‘Guddle: Designing Futures’ is the title of the University of Strathclyde-led exhibition currently open at Somerset House in London, for this year’s London Design Biennale.

Sustainability, health and communities are among the important themes explored in the showcase of designs for the future by Strathclyde’s Department of Design, Manufacturing & Engineering Management (DMEM).

Design-led work by Engineering staff and students at Strathclyde is presented at Eureka, the research section of the exhibit profiling leading UK universities. The projects have a particular focus on the Glasgow area, are developed in collaboration with local and international partners, and offer innovative designs for shaping the city’s future.

The projects exhibited include:

  • Improving assistive technology for people with dyslexia
  • The use of virtual reality and additive manufacturing for patient rehabilitation
  • A hydrogen-fuelled, zero-emission research vessel
  • Circular designs using recycled waste
  • New designs for city centre public toilets
  • Shaping sound using advanced design and digital manufacturing
  • Paperflüte, an alumnus-led company which produces recyclable children’s toys made of paper.

Glasgow, as a centre of manufacturing, research and design innovation is also the home of Strathclyde and as such was the perfect overall theme for the University’s section of the exhibit. The city is continuously reinventing itself through often messy circumstances, bringing new pools of talent and creativity into prominence – something this exhibit hopes to highlight.

The use of the word ‘guddle,’ a Scottish word for a mess, reflects the idea that mess has to be dealt with if the world is to be shaped effectively. Furthermore, from mess and uncertainty, great progress, innovation and development can materialise. 

The London Design Biennale catalogue states: “Mess, mistakes and failure are part of any design and manufacturing project. Design is a creative and transformative force that can help to shape our lives in more responsible, sustainable and valuable ways.”

The Eureka London Biennale is at Somerset House until 25 June. The Strathclyde display occupies a prominent site at the venue, near one of its entrances on the Embankment side.