Keynote at 'Research through Design' conference, Microsoft Research

25th March 2015, Cambridge UK

Nelly Ben Hayoun will be talking as part of Research Through Design, a conference hosted by Microsoft Research in Cambridge UK on 25th March 2015.

Speakers line up here

Register here

The main programme of RTD 2015 will be held over three days between the 25th and 27th March 2015, and comprises invited talks (‘Provocations’) as plenary sessions, an Exhibition Spotlight on the opening day, ‘Rooms of Interest’ for the presentation and discussion of authors’ work; and social events in the evenings.


RTD 2015 is hosted by Microsoft Research, in their new building located in the centre of Cambridge, UK. Opened in 2012, the venue is a short walk from Cambridge railway station and will provide a stunning backdrop to exploring what research through design means in the 21st Century.


Opening Provocation: Nelly Ben Hayoun

Closing Provocation: Sir Christopher Frayling

Sir Christopher Frayling is a cultural historian, educationalist and writer who has started important and influential conversations about the nature of research and pedagogy in the creative arts and design. Until recently, Sir Christopher served as Rector of the Royal College of Art and Chair of the Arts Council England. Sir Christopher is an award-winning broadcaster on network radio and television, and author of 21 books on the arts, design and popular culture. He has chaired numerous committees and organisations, including the Design Council, the Royal Mint Advisory Committee and the Crafts Study Centre. Sir Christopher is currently Professor Emeritus of Cultural History at the Royal College of Art, Fellow of Churchill College Cambridge and Visiting Professor at the University of Lancaster. He was knighted in 2001 for Services to Art and Design Education.

Provocation on making and learning:
David Gauntlett and Amy Twigger Holroyd

David Gauntlett is a Professor in the Faculty of Media, Arts and Design, and Co-Director of the Communications and Media Research Institute, at the University of Westminster, UK. His teaching and research is about self-initiated everyday creativity, and cultures of making and exchanging. He is the author of several books, including Creative Explorations (2007), Making is Connecting (2011), and Making Media Studies (2015). He has worked with a number of the world’s leading creative organisations, including the BBC, the British Library, and Tate. For almost a decade he has worked with LEGO on innovation in creativity, play and learning.

Amy Twigger Holroyd is a designer, maker, writer and researcher. Through her knitwear label, Keep & Share, she has explored the emerging field of fashion and sustainability since 2004. Her work has been featured in many books and publications, from Vogue to Fashion Theory. In 2013 Amy completed her PhD at Birmingham Institute of Art & Design, investigating amateur fashion making – which she describes as ‘folk fashion’ – as a strategy for sustainability. Amy is now a Research Fellow in the School of Design at the University of Leeds, working on a three-year AHRC-funded project, Design Routes.

Preliminary Programme

Along with our invited ‘Provocations’, the central focus of RTD 2015 will be a curated exhibition of peer-reviewed design work and an associated programme of ‘Rooms of Interest’ sessions where authors present and discuss their work. Rooms of interest will be scheduled across three tracks during the conference.

Another key feature of RTD 2015 will be the documentation of the unfolding conference experience. Based on feedback from the inaugural RTD, we are looking at the ways to capture rich discussions taking place at the conference, during the sessions and beyond, drawing upon a range of skills and media. Through this endeavour we aim to document those valuable exchanges around people and their work that can easily be lost once the event is over. We will also be holding plenary sessions at RTD 2015 that reflect back to delegates the discussions captured so far.