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!
Designed for Life - In conversation with Ming Cheng (Urbanist)
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.
Designed for Life - In conversation with Sophie Harker
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.
Designed for Life - In conversation with Dick Powell
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 work...you 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) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VhAtgJ3KRj8 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 https://tv.data.org.uk/Designing-your-Future
So 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.
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Designed for Life - In conversation with David O'Coimin
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.
In conversation with Edna Reilly and Rose Russell
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.
Designed for Life - In conversation with Jason Reagin (Part 2)
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: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/design-cast-podcast/id1247751652 or on Jason's website https://www.jasonreagin.ga/podcast
When 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.