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Mr Simon Sommerville

Course Leader MA (Hons) Product Design. Senior Lecturer

School of Art, Design and Fashion

Victoria Building, VB127

+44 (0) 1772 89 3343

srsommerville@uclan.ac.uk

Subject Areas: Product Design

Simon Sommerville is the Course Leader for MA(Hons) Product Design run within the School of Art, Design and Performance. Simon’s approach to teaching design is heavily informed by previous commercial experience and a contemporary understanding of the current design landscape through ongoing commercial contacts.

Full Profile

Simon Sommerville is the Course Leader for the MA(Hons) Product Design Course run within the School of Art, Design and Performance. Simon’s approach to teaching design is heavily informed by previous commercial experience and a contemporary understanding of the current design landscape through ongoing commercial contacts.

As a designer he worked for some of the highest profile manufacturing companies in the world. After a break from industry to complete a Masters degree in Industrial Design, he moved to specialise in product styling within the high technology product sector. During this second phase of his professional career he was responsible for the entire range of monitors for Nokia and also took part in the design/ technology transition for the company from CRT display technology to the then new flat screen LCD display, that today we take for granted.

Within other product fields Simon also designed for companies such as Sony, Philips, Compaq, Olivetti and Pace microtechnologies. His relationship with Pace included a radical reprisal of the standard satellite receiver, removing the need for a folded steel rear enclosure, whilst retaining the necessary EMF shielding to allow the product to function without disrupting the operation of other nearby products in the domestic environment.

In 1996 he took up a full time position at the University as Course Leader for Industrial design, whilst retaining a consultancy role commercially.

In the intervening years he has been constantly involved in the development of the generic area of product/ industrial design within the university to where it is today.

As a designer and educator Simon has always looked forward in terms of process and approach. This initial interest in a futures orientated approach to the design of consumer objects led to a successfully research partnership that in the space of 3 years spawned research that was presented internationally at design journal level and through international conferences.

Simon's interest is now more commercially orientated and his most recent activity was with the online grocery provider Ocado relating to future forecasting of a ‘fridge of the future’, which was used for the marketing of the companies services and to identify service developments within shopping and online ordering.

Qualifications

1991-1993 Industrial Design MA (Hons) with Distinction, Manchester Metropolitan University

1987-1990 Industrial Design BA (Hons), Manchester Polytechnic

External activities

President of the 75(NZ) Squadron RAF Association. Curator and on going researcher of the largest resource for the Squadron in the world – 75nzsquadron.com.

Teaching Activities and Responsibilities

Simon teaches and designs across both under and postgraduate courses within the area of product design, also being Course Leader for MA(Hons) Consumer Product Design and continues to deploy and develop his specialisms of concept origination, future forecasting and product visualisation within the educational and industrial context.

Simon is also Link Tutor for the Schools Partner College, AAS in Thessaloniki Greece.

Publications

Journals
A Design For Life: Futures Thinking in the Design Curriculum. Futures Research Quarterly (Journal of the World Future Society), 2007, Sommerville, Evans.

Conference Papers
Seeing is Believing: The Challenge of Product Semantics in the Curriculum. Shaping the Future? 9th International Conference on Engineering and Product Design Education, Northumbria University, Newcastle Upon Tyne, United Kingdom, September 2007, Sommerville, Evans. (Blog)

Design Led Futures: Futures Thinking in the Design Curriculum. Connected 2007: International Conference On Design Education, University Of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia, 2007, Sommerville, Evans

Cross Cultural Universals: A Framework for Design Futures. Presented at 2006 Engineering and Product Design Education Conference, School of Design and Product Management, FH Salzburg, Salzburg University of Applied Sciences, Salzburg, Austria, 2006, Sommerville, Evans

Educating The Future: Embedding Futures Thinking in the Design Curiculum. ISBN 90-5155-020-0. Presented at 2006 Design & Emotion Conference,Chalmers University of Technology, Gothenburg, Sweden
, 2006, Sommerville, Evans

Designing Tomorrow: A Methodology for Future Orientated Product Design. Accepted for proceedings, Global Chinese Industrial Design Conference, Chang Gung University, Taoyuan, Taiwan, R.O.C., 2005, November 2005. Sommerville, Evans

Shaping The Future: How can designers engage with user perceptions in future orientated product design? ISBN 957-41-3203-X. Presented at International Design Congress–IASDR 2005, National Yunlin University of Science and Technology, Yunlin, Taiwan, R.O.C, November 2005. Sommerville, Evans

Teaching 'Blue Sky' forecasting techniques in the undergraduate curriculum. Paper published in proceedings, International Education in Product Design, Institute of Design and Technology, Delft, Netherlands, August 2004. Sommerville

Temporal transformation of materials: can designers harness the effects of time to create a contemporary aesthetic of 'worldliness' within new products? Paper published in proceedings, Design and Emotion International Conference and Publication, Middle East Technical University, Ankara, Turkey, July 2004. Candy, Sommerville, Kälviäinen, Oksanen

The Main Event – Definition of a multi-year team design project. ISBN 0-906694-94-9. Paper published in proceedings, 3rd National Conference in Product Design Education, University of Central Lancashire, UK 1996. Sommerville

Research

‘Blue sky’ Design – constructional models
Assessment and development of systems and methodologies that assist in creative futures forecasting within the context of product design and related concept definition.

The research activity is focussed on the interrogation of existing non discipline based methods, relative to their utilisation/ modification to assist in a ‘product centred’ approach to forecasting, concept definition and communication.

Initial research has resulted in the definition of three main areas of activity related to forecasting, concept creation and communication.

These areas will represent the main areas of the generic exploration, however, the approach will be holistic, allowing for a ‘cause and effect’ approach to the development of a series of complex methodological systems.

Conferences

2006 Engineering and Product Design Education Conference, School of Design and Product Management, FH Salzburg, Salzburg University of Applied Sciences, Salzburg, Austria.

2006 Design & Emotion Conference,Chalmers University of Technology, Gothenburg, Sweden.

International Design Congress–IASDR 2005, National Yunlin University of Science and Technology, Yunlin, Taiwan, R.O.C.

International Education in Product Design, Institute of Design and Technology, Delft, Netherlands, August 2004.

3rd National Conference in Product Design Education, University of Central Lancashire, UK 1996.

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