Dr. Rob Phillips

Dr. Rob Phillips is Senior Tutor at the Royal College of Art (RCA), Design Futures Programme. Their research seeks to ‘Engage Design’, decreasing people’s impact, comprehending how we can be FutureKind to PlanetKind. Specialist in user-orientated proposals, sustainable strategies and holistic perspectives. Dr. Phillips publishes in; Design Issues Journal (MIT Press), The Design Journal (Routledge), FutureKind: design by and for the people, with Thames & Hudson and more. An (Industrial) Product Designer with 20 years+ of practice, including five international patents, user orientated proposals, work for team GB and including lifesaving fire & ballistics geometries. 

Phillips Project PI £3.4m, EPSRC (awarded 2023) Ecological Citizen(s): Tools, technologies and means to enable sustainable digital citizens, (EP/W020610/1). 4 year project in collaboration with the University of York’s Stockholm Environment Institute (SEI) and Wrexham University. Ecological Citizen(s) mobilises diverse groups to make impactful transitions through accessible technology and community-focused approaches – including citizen science, activism, collective learning, advocacy, design strategies, manufacturing, environmental science and engineering practices. 

Phillips, (PI) Citizen Naturewatch, PI, EPSRC £1m (EP/P006256/1). The Naturewatch collaboration was between RCA and Northumbria Interaction Research Studio. It explored socially responsible design approaches to documenting wildlife in community spaces with homespun DIY technologies. The Naturewatch project engaged 3.5+ million people, was an REF 2021 impact case study, featured on BBC SpringWatch and was a part of the internationally acclaimed #30dayswild (run by The Wildlife Trusts) further engaging 820,000 people. Their work seeks to Engage Design as a means to catalyse more sustainable futures.