Luke Emmerson is an enterprising young designer whose output as part of Northumbria University’s Interactive Media Design course showed both influences from his fine art background and an astute commercial awareness.
‘In Living Memory’ was a collaborative project undertaken with Leah Xandora that allows product makers (in this case furniture makers) to build in a plaque embossed with a logo that links to virtual data – biographical and exactly how the furniture was made – leaving a legacy for future generations.
The idea of adding value to products and showing the craft that goes into making them, using a simple maker’s mark linked to via a smartphone or tablet, caught the imagination of judges at Microsoft’s Research Design Expo 2013 and the pair were shortlisted for an award.
“Theme-wise I think my fine art background has trickled down into my work,” says Luke. “Humans trying to manipulate nature is what fascinates me. I like abstract ways of capturing the sublime.”
Revel in food
“Our Revel app was kind of exploiting the whole Instagram phenomenon of people taking pictures of their food, but having a specific service to do that.”
Revel was another of Luke’s university projects, in collaboration with Ryan Coupe and David Ingledow: a way of taking one of Instagram’s seemingly addictive qualities – people taking pictures of food they’d either been served or prepared themselves – and making it the focus of an app that would help them become more aware of food waste.
“The core idea was that it would reduce packaging [from supermarket or shop bought food] by people making their own lunch and also not wasting as much food. Through gamification we were attempting to get people to compete against one another and facilitate them using the app even more.