Clothes that reflect the wearer’s mood, light-transmitting concrete, how colour contrasts in design can help visually impaired people, and whether children learn better in a yellow classroom were among the subjects discussed at an international conference on the links between design and science.
Around 90 designers, artists, academics and experts from around the world attended the event, called Integration of Design and Science: Light, Materials, Colour and Environment, at the Royal Institute of British Architects.
The event was organised by Kingston University’s Design Research Centre, Design Plus at Kingston University, which encourages businesses and universities to work together, and the Colour Group Great Britain, a charity set up 70 years ago for experts on all aspects of colour.
Professor Hilary Dalke, director of the Design Research Centre, said the event highlighted recent and innovative work in light, materials and colour. "This multidisciplinary event has generated a huge amount of international interest in research and practice on the role of materials, colour and light in enhancing environments for a variety of users,” she said.
Hungarian architect Aron Losonczi talked about his invention, Litracon – a light-transmitting concrete that can be used as a building material, while Jack Mama, Creative Director of the Probes programme at Philips Design, discussed “emotional sensing garments” that can change pattern and colour to reflect the wearer’s mood.
Dr Stephen Pretlove, a Reader in Kingston University’s School of Architecture and Landscape, talked about his work as Director of ArchiLab, a state-of-the-art facility for assessing sustainable and environmental architectural design.
Artist Martin Richman, who will be working on the bridges and underpasses in the London 2012 Olympic Park, talked about colour and material, and Jakki Dehn, a Reader in Product and Furniture Design at Kingston University, discussed the creative potential of materials made from waste.
Interior designer Amanda Russell explained how a blue relaxation room and a yellow creative room designed by her company Soulfood Studio helped pupils at Latchmere Junior School in Kingston.
Professor Dalke, Kingston University’s Professor of Design, talked about recent research on colour contrast and visual impairment and Dr Anke Jakob, a Research Fellow at Kingston University, examined light, surfaces and illusions.
Speakers also included designer Rachel Wingfield of London’s Central St Martins College of Art and Design who founded consultancy Loop.ph, and Dr Vibeke Riisberg, an Associate Professor at Denmark’s Kolding School of Design, who discussed how decorative textiles can adjust daylight and solar heat in offices.
In addition to the presentations, around 20 posters illustrating international research projects on the integration of design and science were displayed.
The event was the second in a series on the integration of design and science. The first one focused on environments and well-being and was held in June 2007.