Category: Blog

Designing Science

I took part in a workshop with super/collider as part of their Designing Science event earlier last year. They put out a lovely booklet with the discussion between myself, Dan Price, Shradda Depala and Jessica Turner about the synergies between science and design.

You can buy a printed copy of the booklet from the super/collider shop, or download a free pdf version (in exchange for a tweet).

Also, please do check out super/collider! They’re lovely people, and their events are top notch.


I just found a product I worked on for sale at the Apple Store.

PocketFinder is a GSM/GPS tracking device which enables the easy location of vulnerable people, such as children, those with Alzheimer’s, the elderly, or pets and luggage. My role within the project was to develop the aesthetic identity of the product, giving PocketFinder an unobtrusive, non-technology-based, intuitive physical interface within tight technical constraints.

HMP Brixton

I found this card about a year ago outside Brixton Prison, and re-found it whilst clearing a drawer out just now. I like to think that it was a prisoner on day release who later wasn’t allowed back in because he lost his card.

All personal information has been masked for anonymity. Mostly because he looks pretty tough.

DorkBot Cardiff

I’ll be talking about Ant Ballet at Dorkbot Cardiff as part of the Cardiff Design Festival on the 13th October 2011. Anybody with a curious sort of a nature is welcome – it’s free! If there’s any more incentive I can offer, it’s that they do a mean cocktail and probably the best selection of bottled beers in Cardydd.

More information about the roster of speakers available at the Dorkbot Cardiff website. The Facebook-inclined may also like to click here.

Ollie and Abi Palmer

My sister Abi Palmer is the most fun person to spend time with. I will miss her whilst I’m away doing projects in foreign lands over the coming years.

We made this video one evening in 2011 at the Southbank Centre. I think we were supposed to be seeing a show, but danced in a gallery instead.

Bartlett M.Arch Show 2011

The Bartlett School of Architecture M.Arch show will be opening on the 27th September at Wates House. Amongst the myriad of interesting and bizarre projects will be an Ant Ballet machine, and some related films.

Opening times
Tuesday 18:00 – 21:00
Wednesday – Friday 10:00 – 18:00
Saturday 10:00 – 16:00
(The opening is probably the best time to come, but it’s open to the public for the rest of the week too.)

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The Facebook-inclined may wish to gleam their infomation from this page.


ZSL Teachers and Biodiversity Day

I gave a talk on ants and ballet at London Zoo‘s Teachers and Biodiversity Day in October 2010.

This involved a few conversations about pheromones, a demonstration of bug-tracking software I’ve built (using a very passive cockroach), and an adaptation of this experiment for classrooms.

Thanks to Seirian Sumner and Ruth Desforges for inviting me, the ZSL staff for being welcoming and accommodating, and all of the teachers for engaging and showing patience with a passive cockroach!

Plymouth University

Along with my friends Ian Laurance and Cristiana Camisotti, I ran a workshop for 50 Plymouth University Masters Architectural students, including rapid prototyping of devices to enable a non-visual mapping of a series of spaces.

The workshop was called “Mapping space with augmented perception”, and involved students designing and building devices to augment their perception, then using these new prostheses to map spaces they already knew – e.g. areas of the university campus. The point of the workshop was to explore the subjective nature of perceiving space.

Video by Ollie Palmer | Music by Lucky Dragons| CC BY-SA 3.0 License


Run by Ian Laurence and Ollie Palmer with Cristiana Camisotti
Invited by Krzysztof Nawratek
Plymouth University Architecture Programme, Masters level
5-6 November 2010