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Ross Phillips | Designer

Ross Phillips

Ross Phillips is an award-winning Interactive Designer.
Starting his career with designer Malcolm Garrett at AMX, Phillips worked on early enhanced CDs, viral games, mobile content delivery and Interactive television for a range of clients. He completed an MA in Hypermedia at Westminster before moving to Fabrica, Benetton's Communication Research Center. Working with Andy Cameron, notable projects include; Interactive installations for Benetton Megastores; IN/OUT: a CD-ROM of sound toys published by Benetton; 'UNITED PEOPLE', a kiosk that allows users from all over the world to send and receive video messages from a Benetton store, and a four month exhibition entitled 'DARE', at the Museum of the Moving Image, New York.

Phillips then became Head of Interactive and later Creative Director of Nick Knights SHOWstudio working on online and location based installations, including 'Taking Liberty's', an installation in the window of Liberty, Regent St, and 'Tokyo Style Clash', based at the Beams Superstore in Tokyo - much of the work was shown during SHOWstudio:Fashion Revolution at Somerset House, London, in 2009.

Now a practising artist and consultant for a range of clients, recent projects include site specific installations for Nokia and Jimmy Choo, 'Mirror Mirror' with SHOWstudio.com for Topshop and work included in ‘Decode' at the V&A Museum in London. He lives in South London with his wife and their son.

Videogrid, 2009
Videogrid allows you to make a moving portrait, each square
recording your image for one second. You can choose either
to make a single portrait or to contribute to a collective bank
of images, to an ever-changing collage.

An interactive video installation, videogrid consists of a grid of squares (5x5) which can each record a one second loop of film. Participants are free to create giant composite moving portraits, simple narratives, group artworks or simply a collage of moving snapshots . The grid starts empty at the beginning of the installation and becomes a constantly changing collaborative artwork that showcases the creativity of visitors through the space.

Touch the screen to activate the cameras.
Touch screen, PC, camera, speakers, projector and custom software
Courtesy of the artist

Design Museum Website questionnaire with Ross Phollops

When did you realize you wanted to be a designer?

There was never a specific moment of realisation. It's basically a combination of all the things I enjoyed as a child and continue to enjoy now; Lego, films, narrative, videogames, programming, interaction etc.

How would you define your design style?

Simple and playful.

What would you do if you were not a designer?

I've always liked the idea of running an independent cinema showing westerns, horror double bills, musicals etc

Where do you draw your inspiration from?

They come from everywhere. I keep a notebook with me to jot down thoughts and observations.

Who do you consult about works?

My wife

Which of your projects do you consider a success?

I am particularly fond of the piece I have in the Decode show ‘Videogrid' simply because of the varied and surprising results I get back from every show.

Which of your projects do you consider a failure?

There are always elements which I am happy with or surprised by so I never class anything as a failure. There is always something to learn from.

What is the first design work you can recall?

From me: I made a motorised Lego tea ‘dunking' machine for my mother, to save her having to use a spoon....it didn't end well. The spoon works perfectly well.
From the world: I remember being completely fascinated with a leather bound telescope when I was small. I dismantled it to see how it worked and couldn't put it back together again.

To what extent do you believe that design should be functional?

I believe in a healthy mix!

Name a colleague you admire.

I have collaborated many times with the multi-talented Designer Malcolm Garrett and am privileged that we have become good friends. He is avery generous man who does a lot for people around him, including myself when I first began my career.

What have you learnt about design yourself?

To design for other people. To hide complexity from the user.

What in your opinion is the greatest design invention in recent years?

It's the Internet right?

With which personality from the past would you like to have coffee?

Alan Turing

Which materials interest you most?

I don't really have any current fascinations with materials at present, I am happy to use whatever is right for the task

What advice would you give a designer at the start of his career or what advice would you have liked to receive at the start of your career?

Work on projects outside of your day to day job. Experiment, iterate, develop your skills.
Document any work you do.

What are your future projects?

I have work in a number of exhibitions, a new commission to develop, some long term projects coming to fruition for the brands I consult for and more time with my son. 

Other Works by Ross Phillips

From the Exhibition
Videogrid, 2007
Moving On
Meirav Rahat
During the last few months Meirav Rahat has spent long hours working in the studio and wood workshop towards a joint exhibition showing both Yael Friedman's work and hers.
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Tal Amit
Ron Arad opens his lecture at Holon Fashion Week 2011 with a smile and a joke. Then he begins relating the story of his pq eyewear project, from the very first email.
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Design Lab - Smart Textiles
What happens when material is part of the design process itself? The process of creating fabric using a computerized industrial knitting machine will be visible to visitors at the
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