Davin Browner Conaty

PhD Work

Model Empirical Aesthetic: Bioinspired Sensory Attachment and Stiffness Controllable/Gradient Design for Collaborative Remote Robotics

My PhD research is investigating robotic solutions addressing human safety and access issues in a range of industrial operations. These include design-led studies and development of new technologies to enhance robot mobility, manipulation and attachment in unstructured environments. More specifically, I work on advancing methods for bioinspired sensory attachment and stiffness controllable/gradient design of robots and investigate potential applications of this technology in light of its material, informational, and social contexts. 


  • PhD


    School of Design


    Design Research–

  • MA Degree


    School of Design


    MA Service Design

  • My work concentrates on the development of emerging technologies such as robotics in light of their material, informational, and social contexts. 

    One major theme in my research is the development of scientific knowledge and capacity in design through theoretical and philosophical analysis of what science is and what its incorporation into design methodologies might achieve (if anything). This interest has led to work with the Hogenhout Lab for Crop Genetics at the John Innes Centre on the relationship between sound, insects, and plant development and disease; at Open Cell biolab on the development of slime mould as a living technology in clothing and robotics; and my current PhD research on remote manipulation technologies in robotics. 

    In addition to robotics and design I am interested in developing cross disciplinary objects of study in: philosophy of modelling and models, embodied and extended cognition, real virtuality and programmable matter, and empirical approaches to philosophy. 

  • Degrees

  • BA Philosophy, Trinity College Dublin
  • Experience

  • Design Researcher, Hogenhout Lab, John Innes Centre, Norfolk, 2017-2018.; Open Cell Resident 2018-2019 in collaboration with Filippo Sanzeni (Design Robotics) and Piero D'Angelo (Fashion)
  • Exhibitions

  • Biomaker Fayre, Cambridge School of Engineering, Cambridge, Nov 2017.
  • Conferences

  • Algorithmic Governance, Beirut Design Week Conference on Critical Theory, Sursock Museum, Beirut, May 2017.