Jamaar's ability by handing the Michelin Starred restaurant over for two evenings for 'An Evening with Jamaar Semper' an opportunity for Jamaar to lead the kitchen for two evenings on 19th and 26th of May, presenting a menu that he has designed and will supervise on the evening. This is the first of two podcasts over five days covering two personal journeys from school to professional kitchens, demonstrating the breadth and range of design and technology education. Remember the name, Jamaar is a star in the making!
Ella Podmore is still young but has already crammed an awful lot of professional experience into her short career. In this podcast, we track her journey from school to her current role as Materials Engineer at McLaren Automotive, a position that she convinced McLaren, needed to be created. Ella is involved in all material investigations, from first drawings through to the final product, Ella has worked on the McLaren 765LT, the Elva roadster and the recently revealed McLaren Artura, the first series-production, high-performance hybrid from the luxury, high-performance supercar company.Ella joined McLaren Automotive as an intern engineer in 2016, having completed a degree in materials engineering at the University of Manchester before securing a full-time role two years later. Since then she has progressed rapidly, creating her department from the ground up and balancing her time between experiments and leading technical meetings.As one of more than 100 McLaren STEM ambassadors, Ella is passionate about encouraging more young people of all ages to take up science, technology and maths careers. On winning IET Young Woman Engineer of the Year 2021 she said  “I am absolutely honoured to have been chosen by the IET and the judges to be this year’s winner,” says Ella. “Those who know and work with me recognise how passionate I am about my science and, being able to talk about that and the amazing supercars I get to work on at McLaren, I want to encourage the next generation of engineers and scientists to push the boundaries of what’s possible.”As well as talking to young people around the world about her role, last year Ella was one of McLaren’s expert judges on the BBC Blue Peter ‘Supercar of the Future’ children’s design competition. Since then, Ella has participated in the global reveal of the Artura and featured in a film to mark the launch of the LEGO Technic McLaren Senna GTR model, the real version of which she worked on.This was an amazing conversation with an engineer who clearly loves her job and is using her position recently gained with the IET to actively encourage the next generation of young women scientists, designers and engineers to pick up the mantle.  I hope you enjoy the conversation as much as I did!
In this, the second episode of Designed for Life released around a food theme in five days, we talk with Spencer Metzger Premier Sous Chef at the Ritz, London. In this conversation we follow Spencers journey from school where he enjoyed food design and preparation in his Food technology lessons making jam roly poly, to a work experience placement at the Ritz obtained by cold calling the restaurant and asking nicely if they would take a 'young lad' on a weeks placement. To his current role as Premier Sous Chef at one of the highest profile restaurants in the world and Roux Scholar 2019. This is an amazing story of opportunity, the need for hard work and self belief and the need for self evaluation and assessment, to quote Spencer "I know the Roux Scholarship is the pinnacle competition for chefs, I wasn't going to enter until I thought I had a chance of winning, I didn't enter with expectation but I knew I had a chance". I know that you will enjoy this conversation as we speak with a chef that I think everyone will have heard of in the not too distant future. 
Torri describes himself as a 'multi-disciplined creative chameleon' with over 16 years experience of working with some of the worlds biggest brands across a wide range of media. In this wide-ranging and for me deeply fascinating discussion, Torri talks us through his journey from school where Art and creativity was a key outlet for him, how his art teacher worked to convince his parents that following his passion into a creative degree course would not be time wasted, to creating his first major music video using a shopping trolley as a camera dolly (which won an MTV award by the way)!Torri describes the surreal world that his career led him to as he created an advert for a Bond film while still living with his parents (all created from his bedroom). And the proud and surreal moment where he took his parents to the cinema to see what had kept him busy upstairs for months.Torri has worked (and continues to work) with and for some of the biggest brands in the world. But his company name 'Misfit' alludes to a desire to use his high-level skills to achieve a little more than "selling stuff to people who often didn't need the items, and possibly can't really afford them anyway".  Torri has worked hard to add a social mission to his work and is perhaps close to finding a balance between working on big brand items and using his talents to help to make the world a better place. I loved this conversation, Torri was so open and honest throughout and provided a fascinating insight into his industry, the need to be brave and back yourself, and the need to also be honest with yourself and the type of work that makes you want to get up in the mornings. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did. 
Lolo Jones is chair of ELS, a company that describes itself as the expert in "experience learning". The company uses the latest technologies in XR, VR and AR to measure learners as they are experiencing learning, enabling better metrics and better learning outcomes. Lolo has founded a number of companies, including Sutton Jones Multimedia, leading system integrator Interactive 1, online video pioneer Narrowstep, and was most recently Chair of rights management cloud specialists, Rights Tracker. Lolo has degrees in Radio, Film & TV and Educational Broadcasting and sat on the Course Board at film & TV college Ravensbourne for nearly a decade.In this conversation, we discuss how technology can be used to transform the learning experience for students, explore the type of curriculum content required for success in a technology-rich world and discuss a new learning platform that ESL were on the verge of delivering when we recorded this podcast.Please note that this podcast was recorded before Christmas 2020 and therefore has a couple of dated references to the Brexit vote (days after recording) and the Christmas season!  ELS can be found at 
Hayley Roy is the founder and owner of Harp Design an interior design company working across residential and commercial sectors. Hayley left school at sixteen and decided to travel and see the world while working as a hostess on private yachts, including almost three years working on Sir Philip Green's yacht Lionheart. On her return to the UK, aged 21, she joined the family business and was trained as a buyer, importing furniture from across the world; she was a Director of the business aged 22. Hayley spent fourteen years in this role, learning and expanding her repertoire of skills before setting up Harp Design which she launched at the end of 2013. In the seven-plus years that it has been in existence, Harp Design has successfully tackled a range of complex briefs for both residential and commercial clients; the company can tackle every aspect of design and construction from branding, through the design process and project management to final hand-over, their website contains some impressive case studies. Hayley has recently set up another stand-alone business, Symphony Furniture, which will service Harp Design as well as standing in its own right. In this podcast, Hayley talks us through her journey, in the process explaining how she has grown her business acumen and expertise, learning from both the highs and the challenges that she has faced.  This was a delightful and open conversation with a very astute business owner and entrepreneur; I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.  
Nicola Lawler has been designing shoes for over 20 years. The London born and based designer co-founded Lawler Duffy Shoes with Lori Duffy, while still at Cordwainers College and began her career by creating shoes for Joe Casely- Hayford. She has collaborated with many designers including Alexander McQueen, Hussein Chalayan and Katharine Hamnett. Having consulted for a diverse portfolio of clients from Louis Vuitton & John Lobb (Hermes Group) to Marks and Spencer, Ghost and WGSN. Lawler has extensive experience across the Fashion and Footwear industries, from Luxury to high street and is equally confident designing for both men and women. With a natural attention to detail and a highly developed aesthetic sensibility, her practice is underpinned by a broad understanding of craft and construction from Artisan Bespoke Product, to Performance Sports Footwear. Known in the 1990s for working with the waste material Salmon Skin, the environmental impact of the fashion industry plays an integral role in her design approach.Nicky is currently in-house at Vivienne Westwood as Senior Designer and Head of Footwear. Coupling a uniquely creative eye with in-depth technical understanding, she is passionate about turning ideas into beautiful products. This was a very enjoyable and enlightening conversation with a very humble designer with a passion for what she does, I am sure this is a conversation that you will enjoy. Give yourself fifty minutes, sit back and enjoy!
This podcast takes Designed for Life in a slightly different direction as we seek to track the journey of a product from its original 'ideas phase' through product development, to manufacture, marketing and sales...All covered through  Sustainable womens underwear made from surplus T-Shirts. Amanda McCourt and her sister Katie have spent the last 18 months bringing an idea to make comfortable, fashionable underwear made from unsold t-shirts to market. Along the way they met numerous challenges, but have remained true to their initial vision of what they believed possible and are set to fully launch their first collection. All of this has been achieved with the sisters living in different continents and not being able to meet due to COVID travel restrictions. So sit back, pour a coffee and relax as we are in conversation with Amanda McCourt Co-founder of Pantee. 
Robin Wight was a co-founder of the advertising agency Wight, Collins, Rutherford, Scott (WCRS) in 1979 and was President of its parent company Engine until 2019. WCRS and Robin were responsible for some of the most memorable advertising campaigns of the 80s and 90s including campaigns for Orange telecommunications "The future is bright, the future is Orange,"  the 118 118 adverts that people either loved or loathed at the time...either way there is no doubt they were memorable and effective. BMW sales in the UK overtook Audi for the first time as a result of a targeted advertising campaign that labelled BMW's as 'the ultimate driving machine' and those of us of a certain age will fondly remember the 1990 Carling Black Label 'Dambusters' adverts that have achieved legendary status within the industry. WCRS was one of the most successful marketing and advertising agencies of its time and both the agency and Robin have achieved iconic status within the industry.  In 2004 Robin was part of the WCRS management team that led the buyout from parent company Havas Advertising. He was subsequently made joint chairman of WCRS under the new structure and then President of Engine in 2008. In 2010 Wight stood down from the board of Engine to focus on his charitable interests.Robin was Chairman of the Duke of Edinburgh Award's Charter for Business and in this role helped to raise over £50 Million to support the Duke of Edinburgh Award. In 2003 Robin founded the Ideas Foundation a charity that helps identify and nurture creatively gifted young people from some of the countries most deprived social groups. It was an absolute pleasure to talk to such an iconic figure within the advertising industry, someone with a lifetime of experience within the industry who for a number of years has concentrated on paying back.  So pull up a chair, sit back with a coffee and listen to Designed for Life in conversation with Robin Wight CBE. 
Zoe is a British artist, maker, self-confessed tinkerer and materials engineer.  Perhaps best known to design and technology teachers for her part in the iconic BBC2 series 'Big Life Fix' this is only one of many TV appearances over the years including 'This Morning' with Philip Scofield and Holly Willoughby, The secret of landfill (2018), The secret story of stuff (2018) and most recently 'How to Make' first aired April 2020. Zoe is also the resident materials expert on BBC Radio 4's 'The Kitchen Cabinet'. In this podcast, Zoe's absolute obsession with the beauty and intrigue of materials comes across loud and clear. Her PhD work explores how materials might affect the taste of food (how she describes a gold spoon's taste has to be heard to be believed).  Zoe went on to co-create The Institute of Making, a multidisciplinary research club based at University College London. As with all our guests, we take Zoe back to school and follow her journey to the design inspiration that she is today. I promise you will not be disappointed and you may never look at a tin rod quite the same ever again! 
Becky is a design researcher and award-winning research team leader at the University of the Arts London. She is based at Chelsea College of Arts where she is Co-Director of Centre for Circular Design (CCD). In October 2021 she co-founded World Circular Textiles Day 2050 with a team of like-minded collaborators who all want to create clear roadmaps for circular textiles, by drawing together current academic and industry research into inspiring, shared visions.Becky's practise research encompasses making materials and prototypes, exhibition curation and writing. She is also a highly skilled workshop facilitator and communicator, specialising in the translation of cross-disciplinary design-led research into commercial contexts for sustainable fashion textiles and other fields. She particularly enjoys the challenge of educating and inspiring all kinds of audiences into more sustainable choices and actions towards circular futures.She trained as a printed textile designer (BA Hons, Loughborough, 1992) and fashion print designer (MA, Central Saint Martins, 1994), before setting up her B. Earley London-based studio in 1995, with support from the Prince's Trust, Arts Council and the Crafts Council. In the late 90’s she created her award-winning low-impact, ‘exhaust printed’ recycled textiles. Her creative fashion textile work has been widely exhibited over the last twenty years; her prints and garments are collected by museums across the globe including MFIT in New York, RISD Museum, as well as the V&A and Crafts Council in London and the Pitt Rivers Museum (Oxford).
DescriptionIn this episode we are in conversation with Laura Wood and Paul Pentelow, Co-Founders of Invisible Creations a design company with a stated purpose to 'Design for Dignity'. The idea for Invisible Creations® was created in the National Housing Federation’s innovation programme in 2018.  The initiative was supported by the social housing sector and the company was formally founded as a new startup in January 2020.Laura, Paul and the team are driven by a desire to bring dual purpose, high-quality thoughtfully and empathetically designed products to the homes of elderly people, enabling them to maintain their independance and to live life to the full.  This quote, taken from their website sums up their value driven approach to their business "Older people have been poorly served for too long with products that are stigmatising, clinical and downright ugly. We’re here to end it. Our aim is to completely disrupt a market that fosters negative stereotypes and makes people feel vulnerable." What is interesting is neither Paul or Laura  come from Design backgrounds. Paul  left Salford University with a Degree in Sports Management and Laura was an English teacher with a background in Marketing and Comms; yet both have found themselves motivated to work in an area that really makes a positive impact on peoples lives. Our discussion takes us through a design process from identification of a design area ripe for exploration, through design to manufacture and marketing. Invisible Creations is a young company with a vision and a passion for what they do that comes over strongly in the podcast. Their website details a very personal story of Laura's nan Sheila. Sheila's story describes an independant, proud woman who did not feel that she should submit to ugly, stereotyped clinical design that "labelled me as old and infirm". Sheila's story can be echoed by millions of pensioners nationally, Invisible Creations was founded to help people like Sheila. 
In this, the fifth episode of Designed for Life, the podcast brought to you by The Design and Technology Association in partnership with The Edge Foundation, we talk with Dids Macdonald OBE Co-founder and Chief Executive of ACID (Anti-copying in Design). At the time of recording, Dids was also Master of The Furniture Makers Company, the City of London livery company and charity for the furniture industry. We were joined in the conversation by Anne Sampson, who was the outgoing Educational Events and Campaigns Manager. Designers are notoriously bad at protecting their intellectual property, while some are very aware that a good idea is easily stolen and copied, many get so wrapped up in the iterative process of bringing a design from concept to market that they completely ignore or are ignorant of simple actions that they can take to protect their design from being illegally copied. As a young designer herself, Dids was outraged by the audacity shown by some who openly copied and replicated her work and the work of colleagues. Instead of moaning about it, she decided to take action and Co-founded ACID, which has been working for the last 25 years to help to protect design intellectual property. In this episode, Dids talks us through the relatively simple steps that all designers should take to protect their work. We talk through how this could (and perhaps should) be taught as part of a D&T secondary or even primary education (it is taught to all primary aged pupils in China). Dids also takes us behind the scenes at one of the City’s newest livery companies. What is a livery company? How does this work with and for the furniture industry, and what can we do within education to encourage more students to consider furniture design as a worthy option? A wide-ranging and engaging conversation that lifts the lid on design theft and how to protect against it. 
Comments (1)


Designed for life is a MUST for Design and Technology teachers old and new. A fabulous insight into how the subject is taught and how we can equip the next generation of designers with the skills they need. Pitched at a level which all teachers can relate and more importantly filled with ideas and opportunities that can be embedded within your own curriculum. A fresh, forward thinking outlook on all things Design.

Nov 24th
Download from Google Play
Download from App Store