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Dr David Swann PhD (RCA)

Professor in Design


David is Professor in Design, and Subject Leader for Product, Furniture and Interior. He is a double graduate of the Royal College of Art (MDes Industrial Design-1991 and PhD- 2011). His design research is grounded in global healthcare challenges. In 2014, David won the International Council of Societies of Industrial Design’s World Design Impact Prize. In the same year he was selected to participate in the UK’s inaugural GREAT Festival of Creativity, a showcase for British innovation. David's ABC syringe resides in the London Design Museum and Science Museum and the Museum of Contemporary Design and Applied Arts, Lausanne.

  • About

    In 2016, the London Design Museum relocated to the Grade II listed former Commonwealth Institute building in Holland Park. David’s LifeHacket and ABC Syringe project were both included in its inaugural exhibition. Related to this re-launch, a short film was produced by Daniel de Viciola that celebrated the best of classic and contemporary design.

    ‘We have filmed all sorts of objects, from an E-type Jag, Paul Smith ties, an iconic space invaders machine etc…through to cutting edge contemporary design from the likes of Adidas, Hussein Chalayan, the Guardian and even graphic design. A very important object we had to display in action was the ABC syringe, showing how effective design can be used functionally for good.’

  • Teaching

    Product Design and Furniture

    BA Product Design
    BA Product Design: Furniture

  • Research

    David’s new research supports the scaling up of Warchild’s eLearning initiative to provide basic education through gamification to vulnerable children, former child soldiers, children in remote areas, displaced children and street children. In Sudan it is estimated that 1.8 million primary school-aged children have no access to primary education. The eLearning Sudan project is funded by DFID, UNICEF and UNHCR’s Humanitarian Education Accelerator. 

    The primary aim of this collaboration is to support the implementation of a six-month pilot in conjunction with Sudan’s Ministry of Education. The ongoing research involves Anthony Jones from Sheffield Hallam's Design Futures, and seeks to establish the performance requirements for an innovative tablet support device to address poor posture issues associated with prolonged floor sitting. The research is supported by the Art and Design Research Centre.

    Unver, Ertu, Howard, Chris and Swann, David (2013) Design & Development of Scalp Cooling Cap. In: Smart Scalp Cooling Symposium, 16 May 2013, 3M Buckley Innovation Centre , Huddersfield, UK.

    Unver, Ertu, Swann, David, Bailey, Rowan, Govindarajan, Iniyanrajan and Dollan, Fiona (2013) The Art of 3D Sculpted Printing: Royal Coat of Arms Case Study.

    Unver, Ertu, Howard, Chris, Swann, David and Stockton, Glynn (2013) Design, development and prototyping of portable Potty as part of Petit en Suite Child’s Pop-up Privacy Room.

  • Publications

  • Postgraduate supervision

    Below supervision terminated due to move to Hallam.

    Swann, Hargreaves & Power 2013- 2016. PhD: Hositalisation: A study of personalization of sterile domains.

    Swann, Smith & Kagioglou 2014- 2016. D.Ent: Investigating “Real Time” experience of creative enterprise in UK HE design education.

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