Rachel Wingfield Keynote at Research Through Design 2013

I’m at the very excellent Research Through Design conference up in Newcastle. Unlike many of the events I go to, this one is very focussed on the things that people design. All the speakers have had to submit an object, which they are then talking about during the sessions during the day. There have been some beautiful objects, and some great discussion.

I’m dumping my notes from the event here with very little expansion. I hope they may be useful to someone, but I suspect actually that they will be quite opaque to everyone but me. Ah well.

Day one opened with a great keynote by Rachel Wingfield from Loop.pH. She showed a LOT of cool stuff. I’ll try and cover the best of it below.


Loop.pH – a “spatial agency”. Lots of work in an architectural context.

  • Focus on “Space Crafting”
  • Architectural scale textile structures.
  • Lots of community work including more recently a focus on craft and farming.

At the RCA did an Mphil with Jon Rogers. Use of light in the home using printed electronics. Resulted in a number of projects, including:

Light sleeper bedding.

Digital dawn. Biomimicary. Inspired by photosynthesis:


Moving from Biomimicry to Ecomimicry. Looking to create living materials and environments.

Research fellow at Central St. Martin’s for 7 years.

Interest in “Off grid” lighting. Using textiles to create solar collectors for planting in rural communities.

Lumilace. Woven light structures.


Collaborating with the UK lace guild. Structural potential of woven materials. Inspired by gothic architecture.

Programming with “grasshopper” or “kangaroo” for coding 3D models and spaces. http://www.grasshopper3d.com/ – generative modelling tool that plugs into Rhino.


Engaging communities in a making process.


How are materials structured? At a molecular level. Fiberglass. Carbon. Created a system of short rod lengths that come together in different typologies.

Nobel Textiles project:

  • CSM Textile Futures project bringing designers + Nobel prize winners together.
  • Partnered with Sir John Walker – discovered rotary mechanism of ATP (a biological mechanism).

Solar Jam workshop at the ICA. Create your own solar cells from fruit which last for 10 minutes.


Homemade printable electronics.

MetaboliCity – Food growing initiative 2008.

Yona Friedman – “Architecture should only provide a framework, in which the inhabitants might construct their homes according to their needs and ideas, free from any paternalism by a master builder”

Kisho Kurokawa – “Our world is a process…”

Exploring the use of MetaDesign with Hannah Jones at Goldsmiths. Tools to collaborate.



Energy Futures, a series of urban interventions in Lille, France 2012

Algae Curtain


Tree Lungs




Lots more in the Loop Volume 2012 PDF.