2018 Keynotes

We’re delighted to announce this year’s eclectic line up of speakers. From stroke research to skydiving, from supporting the sense of self to salutogenesis, our speakers will help you jump right into the heart of the design and health community.

Professor Sue Mawson

Sue Mawson originally trained as a Physiotherapist working in South Africa at the Red Cross Memorial Children’s Hospital and subsequently as a physiotherapist working for the Western Cape Cerebral Palsy Society in the Cape townships. It was whilst there in 1983 that she learnt to design and build novel seating and sleeping equipment out of card board boxes for the children living in the townships.

In 2008 as Director she led the successful South Yorkshire application to become a National Institute of Health Research Collaboration for Leadership in applied Research and Care (CLAHRC) within which she helped to create the first ‘User centred Health Care Design’ theme lead from the Lab4Living at Sheffield Hallam University. Following the completion of the pilots this led to the successful Yorkshire and Humber application for a further 5 years funding.

Sue is also Professor of Health Services Research in the School for Health and Related Research at the University of Sheffield, where her role is to develop stronger links between researchers, the NHS, industry and the voluntary sector. She has a specific focus on rehabilitation research into novel interventions and technologies for people with disabilities, older people and people with long-term conditions, utilising a realist evaluation framework within her co design user centred work.

Gavin Munroe

Gavin Munro was born in 1975 in the UK. His love of nature began early, but developed while he spent long periods immobile following corrective surgery on his spine. Gavin’s art instincts were always strong, but were developed further during his time at Art College (Chesterfield) and Design School, (Leeds Metropolitan), supplemented by an informal Cabinet-Making apprenticeship, work on Historic Building projects, and as an Eco-Builder, then Gardener in the USA. He has also lived in Spain, Scotland, Wales and London.

On his return to the UK in 2005, he began the Grown Furniture project, combining with Web Design and gardening. In 2012 he began working on the project full time and launched the company under the name Full Grown.

The project challenges notions of health and healthy living through examining our relationship to nature and manufacturing/pollution, and exploring healthier ways of being and growing.

Gavin now lives in Wirksworth, Derbyshire, with his wife Alice, and their full-time boss, Lina-the-lurcher.

Full Grown Ltd

By making subtle changes to the natural world, we aim to produce beautiful objects, efficiently, in the most elegant and symbiotic way we can.

Full Grown grows trees into useful and beautiful shapes. Initially concentrating on furniture production, we aim to redefine beautiful design, mass production of everyday objects, combined with the strong forces of Nature.

The methods of growing furniture have developed from a number of traditional crafts including hedging, grafting, coppicing, espalier. The Furniture Field is helping transform tree-shaping into an amazing batch production method, with limitless scope.

Full Grown believes that combining these ancient techniques with modern ideas and technology bring about a beautiful cooperation between Nature & Humanity, harnessing the miracle of photosynthesis with a kind of Zen 3-D printing.

Early estimates indicate that even in this nascent form, this method uses a quarter of the carbon cost a traditional chair needs to be made, ultimately with the aim to part of regenerative agriculture. The positive effects of phytoremediation mean that there can even be a useful by-product of previously contaminated land.

Finding ways to produce beautiful objects, reduce our carbon footprint, together with cultivating small ecosystems – with the all-important regeneration of top soil and oxygen on which our existence on this earth relies.

Dilys Price OBE

Dilys Price

Over the last 30 years Dilys Price has championed services to improve the lives of people with disabilities. She was awarded an OBE for Services to Special Needs and Education in 2002 in recognition of her innovative work, which has included the development of the Wales Sports Centre for people with disabilities and the foundation of the Touch Trust Charity. This charity, hosted in the Wales Millennium Centre is world renowned for movement education for people with autism, dementia and profound disabilities.

In addition to her many achievements, Dilys is an inspirational speaker and will be recognised by many through her television appearances where she is perhaps better known as the holding the Guinness World record as the Oldest Female Sky Diver. Aged 85, she has completed over 1,130 jumps and has raised tens of thousands of pounds for charity.

Professor Jayne Wallace

Jayne Wallace is Professor of Craft and Wellbeing in School of Design at Northumbria University. Her work explores the potential of jewellery, digital technologies and the act of making to support sense of self.

Jayne is principal investigator on the Enabling Ongoingness 3 year research project funded by the UK Engineering & Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC). This is a design-led, practice-based engagement with older people, carers, people approaching the end of their lives and the bereaved. It seeks to design, develop and deploy a series of objects with digital capabilities that offer new ways for individuals to create meaningful content, curate the content that already exists from personal, social and national archives (i.e. television programmes, tweets, blogposts and films) and enable new ways to consume that content – in order to support sense of self and relationships with others in relation to the notion of ongoingness.

Sue Walker

Sue Walker is Professor of Typography in the Department of Typography & Graphic Communication at the University of Reading. Her research interests are in the history, theory and practice of information design, and in the graphic aspects of language. Recent work includes leading a UK Arts & Humanities Research Council (AHRC)-funded project that is considering how space can be used in community pharmacies to increase understanding of the dangers of antimicrobial resistance (IDAPPS); and co-editing Information design: research and practice (Routledge 2017), a volume that draws attention to this user-centred field and its application in many areas including health, education, business and government. A long-standing research interest has been in Isotype, particularly work children’s information books, and on health communication.  She is a keen advocate of collections-based research, and in the use of material from the past to inform current debate.

Previously at Reading she has served as Head of Department (Typography & Graphic Communication 1997–2007); Head of the School of Arts and Communication Design (Fine Art, Film, Theatre and TV, Typography) 2004–7); Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Humanities 2007-2011). She served as a sub-panel member for the UK’s Research Assessment Exercise (RAE) 2008, for Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2014, and has been re-appointed for REF 2021.

  • Lab4Living, Art & Design Research Centre, Sheffield Hallam University,
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