Tommy Dylan (formerly Dykes)

I’m a digital product designer/creative technologist, researcher, and teacher.  My design approach has stemmed from a fascination with invention and working hands-on with both digital and craft materials – I love to tinker and build.   As the internet of things develops around us I have come to see the value of this hands-on approach when looking to explore and understand the values we might want from everyday digital objects.

During my PhD I  developed a range of digital artefacts for the everyday lives of people with dementia in care, namely, Paper Street View and the Photo Scrabbler.  Through design practice, I explored the ways in which crafted digital artefacts can support emotional aspects of well-being by providing meaningful, positive experiences.  Instead of designing for practical aspects of care, I considered the potential for artefacts to support enchantment and curiosity by providing windows on the outside world.

Alongside my own design and making practice, I have extensive experience building working prototype designs that are robust enough to be used in exhibitions or for testing.  Though prototypes, many of these designs are an exceptionally well-finished representation of a designed artefact.  Currently, I am a creative technologist at Northumbria University, supporting design students and working on research projects, alongside my own material experiments and practice.  I have come to value the practical side of my work, where the challenges of novel projects bring direct and tangible reward that keeps me striving to learn and develop.

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