Design Research: Skunk-Works

[Workshop and poster event]

Design Research Workshop delivered in collaboration with the Message and Design Knowledge Research Groups.

>Save the day: Thursday 21 June 10.00-16.00

>Previously on Design Research…

Professor Leon Cruickshank, Professor Rachel Cooper and Professor Iain Stewart have contributed to research workshops and poster events. Now all Design Area staff and PGR/T students are invited to take part in the Design Research Skunk-Works to be held on the 21 June 2018.


The Skunk-Works day-long prototyping workshops will focus on three themes related to the UK Industrial Strategy ( It also offers an opportunity for staff to rehearse ideas and prototypes for the Impact Lab and South West Creative Technology Fellowships (SWCTN). The SWCTN will fund a total of 24 fellowships a year for 3 years across the 4 partner institutions, UWE, Bath Spa, Falmouth and Plymouth. Plymouth, through a competitive process, will probably receive 2 x £15k Fellowships, 2 x £15k Industry Fellowships and 2 x £18k New Talent Fellowships (recent graduates or equivalent) per year for 3 years.

Meet: 2nd Floor RLB – Design Lab.

>1: Prototyping Workshops:

The themes for the workshops are: Immersion/Automation/Data. Immersion being the first SWCTN call to be published this June for an August submission and September start. Three parallel prototyping workshops will be held on floor 2 of the Roland Levinsky Building starting with a briefing in the Design Lab. Each themed prototyping workshop will be supported by skilled students from the Ion Studio representing the broad range of skills and practices of the Design Research Area. These will facilitate the prototyping workshops to help rapid prototype of ideas.


The Skunk-Works outputs will be captured and published in the first of a series of digital publications.

>2: Research Poster:

In order for us all to gain a greater awareness of research interests, ideas and skills currently being undertaken within the Design Area, you are asked to produce a research poster to accompany the event. A template will be provided shortly.

>Skunk-Works Themes:

  • Immersion: Emerging mixed reality technologies give developers, designers, artists and performers new ways to blend the real and the virtual. How can immersive applications be used to solve core challenges in health, productivity and the global digital economy?
  • Automation: Artificial Intelligence (AI), Machine Learning and the soft and hard technologies of automation have had a significant impact in the fields of engineering, data analytics and their applications. What are the new Creative Industries strategies needed to harness the opportunities offered by Artificial Intelligence and the technologies of automation.
  • Data: My data, your data, our data, most often portrayed as a seamless, networked layer or high-functioning, ubiquitous grid of communication. The ambition being that from this grid of multifarious technologies and flows of behavioural, infrastructural and environmental data new meaning and insight can emerge. How can this personal, societal and ethical data milieu be best be experienced?


10:00: Poster Session and Briefing

[Pete Davis/Mike Phillips/Vicky Squire].

Design Lab RLB Floor 2 Landing.

11:00: Theme Teams [Immersion/Automation/Data]

Spaces [Design Lab / 209 / 204&5A]

Theme Leaders: Coral Manton [Immersion] / B Aga [Automation / Data [Dane Watkins].

The Theme Teams will be supported by members of ION Studio:

Christopher Smith / Ellie Seal / Daniel Ward / Lucy Goodall / Stephanie Field / Harry Sayers / Feyisara Odunuga / Gavin Keightey / James Moseley.

Luke Christon will be on hand for VR and Fulldome support.

Stewart Starbuck will also be there to support the Rapid Prototype kit and electronic bits n pieces.


Thinking and making outside of individual disciplinary focus.

Response to external Research England/ UK Industrial Strategy themes.

Develop research questions and agendas beyond individual preoccupations.

Inter(sub)disciplinary collaboration – get them to collaborate and have some fun together.

There will be egos and sacredness so needs playful cultivation.





New inter(sub)disciplinary collaborations


Documentation: Digital form [Examples could be (but not):

Sketch Session and Ideas Generation.

We will be using a compressed version of:

12:30: Prototyping / Documentation.

Prototyping resources will be available, such as electronics [Arduinos/PI’s/sensors], VR kits, IVT, etc.

13:00: Lunch

14:00: Prototyping / Documentation

More of the same…

15:00: Show & Tell / Documentation


16:00: End.

[i-DAT/Design Knowledge/Message – researchplayaywayday]