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Mr Stephen Davies

Job: Senior Lecturer and Course Manager: Collaborative Provision

Faculty: Arts, Design and Humanities

School/department: School of Arts, Design and Architecture

Address: De Montfort University, The Gateway, Leicester, LE1 9BH

T: N/A

E: stephen.davies@dmu.ac.uk

 

Personal profile

With a longstanding commitment to design, innovation and creativity and to students studying these areas in HE, Stephen has practiced a career enabling him to help students achieve their goals and also allow his continued professional development as a Designer and Educationalist.

A current design project involves exploring creativity, ideas generation, nostalgia and creative motivation. To date the outcome of the project has developed a design and prototype of a flat-packed children’s garden toy that engages the child in simple assembly/building, outdoor physical activity, connection with the natural environment and the option to interact through this toy with parents, other adults or friends. The project includes a patent pending application and plan to commercialise the idea through an on-going interest in creative enterprise and entrepreneurship.

Stephen has worked as a Product Designer for Dyson, presenting design research to James Dyson and creating patented work. As a Design Consultant, work includes a fire door safety product used in buildings including Tate Britain and an NHS Innovations nominated product that was a Highly Commended Finalist in the Medical Diagnostic and Laboratory Category.

Stephen has industry experience, knowledge of design for disability/inclusive design and experience of self-employment/design business start-up. Work has featured in London's Design Museum and in newspapers/magazines including the Independent, the Guardian, Living Etc and Elle Decoration. Work has also been featured on Channel 5 Breakfast News and a pilot programme for Channel 4, 'Gimme the Money'.

Stephen has twenty years teaching experience in a number of UK HE institutions.

Publications and outputs

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Research interests/expertise

  • Design Thinking
  • People-Centred Design
  • Ideas: Generating, Analysing and Evaluating
  • New Product Development
  • The Formal Elements of Design
  • Prototype Making, Development and Testing
  • Design Enterprise and Entrepreneurship

Areas of teaching

  • Design Thinking
  • People-Centred Design
  • Ideas: Generating, Analysing and Evaluating
  • Product Design Process
  • Branding and Promotion
  • Intellectual Property; Patents, Registered Design, Copyright and Trademarks
  • Design Sketching
  • The Formal Elements of Design
  • Prototype Making, Development and Testing
  • Design Enterprise and Entrepreneurship

Qualifications

  • MA(RCA) - Industrial Design Engineering
  • Diploma Imperial College - Industrial Design Engineering
  • 1st Class BA(Hons) Three-Dimensional Design with Applied Technology (Including Business and Marketing Studies)
  • PGCE (Post-Compulsory Education)
  • FHEA - Fellow, Higher Education Academy

Courses taught

BA(Hons) Industrial Design, MA Design Innovation Management

Honours and awards

  • Honorary Lectureship, Division of Industrial Design, University of Liverpool. 2020. Awarded for contribution to teaching work carried out at the London Campus.
  • Part of a multidisciplinary team working on The SMART which was NHS Innovations nominated and was a Highly Commended Finalist in the Medical Diagnostic and Laboratory Category, October 2008.
  • Finalist, James Dyson Product Innovation Awards, 2001
  • Finalist, Living etc magazine Bright New Things Awards, 2001
  • Awarded the James Dyson Scholarship whilst at the Royal College of Art. 1997
  • Finalist, Trophy Design, Race in the Media Awards, 1996

Membership of professional associations and societies

  • Fellow, Higher Education Academy. 2019 to present.
  • Fellow, Royal Society of Arts. 2008 to present.
  • Member, Institute for Learning. 2009 to 2014.

Projects

  • Flat-packed Children’s Toy. January 2021 – Present.
  • Currently working on a flat-packed children’s garden toy that engages the child in simple assembly/building, outdoor physical activity, connection with the natural environment and the option to interact through this toy with parents, other adults or friends. The project includes a patent pending application and plan to commercialise the idea through an on-going interest in creative enterprise and entrepreneurship.
  • Vintage Toy Restoration and Upcycling Commercial Project, October 2020 – Present.
  • This venture involves using a range of three-dimensional design skills and entrepreneurial skills to purchase, repair, upcycle and sell vintage toys.
  • Design for Safety, Western Horse Riding Safety Hat/Helmet, January 2020 – Present
  • I am currently engaged with a practice based design research project involving horse riding safety hat/helmets. This project relates to the growing subject area of design for safety. In January 2021, new requirements were introduced whereby Olympic riders in the disciplines of Western Reining and Dressage are now required to wear safety hats when competing. Additionally, there is wide-ranging discrepancies between the safety hats that have been adopted by riders in the English discipline compared to the Stetson or ‘cowboy’ type hats largely worn by riders of the Western riding discipline. Western style riding has gained in popularity in the UK with the formation of relevant organisations such as the Western Equestrian Society and Western Horse magazine, there are at least 30,000 western riders in Germany, many in Italy and Spain and estimates suggest at least 15 million in the USA. Across these numerous riders, initial human-centred research I have carried out with members of the Western Equestrian Society and Western Horse UK magazine suggests that there is a deep seated desire to continue wearing the traditional western, Stetson ‘cowboy’ style hat, which, whilst it has very strong traditional and cultural associations with western riding, affords no protection from head injury. The project therefore involves exploring this phenomenon along with the goal of designing a safety hat that would be acceptable for riders of the western riding discipline to adopt. There are cultural, phenomenological, emotional object connectivity and meaning and design for safety aspects to the research, along with the enterprise and entrepreneurial goal of designing and producing a practical solution that can benefit and save lives, along with the potential to generate intellectual property.
  • 'Sense of Place', 2014.
  • Part of a team involved in an INTERREG funded project, 'Sense of Place' a collaborative project between UCA and the French University ESADHaR. Involved a trip to Le Havre, the publication of a book, 'Sense of Place' and a collaborative exhibition. Sense of Place: Le Havre ISBN: 978-0-9576828-4-9.
  • Product Designer / Design Engineer, Dyson, Full-time. June 2011 – August 2013
  • Working as part of a team within the Research, Design and Development Department. Initial 12 months spent on the product development stage (NPD) seeing two projects transfer to manufacture in the Far East including the Airblade V hand dryer and the Dyson Hard vacuum cleaner. During the last 16 months with the company I worked in the innovations section of Dyson (NPI) on the early ideas and development stage of the design process where I developed new ideas, solutions and concepts.
  • Running training sessions on the Dyson Design Process for Graduate New Starters.
  • Running and managing creative brainstorming sessions for the innovation and ideas generation part of the business.
  • Meetings with the Dyson Patent Attorney on potential patentable features of new product ideas I was developing.
  • Drawing and sketching new design concepts.
  • Designing, planning and running user-research sessions, testing prototypes for feedback into the design process.
  • Building and making prototype designs for aesthetic and functional reviews and research testing. Using both traditional hand making and machine making techniques in wood, metal and plastic along with CAD, rapid prototyping and 3D printing methods.
  • Understanding and experience in research, design, development and testing for mass production injection moulded product design. Building and testing to meet both in-house testing methods and validation to meet external testing requirements.
  • Knowledge of Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Photoshop, Internet and email services.
  • Time planning - Delivery of objectives to meet team deadlines.
  • Recording design research findings and reporting these to the Team Project Manager and to James Dyson.
  • Knowledge and sensitivity towards Intellectual Property and appropriate recording of ideas and product development with reference to Intellectual Property. Recording ideas through note taking, sketching, PowerPoint and Excel reports.
  • In house CAD Training – Unigraphics/Siemens NX.
  • External training at Wiltshire College in creative workshop techniques (Lathe and Milling Machine operation).
  • Product Designer and Design Researcher, Volunteer, MERU (Medical Engineering Resource Unit). Charity, New Product Development, Feb 2010 – August 2010.
  • Creating design solutions that would help to make young people’s wheelchairs more appealing. This involved producing a range of designs for the knobs for electric wheelchair controllers. Sketching, marker-rendering and batch-produced prototypes.
  • Responsible for design input and also for initiating user testing of the designs with groups of disabled wheelchair users.
  • Design and production of a bespoke adaptive cover for a musical instrument so that it could be used by a disabled individual.

Conference attendance

  • January 2018 – QAA Celebration of Enterprise and Entrepreneurship in HE. Launch of 2018 ‘Guidance for UK Higher Education. Providers’. One day conference and training, Royal Academy of Engineers, London.
  • December 2017. Invitation to Speak. Invited to speak/presentation on Inclusive Design and Ethnographic Research at the NIHR Clinical Research Network Kent Surrey and Sussex, 6th Strategic Collaboration Meeting, Higher Education Institution (HEI) Engagement Workshop and conference.
  • 2014 - Inclusivity and Mental Health. University for the Creative Arts, One day conference and training. 

Consultancy work

  • Design Consultant, Barton Marine, December 2020.
  • Providing design and design testing advice for a tracking and pully cars yacht system.
  • Freelance Designer, Mechanical Horse Head Prop Design, A Company of Little Acts, Woyzech, Lumley Studio, University of Kent. January 2016 – April 2016
  • In the play Woyzech, there is a soldier character who at a certain point in the performance, transforms into a ‘horse’ character whilst still needing an original reference to the soldier. As the ‘horse’ the character is required to 'poop' on the stage. The horse head design was therefore designed to be quickly put on, represent a horse although allow the soldier to still be seen. A mechanical contraption built into the prop allowed the actor to discretely activate a trap door in the prop to release fake horse poop. Intellectual Property generated, Community Design Registration, Unregistered Design Right.
  • Freelance Design Consultant, Eden Fields Film Project. April 2010 – February 2011.
  • Part-time consultant. Film project produced by BAFTA award winning Redbird Productions Ltd working with The Freewheelers Inclusive Theatre Company. Sponsored by The Royal Academy of Engineering. An educational film exploring issues of design, living, housing and transport with regard to disabled individuals.
  • Working in groups with disabled individuals initiating discussion about their ideas for design solutions, brainstorming and producing these ideas as sketches. Discussing and brainstorming creative ideas for the film and liaising with the producer and various companies and individuals in order to set up the filming.
  • Freelance Design Consultant, Royal Hospital for Neuro Disability. Feb 2006 – August 2008.
  • Part-time. Design Consultant for Version 2 of the SMART. The SMART is an internationally recognised assessment and treatment tool designed to detect awareness in severely brain-injured patients diagnosed as being in a vegetative state. My role was to aid with the ‘packaging’, imagery and graphics of SMART as part of a team that included Occupational Therapists, a business adviser and an assistive technology specialist. The SMART was NHS Innovations nominated and was a Highly Commended Finalist in the Medical Diagnostic and Laboratory Category, October 2008.
  • Design Director, Ovo Design Ltd. 1998 - 2004
  • Design Consultancy - River Ocean Foundation (Ocean Environmental Awareness Charity). Archway design/build.
  • Design Consultancy - Massimo Malavassi, Descol Ltd. Design/model making for pencil case design, licenced to company.
  • Design Consultancy – FireCo, Design/model-making. Fire safety product used in many buildings including Tate Britain.

Published patents

  • 2021 – Patent Pending Application. Children’s Toy.
  • 2013 - Meeting with the Intellectual Property Patent Lawyer with regard to patented technology whist working in NPI (New Product Innovation) as a Product Designer at Dyson.
  • 2004 - UK Patent Granted – Plumber-in ‘HOT1’ water cooker.
  • 1997 - International Patent Granted - Whilst working as a Product Design Engineer at Dyson, responsible for inventing and designing the first prototype of the patented ‘tool holster’ used on both the DC05 and DC08. 

Case studies

  • Stephen has previously had work featured in London's Design Museum and in newspapers and magazines including the Independent, the Guardian, Living Etc and Elle Decoration.
  • Work has also been featured on Channel 5 Breakfast News and a pilot programme for Channel 4, 'Gimme the Money'.
  • Stephen has represented the UK in government sponsored design and trade exhibitions in Dubai & Kuala Lumpur.
  • Occupational Therapy News, 2006. Editorial/Interview article on Inclusive Design.
  • Therapy Weekly, 2003. Editorial/Interview article on Inclusive Design.
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