I am a product designer, researcher and tutor on the BA/BSc Product and Furniture Design course. I teach across all levels of the course as well as being first year tutor. I am passionate about the power of socially responsible design, particularly in relation to design in health.
I started my professional career as a Product Designer at London based lighting design consultancy, Isometrix, working on high end, bespoke lighting installations. Following this, I moved to work as a Design Engineer in the accessories department of Triumph Motorcycles. Having gained some valuable industry experience, I decided to pursue an interest in medical product development and following a successful bid for an AHRC studentship, returned to Sheffield in 2010 to start an MA in Industrial Design.
My MA focused on exploring and overcoming the barriers faced by sufferers of long-term chronic illness through the design of products and associated services. The catalyst for development was the voice of the individual and as such the Art and Design Research Centre officially adopted my project as part a larger NIHR funded research project called User Centred Healthcare Design. My MA resulted in the design of a new micro-inhaler and I successfully obtained a patent application on the novel delivery mechanism. During my MA, I was employed part-time within UCHD and Lab4Living as a Design Researcher alongside working as an Associate Lecturer on the Product Design course. I was awarded Honorary Fellowship of the RSA in 2012 in recognition of work undertaken on a service design project to help the organisation attract and retain more young fellows.
In July 2013 I took up the opportunity to move to London, first working briefly on a knowledge transfer project between Brunel University and Age UK, then working as a designer at the HELIX Centre – a collaboration between the Royal College of Art and Imperial College London. HELIX is a design studio inside St Mary’s Hospital, Paddington offering human centred, creative solution to problems and opportunities within the hospital.
I now teach full-time on the Product and Furniture Design course at Sheffield Institute of Arts. Alongside my teaching, I remain engaged in socially responsible design practice and research and I am currently developing a proposal for a PhD. I value my position as an educator who, having built up a foundation of professional contacts regionally, nationally and internationally, is in a position to involve students in a shared process of active learning through live projects and collaborations.
Specialist areas of interest
Socially responsible design
Design and health
First Year Tutor – Responsible for developing and maintaining a sense of community and course identity amongst the first year Product and Furniture Design students. Key responsibilities include planning and coordinating first year induction week, organising field trips and studio visits, identifying topics for academic tutorials and developing design awareness through extra curricular social activities.
BA/BSc Product and Furniture design
Can Google Cardboard stimulate creativity and act as a catalyst for positive intergenerational exchange between primary school children and older people living with dementia? A current research project working in collaboration with Dr Elizabeth Freeman, lecturer in Psychology at Sheffield Hallam University.
Compact dry powder inhaler design – outcome of MA Industrial Design, 2012. (Patent application ref GB1518237.1)
Gwilt, A., Leaver, J., Fisher, M., & Young, G. (2017). Understanding the caring practices of users. In Cooper, T., Braithwaite, N., Moreno, M., & Salvia, G. (Eds.) Product Lifetimes and the Environment (PLATE), Nottingham Trent University, 17 June 2015 - 19 June 2015. Nottingham Trent University: http://www.plateconference.org/understanding-caring-practices-users/
Sustar, H., Bowen, S., Dearden, A., Fisher, M., & Wolstenholme, D. (2013). Using popular culture to enable health service co-design with young people. EAD. http://www.craftingthefuture.se/
Invited to review the draft GCE AS and A level subject content for Design and Technology at the Department for Education (2015)
Invited to run a week-long Design and Health student project with partner institution, Tatung University, in Taipei (2017)