Scholarly biography and interests

Nick Gant is assistant head of the School of Art, Design and Media for Research, Economic and Social Engagement. He is co-founder of, co-director of the Inheritable Futures Laboratory (IF:Lab), sustainable design research group and an award winning industrial designer. He co-wrote the MA in Sustainable Design, lectures across a number of subject programmes and is a PHD supervisor. Nick has been a peer reviewer for the Arts and Humanities Research Council, The Leverhulme Trust and the Research Through Design Conference as well as Thames and Hudson and Lawrence King Publishers. He is external examiner at The Royal College of Art for MA Design Products. 

Nick has consulted for global branded organisations and developed applied research projects in collaboration with industrial, public and private sector partners, NGOs, charities and community groups. Alongside his academic and industrial work he also leads funded volunteer projects that explore and deliver community resilience.

His applied design research explores material media and digital systems, locality and community as means to facilitate social impact, sustainability and models for 'ecologies of scale'. 

Nick's research practice work has involved working with global organisations as diverse as Vivienne Westwood, Apple Corps, The Beatles, Dyson, Vodafone, ICI, Veolia, Philips, The V&A and Natural History and Science Museums, 100% Design, New Balance, PUMA, Fender Guitars, the NHS and the BBC and has promoted the work of NGOs and charities including Rural Community Council Network, Vision Aid Overseas, WWF, The Marine Conservation Society and The UK Milk Bank.

He has generated collaborative projects with funding from both public and private sectors including The Arts and Humanities Research Council, Department of Energy and Climate Change, Nominet Trust, The National Lottery, The Design Council and Crafts Council, Gulbenkian Foundation and Department for the Environment Farming and Rural Affairs and Intereg, REED PLC, Tesco, Interface, Lucite International, Media Ten and UBM.

Nick's work has been disseminated in international exhibitions, journals, conference papers, books, websites, blogs, radio and television broadcasts, newspapers and magazines including ICON, Blueprint, FRAME, The BBC, Design Week, New Design, Vogue, Elle, International Textiles, The Independent, The Times, The Guardian, The Sun, The Sunday Times, The Observer, The London Evening Standard, The Mail, Core 77, Design Boom, Deezeen, Treehugger and CNN with newspaper and web articles internationally in countries including Canada, USA, India, Pakistan, Israel, Ireland, Australia.

He has pioneered, applied, cross-disciplinary research projects that engage undergraduate, post-graduate and PHD students through collaborative learning experiences with different organisations, enabling community and industry participants and NGOs to help form pressing research questions. He is currently lead supervising the 'Envisioning the Future Community' collaborative doctoral award, which he co-wrote and which was awarded a full funding from the Arts and Humanities Research Council. 

Link to visual research and practice portfolio site

Examples of current projects include:

'Community21' (online network and planning tool for sustainable communities) in collaboration with The Rural Community Council, Action in Rural Sussex, which explores ICT impact on community resilience and peer-to-peer learning for community design, facilitated by a digital platform specifically designed for neighbourhood planning. 

'Sole Searching - shoes and stories of material culture'. Mediating complex issues of material ethics, science and sustainability to public and industry audiences through the formation and exploitation of embodied material narratives in 'waste' materials - in collaboration with Tanya Dean and a diverse group of materialists and makers. The project constructs and tests a lexicon of material meanings which facilitate sustainability and the elevation and use of the value of waste materials and promotes the work of NGOs and charities that promote engagement with issues of material culture. 

'Young Digital Citizenship' - Nominet Trust, Digital Edge funded project which researches how to support young peoples engagement in envisioning their future community under localism through the use of co-designed, accessible 'digi-tools'. 

'On Our Doorsteps - Local Design Activism'. Curated, interactive, exhibition and web-resource of designers and companies who are reengaging with contemporary interpretations of 'local' as a critical and creative context and methodology for more meaningful contributions to sustainability, society, the economy and well-being. 

Engaging Design  - 'engaging design as an active agent for change / exploring the role of design as a tool for engagement'

Nick Gant's current research explores the facilitation and mediation of sustainability (social, environmental and economic) via material (meanings, values, semiotics, technologies and cultures) and digital (networks, tools, communities, technologies and virtuality) explored via artefacts, products, spaces, systems and texts. His applied research focuses on engagement; the theory and practice of design as a means to engage communities (civic, industrial, third sector) in issues and solutions and productive models of co-development, empowerment and sustainability:


Currently 'Sole Searching' and 'Meaning Making', in collaboration with Tanya Dean explores how to strategically exploit the embodied material meanings and narratives inherent in 'waste' materials to expand the communicative vocabulary and consumer value of materials and products made from waste. The thesis being that this can elicit better consumer knowledge, raise awareness of critical issues and exemplar uses and the facilitate and promote consumer demand and the consumption of 'more sustainable' products. Simultaneously this work has lead to collaboration with, and promotion of, different NGOs, charities, organisations and industries connected to contemporary issues and opportunities of waste material culture. 

Current projects include use of breast milk to promote the NHS Milk Bank and World Breast Milk Donation Day, use of beach waste with the Marine Conservation Society, use of cork in promoting the WWF campaign and use of waste spectacles with Vision Aid Overseas and use of fats recovered from civic drainage systems or contaminated food packaging with Veolia and water authorities. 

My collaborative material research has long since explored how complex issues, messages, meanings and knowledge can be communicated through the design and use of materials strategically deployed within the creation of products, spaces and experiences. Projects such as the work with Lucite International TM that explored the ‘emotional value’ of materials (winner of Business Design Association award for design effectiveness 1999 with Elmwood) and ‘Marriage of Materials’ project with Perspex TM (winner of Crafts Council bursary 2002), that experimented with material language and using materials as arbiters. Along with the ‘Bright-space’ building with Spectar TM and Barlo TM (winner of best in show 100% Design 2004), which 're-branded' plastic as the unexpected 'alternate' facilitator of sustainability and the 'Product Life' explorations in collaboration with Jonathan Chapman in 2007. This body of work manifest in award winning products, exhibitions and spaces engages the potency and activating potential of materials in facilitating and mediating sustainable behaviour change.


Investigating digital technology as a mediator and facilitator of integrated sustainability in society and co-designing sustainable futures, is tested through the Community21 project (in association with The Rural Community Council network). This online toolkit and networking platform explores participatory innovation in uniting communities, service providers and governance in achieving resilient sustainability through co-design, inclusive and community led, neighbourhood planning. 

Current projects include a Nominet Trust funded 'Digital Edge' project exploring how to engage young people in sustainable community planning by using accessible technologies and app tools.

I use digital to also explore material (virtual materiality) and the internet as a platform to provide efficient and frictionless manufacturing and distribution channels for alternative, meaningful propositions to habitual consumer behaviors and 'materialistic' values. 'The Thought That Counts / Bitwrapped' is a gifting and gift-shop social enterprise model for digitally formed products that explores and evaluates 'virtual' and digital as 'valuable' alternatives in consumer contexts.

Community / Locality

These elements feature in most of my recent work, either through the exploration of collaborative design methods, provence and 'meaning making' in material and product design or social networking and communal action for sustainable development and planning. 'On Our Doorsteps - Local Design Activism' curates, maps and applies emerging methodologies that utilise community and locality to form more meaningful and sustainable products and services. Community21 exemplifies the role of design in facilitating community resilience and the decentralised sustainability for 'edge communities'. Both reconsider the role of collaborative design in facilitating social, economic and environmental development and well-being.

Featured works and projects

Nick Gant: Community 21 Website - illustration interface

Community 21 - Digi-tools and methods for Sustainable Communities

Community 21 is a joint strategic, ‘action research’ initiative between University of Brighton and The Rural Community Council, Action in Rural Sussex

Nick Gant: Marriage of Materials

Marriage of Materials

A collaborative design workshop, product range, exhibition and conference paper by Nick Gant's BoBo Design Ltd

Nick Gant: Bright-space


Bright-Space Origami Geodesic Building Product

Nick Gant: Image from designers

100% Sustainable? 2006

An annual event which uses a cyclical research gathering, dissemination and creative response methodology to question approaches to sustainable design

Nick Gant: Designers, Visionaries & Other Stories cover

Designers, Visionaries & Other Stories - book

Chapman, J. & Gant, N. (Eds), Designers, Visionaries & Other Stories: A Collection of Sustainable Design Essays, Earthscan, London, 2007

Co-designed 'visions'

Future Village

Engaging community members to collaboratively create recognisable and identifiable ‘visions’ for the future of their neighbourhood

industry audience

Meaning Making

Industrial engagement, data gathering exhibition and lecture at the PUMA headquarters, exploring 'meaningful materials'

On Our Doorsteps - Local Design Activism

Fostering contemporary design’s re-engagement with ‘local’ as a means to forge meaningful contributions to society, the economy and the environment

Photo of the Waste Zone stand at EcoBuild 2013

Waste Zone (at Ecobuild)

A hub for discussion and debate about waste solutions and opportunities

Product Life Workshop

Product Life Workshop

Product Life Workshop at University of Brighton, College of Arts and Humanities

Nick Gant: Image from designers

100% Sustainable? 2007

100% Sustainable? 2007 at University of Brighton, College of Arts and Humanities

Nick Gant: 100% Sustainable?

100% Sustainable? 2008

100% Sustainable? 2008 at University of Brighton, College of Arts and Humanities

Nick Gant: Marriage of Materials

Prismex Tables

Prismex lighting and Skinned-Prismex writing table at University of Brighton, College of Arts and Humanities

Related news items

Faculty designers produce tiny mementoes

Nick Gant and Tanya Dean create unique pair of baby booties to mark World Breast Milk Donation Day.

16 May 2013

Community voice for young people of Sussex

Significant funding achieved for online community building project.

05 Feb 2013

100% Sustainable Design

100% Sustainable?: Mapping perceptions of Sustainable Design

Nick Gant and Jonathan Chapman launch their first joint project at '100% Design', London

19 Sep 2006

Research Activity

Repository holdings 

Number of items: 22.

Davies, Ceri, Gant, Nicholas, Hart, Angela, Millican, Juliet, Wolff, David, Prosser, Bethan and Laing, Stuart (2016) Exploring engaged spaces in community-university partnership Metropolitan Universities: An International Forum, 27 (3). pp. 6-26. ISSN 1047-8485

Gant, Nicholas (2016) Reminiscing the future village Cubbitt, London.

Gant, Nicholas (2015) Place-Making-Space: a workshop of tools and methods for ‘crafting communities’ and ‘making places’ in the post-global / post-localism era In: Making Futures Conference, Mount Edgcumbe House, Plymouth, 24-25 September 2015.

Gant, Nicholas (2015) ‘Digi-tool’ archiving of the future community In: Parachive, Stage @ Leeds, 2015.

Gant, Nicholas, Duggan, Kelly, Dean, Tanya and Barnes, Josh (2015) Encouraging ‘young digital citizenship’ through co-designed, hybrid digi-tools In: Proceedings of the 2nd Biennial Research Through Design Conference, RTD 2015, Microsoft Research HQ, Cambridge, UK, 25-27 March 2015.

Gant, Nicholas and Duggan, Kelly (2015) Crossing divides: co‐designing ‘tech‐tools’ for enabling intergenerational exchange and youth engagement in neighbourhood planning In: 4th International Conference on the Geographies of Children, Youth and Families Young People, Borders & Wellbeing, San Diego State University, 12-15 January, 2015.

Gant, Nicholas, Balnave, Jean and Adeyeye, Oluwakemi (2014) ‘Greening the Green' - community water in the age of localism In: Adeyeye, K., ed. Water efficiency in buildings: theory and practice. Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford, UK, pp. 273-284. ISBN 9781118456576

Dean, Tanya and Gant, Nicholas (2013) Breast milk booties: an investigation into 'waste' materials and the re-evaluation of meaning through the use of the communicative cultural archetype of shoes [Artefact]

Gant, Nicholas (2013) Waste Zone Ecobuild 2013, Excel, London, 05/03/2013-07/03/2013, London.

Dean, Tanya and Gant, Nicholas (2013) Sole Searching [Artefact]

Dean, Tanya and Gant, Nicholas (2012) Meaning Making [Exhibition]

Gant, Nicholas (2012) On Our Doorsteps: Local Design Activism [Exhibition]

Gant, Nicholas and Ganderton, Zoe (2011) Envisioning the future village In: Future Village.

Dean, Tanya and Gant, Nicholas (2011) Flip-flopsam and jetsam: a study examining the agency, values and narratives embodied in materials and artefacts [Artefact]

Gant, Nicholas and Gittins, Teresa (2011) Community 21: social networking and neighbourhood planning toolbox for sustainable communities Action in rural Sussex (AirS); University of Brighton, UK.

Gant, Nicholas and Gittins, Teresa (2010) Toolbox for the 21st Century Village designing an engagement tool for sustainable communities Gateways: International Journal of Community Research and Engagement, 3. pp. 155-170. ISSN 1836-3393

Chapman, Jonathan and Gant, Nicholas (2008) 100% Sustainable? Research gathering exhibition, seminar and masterclass (2006, 2007 and 2008) Reed Expo, London, UK.

Chapman, Jonathan and Gant, Nicholas (2007) 100% Sustainable? New Design (Issue 54). pp. 34-39. ISSN 14722674

Chapman, Jonathan and Gant, Nicholas (2007) Designers, Visionaries + Other Stories: A Collection of Sustainable Design Essays Earthscan, London, UK. ISBN 9781844074129

Chapman, Jonathan and Gant, Nicholas (2007) Designers, Visionaries and Other Stories: A Collection of Sustainable Design Essays [Edited Collections]

Gant, Nicholas (2006) Marriage of Materials 100 % Design Earls Court Exhibition Centre, London, UK, LONDON, UK.

Gant, Nicholas (2004) Bright Space 100% Design Exhibition, London, London.

This list was generated on Tue Oct 9 07:50:08 2018 BST.

Extended list of professional and research work 


  • Gant, N. Duggan, K. 'Crossing Divides' co-designing ‘tech-tools’ for enabling intergenerational exchange and youth engagement in neighbourhood planning. 4th International Conference on the Geographies of Children, Youth and Families, San-Diego, USA.
  • Heritage Lottery Award for 'Rewilding' in collaboration with Wild Business and Rewilding Sussex and University of Oxford and Sussex Lecturer Chris Sandom. Exploring the development of co-designed products for engaging the public in local natural histories and diversity.
  • AHRC Connected Communities Festival award, Co-I on Designing resilience in collaboration with Angie Hart developing co-design 'digi-tools' for training trainers and vulnerable young people in the Resilience Framework
  • Making Maps workshop at Visual Methods Conference 2015. In collaboration with Wendy Brawer (Green Maps) and Maeve Lydon (UVIC). Exploring the emergent practice of open, 'wiki' maps and 'digi-tools' for community engagement, sustainable development and resilience.
  • Workshop convener 'Place-Maker-Space' tools and methods for ‘crafting communities’ and ‘making places’ in the post-global / post-localism era. Making Futures Conference, UK
  • Invited participant, Arts and Humanities Research Council 'Protopubllcs' / Social Design workshop, Lancaster UK.
  • Gant, N. 'Reminiscing Future Village' chapter in the Public Wisdom Publication, with contributions from Richard Sennett, Nick Tyler and Lynne Segal. Cubbitt 2015.
  • Gant, N. ‘Digi-tool’ archiving of the future community. Arts and Humanities Research Council, Connected Communities - Pararchive Conference, Leeds, UK 
  • Gant, N. Duggan, K. Dean, T. Barnes, J. Encouraging ‘young digital citizenship’ through co-designed, hybrid digi-tools. Research Through Design Conference, Microsoft HQ, UK.
  • Workshop Chair - 'Multiple Voices in Design' / Research Through Design Conference
  • Gant, N. Community21 – ‘Digi-tools’ for the co-design of communities. Design, Social Media and Technology to Foster Civic Self-Organisation, Hasselt, Belgium
  • 'Designing Resilience' co-design workshop - University of Brighton. 


  • Authored book chapter; Gant, N. Balneve, J. Adeyeye,K. 'Greening the Green - Community Water Sustainability in the Era of Localism - Whiley Press 2014. 
  • Lydon, M. & Gant, N. & Keller, P. & Cronin, N.,'Co-Creating and Designing Culture and Sustainability: Innovations in Community Mapping from Europe, Canada and Indigenous Peoples', 6th Living Knowledge Conference, Copenhagen, Denmark.
  • Widening participation workshop using the ubiquitous gaming platform Minecraft to engage young people in building a virtual vision of their neighbourhood as part of Young Digital Citizenship project.
  • Launch of 'digi-tools' toolbox for engaging young people in neighbourhood planning on (toolbox) 
  • Lead a community 'digi-tools' workshop with academics and community members, National University of Ireland
  • Leading the 'Matters' project with UG and PG students and staff in collaboration with Veolia (Europe's largest waste / resource management company) developing new material innovations from specific waste streams and design interventions to change behavioural issues that contribute to waste.


  • Workshop presentation 'Visualising Engagement and Sustainability' at Engage Conference, Bristol. 
  • Seminar paper Gant, N. 'Community21 case study', ESRC Seminar Series: Digital Policy: Connectivity, Creativity and Rights
  • Peer reviewed paper Gant, N. and Dean, T. 'Making Meaning', Making Futures Conference, Plymouth, UK. 
  • Peer reviewed paper Gant,N. and Dean, T. 'Mediating Material Narratives for Meaningful Products', Poetics and Praxis - Research Through Design Conference, Newcastle.
  • Exhibition of Sole Searching Shoes (Breast Milk Booties, Businessman's Brogues and Flip-flopsam and Jetsam) at Baltic Centre Newcastle. 
  • Launched 'Breast Milk Booties' in collaboration with Tanya Dean by invitation of the NHS Imperial Trust and The UK Milk Bank to promote World, Breast Milk Donor Day. 
  • Presentation, 'Bin-it - Designed Interactions for Behaviour Change' at the Brighton Eco-technology Show.
  • Presented symposium paper; Gant, N. Duggan, K. 'Communities as the Designers and Visionaries of Their Neighbourhoods Under Localism' at the International Communities in the Digital Age Symposium, Christchurch University. 
  • Co-devised and delivered the 'Waste zone' and seminar series with colleague Duncan Baker-Brown at Eco-Build, the world's largest design and build exhibition. A range of academic and industry speakers delivered solution focused debates and programmes to industry professionals relating to material sustainability, security, circular economy and waste resources. This included the industry premier of Jeremy Iron's film 'Trashed'.
  • 'Digital Citizenship' project funded by the Nominet Trust in collaboration with Action in Rural Sussex. Co-designing a toolkit of 'apps' with young people to empower their participation in neighbourhood development under new 'Localism' legislation. 
  • Co-investigator on Building Research and Innovation Deals for the Green Economy (BRIDGE), Intereg funded project.
  • Brighton Science Festival interactive exhibition
  • The True Value of Materials - University of Brighton Gallery.


  • 'Meaning Making' feature article / report by global trend forecasters WGSN published to their 78,000 industry subscribers worldwide which includes fashion industry (ranging from Arcadia group to Prada), automotive, surface design, interiors, technology, visual merchandising and product design - clients include Apple, Nike and Samsung.
  • Devised and curated 'On Our Doorsteps - Local Design Activism' exhibition, presented at 100% Design / London Design Festival as part of the Eco Design Zone and sponsored by the shows owners Media Ten. The exhibition features a curated collection of multi-disciplinary creative work that re-imagines and utilises 'local' as a methodological basis. Exhibits included new works from leading designers such as Max Lamb and Dominic Wilcox and product launches from international brands such as New Balance. The show was accompanied by a seminar debate session engaging industrial design communities with the notion of localism as a means to resilience and sustainability (social,economic and environmental). The exhibit featured in numerous press features and articles including ICON and Core77. 
  • Devised and chaired the sustainable design industry seminar debate sessions for the UK's largest design show 100% Design at the London Design Festival between leading design industry representatives and academics. Event 1; 'Sustainable Materials and Meanings' debated the adoption of sustainable materials in the design industry and the use of materials for communicating both creative and corporate, ethical and ecological philosophies. Event 2; 'Local Design Activism' discussed the reemergence of locality as a methodological basis for creative activism and impact and social, economic and environmental development against current contextual pressures and alongside 'localism' legislation.
  • Department of Energy and Climate Change LEAF funded project to deliver envisioning exercises with two communities undertaking energy projects that communicate possible built environment changes for local resilience to public constituencies.
  • Conference paper Gant, N., 'Enabling communities as the new planners and architects of their neighbourhoods' at the UK and Ireland Neighbourhood Planning Conference. 
  • Paper presentation at the Green Architecture Day - 'localism and green building, the antidote to nimby-ism'.


  • 'Future Village' - envisioning workshop, co-designing the 'neighbourhood plan' for Heathfield in 2061 / 50 years ahead. Funded by Gulbenkian Foundation in collaboration with Action in Rural Sussex.
  • Presentation by Invitation of Community21 and Future Village project at the Rural Commission. 
  • 'Community 21' - Neighbourhood planning and network tool, pilot goes live in communities across East, West Sussex and Kent
  • 'Sole Searching' - FRSF funding for user engagement and material methodology development research - first products completed
  • 'Den Building' - lottery funded, social engagement pilot completed
  • 'Community 21' - presented at regional 'Localism Forum' for Association of Local Councils, National Fieldworkers Conference for Action in Communities in Rural England and at The east and West Sussex County Research Networks
  • Production of 'Flip-Flotsam and Jetsam' shoes constructed onsite from plastic beach waste collected by volunteers and the Oceanic Conservation Society, rewarding collectors with a practical pair of beach shoes, embedded with local significance, value and enduring meaning, whilst helping protect the environment and raise awareness of issues of marine conservation and waste with Tanya Dean. 
  • Silcon and carbon / coal slag hybrid material formation post engagement with Cutacre Colliery in Greater Manchester. The material is stable and mouldable and will be applied to products as a waste stream resource with cultural significance with Tanya Dean. 


  • 'Community21' (Toolbox for 21st Century Community) - pilot web application, in communities across South East England. Paper for Gateways, International Journal of Community Engagement Research, Presentation at AIRS conference, to Minster of Environment and Climate Change (Charles Hendry), International Conference 'Making the Invisible Visible'
  • 'Den Building' - Piloting and field testing in communities in South East England. lottery funded
  • 'Sole Searching' - Undertaking preliminary trials, user testing, material production and project funding applications
  • (The Thought That Counts) - building social enterprise and retail portal


  • 'The Thought That Counts' - seminar and creative workshop attended by leading creative professionals and researchers including Lin Cheung, Alex Rich, Martin Anderson, Jurg Lenny, Barnaby Barford, William Warren and Freddie Yauner
  • 'Toolbox for 21st Century Community' - seminar and workshop
  • 'Toolbox for 21st Century Community' - project presentation, South East Rural Community Council Conference
  • Task Green Ltd - Industrial recycled material and product application development and consultancy


  • 'Redesigning Design' Keynote speaker, lecture series to industry professionals, 100% Design,London
  • '100% 'Sustainable?' Event (seminar and research gathering exhibition) entitled "Models of Sustainable Design" - London
  • 'Toolbox for 21st Century Community' Project Presentation - Community and University Partnership Programme Conference


  • '100% Sustainable?' Event (research gathering exhibition and masterclass) entitled 'Approaches' - London
  • 'Product Life' - creative workshop and prototype creation
  • '100% Sustainable?' Seminar - with presentations from Dr Kate Fletcher, Bill Dunster (Zed Factory), Tejo Remy, Spout Design, Frog Design and Jason Bruges.
  • Co Edited Book; Gant,N.& Chapman,J.,Designers Visionaries and Other Stories (Earthscan 2007) 
  • - commercial lost property re-unification project receiving venture capitol funding. 


  • '100% Sustainable?' - research gathering exhibition and seminar event, entitled 'Perceptions of Sustainable Design' - Earls Court, London Design Festival. 
  • Co-directed '100% Sustainable?' - seminar with presentations from world leading proponents of sustainable theory and practice including Prof Ezio Manzini, Alistair Fuad Luke, Edwin Ddatschefski and Prof John Wood.


  • 'GreenHouse' - major Lottery grant funded, project to re-imagine the 'charity shop' winning the National Charity Associations national design award. Conversion of former bus depot into community recycling, reuse and resale centre. 
  • Plastics Design the Unlikely Pioneer of Sustainable Product Relationships- paper presentation at the International Plastics Design Conference - Berlin


  • Dfutures/Design Council funded seminar event 
  • '50 years of the Stratocaster' - exhibition proposal consultancy commission work for Fender Guitars and the International Guitar Club
  • 'Bright-space' - geodesic, monocoque building development presenting a low impact plastic building, sponsored by Eastman as an exemplar use of cold form Spectar TM material. Chosen as best in show by Habitat, Living Etc. Commercial application interest from Habitat, NHS, National Trust and Droog.


  • 'Apple Trees' - major exhibition proposal, exhibit and product design and development commissioned by The Beatles, Apple Corps for exhibition showing the 'fab four's' personal photography collections. Development of a transparent material topiary garden of interactive trees, representing each of the Beatle's albums and containing their associated photographic records and communicating the 'transparency' of an unprecedented personal exhibition. 


  • International Composites Design - Publication of chapter in the accompanying book for the International Composites Design Competition
  • 'Marriage of Materials' - collaborative design research workshop and exhibition using leading material practitioners to explore a new lexicon of meaningful material combinations and hybrid languages funded by Lucite International, Perspex, REED PLC and The Crafts Council.


  • 'Perspex Frost' - industrial material research and consultancy and product launches
  • 'Lucite Futures' - Commissioned industrial research paper and proposal for Lucite TM.


  • Bright-space exhibition commissioned by ICI, Perspex to communicate and launch innovative applications of new thermo-formable material to the design industry. Featured as best of London Design Festival by in International Frame magazine, features in Architects Journal, Design Week and Blueprint, book 'Plastics - Materials for Inspirational Design' (Lefteri 2001). 


  • Commissioned to develop major Installation at V&A Museum central atrium, gallery and garden for London Design Festival Millennium year celebrations - attended by 500 dignitaries from creative industry. Utilising new 'super efficient' lit materials
  • Commissioned research and development project and launch of major new efficient material innovation, Prismex TM for ICI. Developed new material attributes and applications leading to corporate launch at 100% Design, London. Material selected as Millennium product by DTI, Government selection committee. 



  • Wastezone - Ecobuild, Excel, London 
  • Poetics and Praxis - Baltic Centre, Newcastle.
  • Brighton Science Festival 
  • The True Value of Materials - University of Brighton Gallery.


  • On Our Doorsteps - Local Design Activism, 100% Design, London Design Festival 
  • 'Meaning Making Exhibition' PUMA HQ, Heals Building, London
  • 'On Our Doorsteps' Pilot, Brighton Eco-Fair


  • '100% Sustainable?,' 100% Design, London


  • '100% Sustainable?,' 100% Design, London


  • '100% Sustainable?,' 100% Design, London


  • 'Euroshop,' Dusseldorf, Germany 


  • 'Brilliant,' V&A Museum, London, England
  • '100% Design,' London 
  • 'Visual Communications,' Milan
  • 'Visual Communications,' Paris 


  • '100% Design,' London
  • 'Any Colour You Like,' Building Centre, London, England


  • '100% Design,' London, England
  • 'Fespa,' Madrid, Spain
  • 'Euroshop,' Dusseldorf, Germany


  • 'Homo Habitat,' Rome, Italy
  • '100% Design,' London, England
  • ‘Synthetic’ Pure Gallery, Old St, London, England

Impact, influence and esteem


  • Appointed as External Examiner, Royal College of Art, Design Products
  • Peer Reviewer for International Making Futures Conference 2015
  • Outputs of Community21 'Young Digital Citizenship' presented to Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg.
  • Peer reviewer for Research Through Design Conference
  • Workshop Chair - 'Multiple Voices in Design' / Research Through Design Conference
  • Invited participant, Arts and Humanities Research Council 'Protopubllcs' / Social Design workshop, Lancaster UK.


  • Judge for The Countryside Awards for the Campaign for the Protection of Rural England assessing projects, initiatives and developments which demonstrate innovative design, contributions to community, education and use of materials and renewable energy. 
  • Peer reviewer Leverhulme Trust 


  • Victoria & Albert Museum, London (January 2013) 'Design Culture Salon'; invited as speaker / participant in public debate around the role of making within contemporary culture. 
  • Received press coverage in over 50 media releases worldwide for 'Breast Milk Booties' campaign for International, Breast Milk Donor-ship Day, with NHS Milk Bank and Milk Bank UK. Features in Mail Online, BBC TV, BBC Radio, blog and website feature coverage including Ireland, USA, Israel, Pakistan, Germany, India.  
  • Invited to present Community21 to West Sussex Climate Change Board. 
  • Invited speaker to Brighton Eco-technology show. 
  • Featured in 'Engage by Design' series of videos relating to sustainable design.
  • Peer reviewer for Lawrence King Publishing
  • Peer reviewer for Thames & Hudson Publishing

"Nick Gant sees himself as a material activist. His mission is to develop an idea as making as a way of constructing narratives. How you interact with materials, what you turn them into, the networks of others you engage in, the direction you take value in through objects all add up to an ideological process. Nick spoke passionately about the need to re-activate an enquiring approach to materiality. Of course, anyone who has read Bernard Leach’s writing may find a measure of similarity. However, arguably, Leach expressed his material politics in a semi-mystical way by talking of ‘returning to the clay’ as a return to the self. Nick’s drive is more progressive, I think. He is interested in making as a way of extending knowledge and understanding, of exploring the realms of the possible." (Guy Julier - Professor of Design and Culture, V&A Museum writing about the Design Salon series). 


  • Awarded £98,000 Grant from Nominet 'Digital Edge' programme for Community21 to research use of accessible technology to empower young people as co-designers of their neighbourhoods under 'localism' legislation - in collaboration with Action in Rural Sussex. 
  • Feature articles for On Our Doorsteps in ICON Magazine and websites Core 77, Hidden Art and Scuola Italiana Design and coverage in Design Week.
  • Devised and chaired the sustainable design industry seminar debate sessions for the UK's largest design show 100% Design at the London Design Festival between leading design industry representatives and academics. 
  • Invited keynote speaker at The Sussex Resilience and Emergency Planning Conference. 
  • Featured in 'Puma Sustainable Design Collective' video documentary for PUMA, broadcast internationally to apparel designers of leading brands.
  • Awarded major sponsorship by Media Ten for 'On Our Doorsteps' project as a central feature exhibition at Earls Court for 100% Design as part of the London Design Festival. 
  • Awarded fully funded Arts and Humanities Research Council, Collaborative Doctoral Award in collaboration with Action in Rural Sussex, for project 'Envisioning The Future Village'. 
  • Article created by global trend forecasting company WGSN about Gant and Dean's 'Sole Searching' waste materials project, with 78,000 corporate subscribers globally from worlds leading consumer brands.
  • Invited to PUMA HQ to present 'Meaning Making' lecture and data gathering exhibition to leading sportswear, lifestyle and apparel designers as part of the PUMA Sustainable Design Collective, hosted by Jonathan Chapman. 
  • Demonstrated Community21 neighbourhood planning platform for sustainable communities to Under Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government Bob Neill and Chair of the National Association of Local Councils at the National Association of Local Councils Conference 2012.
  • Guest juror for PUMA Sustainable Design Challenge 2012. 
  • Invited guest speaker and expert panelist, as founder of Community21, at the Waterwise Conference theme of which was 'Engaging Water Users'. Speakers included Minister for Water Richard Benyon and Sir John Beddington, Chief Scientific Advisor to the Government and fellow panelists included Ian Barker, Head of Water, Land and Biodiversity at the Environment Agency and Donna McKitterick, Head of Strategy at Global Action Plan. 
  • Awarded Local Energy Assessment Funding via Department of Energy and Climate Change for community energy project and use of Community21 to deliver web portal and public communications.
  • Undertook a Department of Energy and Climate Change funded project to 'visualise' and communicate a community energy production project for Lewes Town, OVESCO project.
  • Invited speaker at the Brighton Eco-Technology Fair.
  • Invited to Gulbenkian Foundation and British Council 'Foresight' workshop as an expert participant, presenting experiences of 'Future Village' and 'Den Building' to members of the Transatlantic 2020 Network and The Clore Social Fellows 2012.


"Gant and Dean present an impressive train of thought that is a positive contribution to the future of sustainability" (Start-up Fashion).

"On Our Doorsteps stand, was a perceptive installation by the University of Brighton showcasing projects by designers working as local activitists, either by making new products from materials scavenged off nearby streets or creating schemes to galvanise communities" (Rosy Greenlees, Executive Director of The Crafts Council writing in The Huffington Post).


  • Community 21 - presented at Broadband summit organised and chaired by RtHon Nick Herbert, Minister for Policing, with presentations and contributions from Secretary of State, Jeremy Hunt and CEO's from BT and Cable and Wireless.
  • Awarded Faculty Research funding award for 'Sole Searching'
  • Invited to present Community21 and the Future Village project at The Rural Commission 
  • Invited speaker to National Rural Community Council Network Fieldworkers Conference 
  • Invited 'strategic partner' member of National Water Efficiency in Buildings Network
  • Invited speaker at East and West Sussex Research Network of service providers (Councils, Policing and Health Provision) 
  • Received Gulbenkian Foundation funding for Future Village in association with Action in Rural Sussex
  • Private presentation to with Neil Smith, senior civil servant in Office of Civil Society


  • Awarded Lottery funding for Den Building social engagement and co-design project
  • Private presentation of Community21 to Charles Hendry, Minister for Environment and Climate Change. 


  • Appointed to Arts and Humanities Peer Review College 
  • Awarded Business Fellowship to support ongoing research, economic and social engagement projects
  • Awarded Capitol Activation Funding for The Thought That Counts Project
  • Awarded Faculty Research Funding for The Thought That Counts Project
  • Awarded School research remission


  • Treehugger feature article
  • House of Lords Science and Technology Commitee I: Enquiry into Waste, Evidence Paper; p222 Chapman.j.a
  • Awarded sponsorship and major commercial funding from REED PLC for 100% Sustainable exhibit and masterclass
  • Invited keynote 'Redesigning Design' at 100% Design Industry seminar series. 
"Definitions of sustainability are continuously debated by those in all areas of the industry to create a greener future; with the IF:Laboratory Nick Gant and Jonathan Chapman have embraced the debate and stoked the fire by asking what is 100% Sustainable? We were impressed how the IF:Lab created a stand out stand with a strong interactive element in the name of action research. The images were distinctive, thought provoking and gave an interesting insight into people’s perceptions of sustainability."



  • Awarded funding from Centre of Excellence in Teaching and Learning Through Design for 'product life Workshop'. 
  • Design Week feature, 18th September
  • Article; 100% Sustainable? Gant.n.a, Chapman.j.a, New Design issue 54. 
  • FX, feature September
  • TreeHugger feature article

"Architects and Designers are ahead of the curve when it comes to environmental and sustainable awareness, but education and information resources remain a key barrier to the de facto adoption of sustainable product design. 100% Sustainable? was designed and implemented by designers for designers. It spoke to designers in a voice they could understand and relate to, so demonstrating that sustainable design is both achievable and now the only option."
(Peter Massey, Director of '100% Design exhibition')



  • Major industry sponsorship for the development of the ‘100% Sustainable?’ project by REED PLC and Knowledge Exchange 


  • Invited to Buckingham Palace to ‘A Reception for British Design’ hosted by Her Majesty The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh, to celebrate and ‘acknowledge the importance of Design to the economy and the life of the nation’
  • Awarded the National Association of Charity Retailers National Design Award for the design of ‘The GreenHouse‘ sustainability, retail and education social enterprise project
  • Invited by International Guitar Club on Behalf of Fender Guitars to design proposal for 50 years of the iconic Stratocaster Guitar. 
  • Awarded lottery funded income for GreenHouse project  
  • Bright-space feature in Habitat Catalogue, Spring/Summer
  • Glo-nuts and Prismex table products feature in 'Brilliant' Book, Jane Pavitt, V&A
  • Blueprint feature
  • Materials for Inspirational Design – Plastics 2 (Book), Chris Leftrei, Rotovision

"Paper Thin Buildings - Flat-pack usually implies packaging and furniture made from rigid cardboard, wood or similarly inflexible materials. The structures designed by Nick Gant challenge this notion; they are produced from an ultra-thin lightweight PETG. Using a folded plastic sheet that is extremely thin (0.75mm), these incredible geodesic structures are rigid and self-supporting. The beauty of this design lies in the use of such a thin sheet on such a large scale without the need for an internal framework to support the sheets. Using thje principle of origami, which uses the inherent strength of fold to make three-dimensional structures the design explores the application of plastic in a new context. Another aspect that makes this project unique is that it eliminates the need to include glass in order to obtain total transparency in a building."
('Plastics – Materials for Inspirational Design' Book, Chris Lefteri, Rotavision 2006).



  • Awarded sponsorship for the development of the Bright-space geodesic building project by Eastman, Plastics Plus and Spectar TM
  • Awarded sponsorship for the development of the Bright-space geodesic building project by Eastman, Plastics Plus and Spectar TM
  • Consultancy to The Beatles to design major exhibition to present the 'Fab Fours' personal photographic collection and a representation of each recorded album in transparent materials 
  • Awarded funding from Design Council for 'DFutures' sustainability seminar and workshop  
  • Gioai feature, Autumn
  • Elle Interior Design (Europe), November
  • European Plastics News, Autumn
  • Journal of Landscape Institute, November
  • Materials for Inspirational Design – Plastics (Book), Chris Leftrei, Rotovision


  • Judge International Composites Design Competition, with Ross Lovegrove and Gijs Bakker of Droog
  • Winner of the Crafts Council Bursary and major sponsorship by Perspex TM for Marriage of Materials project
  • BoBo Frosted Glonut selected as the icon product to represent the 100% Design show and Independent Newspapers ‘Top 50’ lighting products
  • Ongoing Consultancy to Ineos and Lucite International 
  • New Design magazine feature article, October
  • Ottagano feature (Italy), September
  • Frankfurter Allgemeine, Germany
  • IDFX feature, June
  • World of Interiors feature, February
  • Frame feature
  • Design week feature, September

"Nick Gant and Tanya Dean are masters of material manipulation. Having already received international acclaim for their progressive work with Perspex acrylic. They have teamed up with a group of multidisciplinary craft-based creatives in a bid to push the boundaries of materials practice even further. The juxstapostion of old and new is perhaps best seen in best effect in the convertible Skinned Prismex table designed by Gant and Dean. Combining the use of Perspex with a variety of traditional and contemporary materials and techniques has resulted in a selection of fascinating designs."
(Design Week, 19 September 2002)



  • Moebel Interior Design, (Holland) December
  • Intramuros, (France) December
  • The Independent, October
  • The Guardian newspaper, Space supplement and Magazine
  • Architectural Review
  • International Textiles


  • Selected as best of show '100% Design 2000' by International Frame magazine
  • Selected by the British European Design Group and the DTI to represent the British Contemporary Design Movement on the International Exhibition Circuit
  • Ongoing Consultancy to Ineos 


  • Designed features on the Lucite TM exhibition design for ISH; Winner of the Design Business Association Award for Design Effectiveness in association with Elmwood Design. Sponsored by BT and Design Week
  • Major sponsorship from ICI for the V&A, Design Festival BoBo Installation
  • Ongoing consultancy to ICI 


  • Finalist Blueprint Design Awards for the Airwave Table – selected by Verner Panton
  • Provided consultancy and creative work for The Beatles, Apple, The BBC, Science Museum, Natural History Museum, The V&A Museum, ICI, Ineos, Lucite International, Fender Guitars, Vivienne Westwood, Absolut Vodka, Vodaphone


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