Manolis Kelaidis

Designer and Engineer with experience in paper-based printed electronics, designing experiences and products, advanced materials research, mechanical & aeronautical engineering, event organisation, technology and artisanal food entrepreneur and academic tutor.

 
 
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Books have inherent qualities that make make them an irreplaceable medium even today. They have survived unchanged for centuries making them one of the most familiar and best-selling products. For a particular type of user experience they simply have not been improved.

However, digital media (portable devices, touch-screens etc.) has been offering seductive new possibilities to the user, especially in terms of their level of interactivity.

 

Can these two worlds, the digital and the physical, co-exist in a product that would offer the benefits of both? 

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Sony Computer Entertainment Europe assigned six designers from the RCA to develop an advanced design project that would form part of the launch of the PlayStation Portable (PSP).

Devices such as the PSP are simultaneously public and private objects; they encourage shared experience but demand a degree of isolation and immersion; and proximity is much a factor as mobility.

 

How do designers address the immateriality and relatively new language of use of these devices, and what impact will they have on patterns of living in the future?

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Walls swinging, floors trembling, rain falling and ants walking; every object in our environment has a whisper that is often undetectable to the human ear. What if these sounds were audible? How would that change our aural awareness, perception of space and attitude towards objects?

 

Would it make it possible to 'compose' our own soundtrack using our walls and objects as new forms of instruments?

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 An initiative for global design collaboration supported by the Arts Council of England, The Intelligent Alternative Beijing and the UK Interdisciplinary Arts Department.

 RCA designers relocated to Beijing to take part in a collaboration with Chinese designers and artists within an environment of large-scale Olympic preparations and increasing contradictions between the old and the new. 

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 A sample of engineering research work. Smart structures, composite materials, aircraft design, stress analysis, CAD/CAM. 

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In a brave, new and uncertain world the invisible and intangible ‘matter’ of inspiration that fuels artists, designers, scientists and technologists is one of the most precious materials of all.

Design, art, the applied sciences, and the social sciences are critical contributors to the future of our material world, but are most effective when they communicate with each other. 

 

Inspiring Matter suggests that unexpected innovation can arise through boundary-crossing, and that flashes of inspiration that guide our work unite all of these areas. By foregrounding common questions and modes of communication between areas, the conference seeks to foster collaboration between lab discovery, product innovation, human experience, and social welfare. As products develop into complex integrated systems with logic, memory, and connectivity, the expertise and skill-base needed to realize this vision extends far beyond the design community into the material science and technology communities.

 

Inspiring Matter asked leading and emerging figures in engineering, art, architecture, and design to consider their own sources and methods of inspiration. How does inspiration strike? What inspiration do we draw from collaboration, and from materials themselves?

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©2020 Manolis Kelaidis

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