I am a professional design academic and also a product designer and researcher. As a designer, I am fascinated with the relationships we have with the products we use. My research interests focus on product longevity, in particular, methods we might employ as designers that might help to extend a product’s lifespan. I also teach across all levels of the BA/BSc Product and Furniture Design course.
Design plays a key role in influencing consumers’ relationships to their possessions, and so designers are in a position to propose powerful ways of rethinking the relationship through creative, making based approaches. (Evans & Keyte 2016)
As a designer, I am fascinated with the relationships we have with the products we use, why we cherish some objects whilst others are cast away, resigned to the bottom of a drawer or to landfill. My research interests focus on product longevity, in particular, methods we might employ as designers that might help to extend a product’s lifespan.
After gaining a first-class degree in Industrial Design and then completing an MA in Product Design at Sheffield Hallam I worked for several years within the Art and Design Research Centre. Here, I worked on many commercial projects for a broad range of clients but also had the opportunity to develop a practice-based approach to research working on a series of client-led projects which included diverse projects such as designing environments for people with profound disability and specialist surgical equipment.
More recently I have taken part in a practice-based research enquiry that explored the irreversible act of ‘breaking in’ to a sealed package. Breaking open a product’s packaging structures the user’s first experiences of owning the product, and reinforces perceptions of the product’s newness, perfection and desirability. This was an interdisciplinary project which I worked on with a jewellery and metalwork designer and also a packaging designer. Our collective research interest was to explore how the techniques employed in packaging design to amplify the sense of ownership ie breaking a seal or ripping off a perforated strip might be applied to a range of other products as a method to emphasise a sense of 'newness'. Our work was exhibited as part of the Design and Emotion conference 2016. As a designer and academic, I am also excited by how interdisciplinarity and co-design can transform design projects, this is something I hope to explore further in the near future.
Specialist areas of interest
The relationship people have with the products they use.
Product lifespan and longevity
Experiential Design / UX / product crossover
BA/BSc Product and Furniture Design
Professional Design Practice
Graduation Project short
Current research projects
Saving for best…
Collaborators and sponsors
Keyte, J., Evans, R., & Macqueen, P. (2016). Thinking Keeping : a practice-led research project which focuses on the act of opening or breaking in to product packaging. In Desmet, P., Fokkinga, S., Ludden, G., Cila, N., & Van Zuthem, H. (Eds.) 10th International Conference on Design and Emotion, Amsterdam, 27 September 2016 - 30 September 2016. Design & Emotion Society: http://www.de2016.org/proceedings
Dulake, N., Evans, R., & Reed, H. (2011). Water soluble sheet dispenser. WO2011EP54472 20110323.