DEPtH logo

DEPtH is an AHRC/EPSRC funded Designing for the 21st century Initiative supported by: AHRC logo

From electric kettles that switch themselves off when boiling, to washing machines, TV remotes and in the future increasingly automated homes, the products of the 21st century are and will be syntheses of digital and physical elements – and for the user these will become indistinguishable, just as we do not consciously think of the wire between light switch and bulb. Similar changes have happened before, as in the movement of the mechanical and electronic from factory to home. However, now the pace of change is such that waiting for craft understanding to develop is untenable, hence the need for more radical and fundamental understandings, informed by and informing praxis.

The main objective of the DEPtH project is to investigate the impact of physicality on product design – how humans experience, manipulate, react and reason about ‘real’ physical things, and how can this understanding inform the future design of innovative products.

DEPtH team

Team Members details

  • Devina Ramduny-Ellis
  • Alan Dix

Computing Department, Infolab21,
Lancaster University, Lancaster, UK

  • Steve Gill
  • Joanna Hare

Cardiff School of Art & Design & PDR
University of Wales Institute, Cardiff, Wales


  • product design practice
  • mathematical modelling
  • human interface design
  • ubiquitous computing
  • lab-based user experiments
  • social science methodology