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Mr Gavin Proctor

Visiting Professor of Design/Director, Innovation Design, Philips/Consumer Lifestyle, Royal Philips Electronics

Department: Northumbria School of Design

I have been working for over 27 years as a professional designer with Philips. My career has taken me from locations in the Netherlands, Taiwan and Singapore where I have filled numerous roles in design management, operational management, creative direction and marketing and sales. My focus throughout has been on placing the consumer at the centre of the design innovation process; employing qualitative research techniques in order to deeply understand, exploring opportunities through the application of design skills whilst maintaining a creative dialogue with lead users.  

I am currently responsible as Design Officer for running the Philips Consumer Lifestyle front end innovation program in addition to my task as location manager of Philips Design studio in Eindhoven, the Netherlands.

Gavin Proctor

BA (Hons)

One field in which I am currently working is the one of exploring on-body and ambient monitoring technologies towards the application of personal healthcare solutions. Challenges are presented not only in the form that these technologies take on but also in the manner in which physiological data is presented back to the user in such a manner that they are encouraged and motivated to seek out lifestyle behavioural change solutions; peer to peer support and expert coaching. User experience design and service design are of prime consideration in this area.

Doing and making

I am a firm believer in the creative process; in finding out by  doing, exploration through design, the power that designers  can bring to breathing life into ideas through tools and  processes such as rapid visualisation, story telling and lo- resolution prototyping.

Sustainability and innovation

I am inspired by the philosophies put forward by cradle to  cradle and bio-mimicry as well as interested in designing  from first principles. In-particularly I find the issues of  material cycles, known and safe materials and design for  dis-assembly to be significant challenge for designers.

Ambient intelligence

Modern day electronics are ushering us towards an era of  products which are highly adaptive and responsive to the  needs of their user. Coupled together with communications  technologies, products and applications seamlessly  blend  with each other to serve their user. Via networking these  “open tools” also become capable of forming system  ecologies expanding upon their ability to serve their user  through drawing upon each others functions and capabilities.  This vision is significant for designers since it implies the  need to design the total user experience; designing the  behaviour, which might be thought of as the embedded  personality of the object. 


I use this term to describe design for all of the senses. In  addition to my interest in design semantics, in meaning,  communication and perception, encoding and decoding, I am  interested in the consideration of design of qualities of light,  movement, touch and scent. This field of interest crosses  borders with that of qualities of materials and the possibilities  offered to designers by new innovations in materials; so- called smart materials and material processing technologies.

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