The Design Dimension

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Episodes

SeriesEpisodeTitleFirst
Broadcast
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01Design And Desire20140204

Design is one of the most powerful forces in our lives. None of us can avoid its influence. It's a ubiquitous element of our world that determines how we feel, what we do and whether we succeed or fail. In this new four-part series, the architectural writer Shumi Bose explores its power to affect us, for better and worse.

In each episode of 'The Design Dimension' Shumi charts a different aspect of our relationship to design - desire, damage, choice and, finally, truth.

She begins by unpicking what we consider desirable - and undesirable - in design, taking in touch screens, innovative book design and the erotic symbolism of Ann Summers' corporate logo with its surprising similarity to that of Apple Inc.

Produced by Alan Hall and Hana Walker-Brown

A Falling Tree production for BBC Radio 4.

02Design And Damage20140211

Design is one of the most powerful forces in our lives. None of us can avoid its influence. It's a ubiquitous element of our world that determines how we feel, what we do and whether we succeed or fail. In this new four-part series, the architectural writer Shumi Bose explores its power to affect us, for better and worse.

In each episode of 'The Design Dimension' Shumi charts a different aspect of our relationship to design - desire, damage, choice and, finally, truth.

In this second episode, Shumi discovers how design can protect our cities, our homes and our bodies from the threat of damage. We hear from the first recipient of a bionic hand in the UK, along with its designer, and find out what qualities an architect and a burglar have in common and how this should affect how we build.

Produced by Alan Hall and Hana Walker-Brown

A Falling Tree production for BBC Radio 4.

03Design And Identity20140218

Design is one of the most powerful forces in our lives. None of us can avoid its influence. It's a ubiquitous element of our world that determines how we feel, what we do and whether we succeed or fail. In this new four-part series, the architectural writer Shumi Bose explores its power to affect us, for better and worse.

In each episode of 'The Design Dimension' Shumi charts a different aspect of our relationship to design - desire, damage, choice and, finally, truth.

This week, Shumi examines how we express our identity through design - from the mark we leave on our cities through to the indelible designs we place on our bodies. We hear stories of the tattoo designs of Russian gang members, the memory aids which are being used to help preserve the identity of dementia sufferers and Shumi's own experiences in the the city where she grew up - Calcutta.

Produced by Alan Hall and Hana Walker-Brown

A Falling Tree production for BBC Radio 4.

04 LASTDesign And Truth20140225

Architectural writer Shumi Bose examines where design meets life.

0201Know Your Place20141118

0201Know Your Place2014111820150413 (R4)

In the first of a new series, Tom Dyckhoff, writer about architecture, looks at the world we inhabit through the lens of design.

He examines how the design of the built environment can influence who we are and who we might become. He talks to an ex-offender about life inside Strangeways prison and finds echoes in the experiences of Lynsey Hanley, who's written about growing up on a large housing estate in the Midlands. Also, Tom taps into the little known use of 'parkour' (urban free-running) in the testing of high security facilities.

He draws on the research of criminologist Yvonne Jewkes about prison design and rehabilitation, visits an Oxford Street retailer with the neuro-scientist Tim Holmes and gauges the social and personal impact of privatising public space with the author Anna Minton.

Produced by Alan Hall and Hana Walker-Brown.

A Falling Tree production for BBC Radio 4.

0201Know Your Place20141118

In the first of a new series, Tom Dyckhoff, writer about architecture, looks at the world we inhabit through the lens of design.

He examines how the design of the built environment can influence who we are and who we might become. He talks to an ex-offender about life inside Strangeways prison and finds echoes in the experiences of Lynsey Hanley, who's written about growing up on a large housing estate in the Midlands. Also, Tom taps into the little known use of 'parkour' (urban free-running) in the testing of high security facilities.

He draws on the research of criminologist Yvonne Jewkes about prison design and rehabilitation, visits an Oxford Street retailer with the neuro-scientist Tim Holmes and gauges the social and personal impact of privatising public space with the author Anna Minton.

Produced by Alan Hall and Hana Walker-Brown.

A Falling Tree production for BBC Radio 4.

0202Designing Protest20141125

0202Designing Protest2014112520150414 (R4)

In the second of a new series, Tom Dyckhoff, writer about architecture, looks at the world we inhabit through the lens of design.

Through the experiences of an activist on the streets of Ferguson, Missouri, who made a gas mask from a 'how to' guide exhibited at the Victoria and Albert Museum, and the playfully provocative design of giant 'carbon bubbles' for a climate change march, Tom explores the history and the practice of design in protest.

Fashion writer Cally Blackman reflects on Victorian 'rational fashion' and political T-shirts in the era of Margaret Thatcher, to test Quentin Bell's declaration that the history of fashion is largely about protest.

And Catherine Flood, co-curator of Disobedient Objects, discusses with the comedian and political activist Mark Thomas how necessity can be the mother of inventive design for those engaged in movements for social change.

Produced by Alan Hall and Hana Walker-Brown

A Falling Tree production for BBC Radio 4.

0202Designing Protest20141125

In the second of a new series, Tom Dyckhoff, writer about architecture, looks at the world we inhabit through the lens of design.

Through the experiences of an activist on the streets of Ferguson, Missouri, who made a gas mask from a 'how to' guide exhibited at the Victoria and Albert Museum, and the playfully provocative design of giant 'carbon bubbles' for a climate change march, Tom explores the history and the practice of design in protest.

Fashion writer Cally Blackman reflects on Victorian 'rational fashion' and political T-shirts in the era of Margaret Thatcher, to test Quentin Bell's declaration that the history of fashion is largely about protest.

And Catherine Flood, the curator of Disobedient Objects, discusses with the comedian and political activist Mark Thomas how necessity can be the mother of inventive design for those engaged in movements for social change.

Produced by Alan Hall and Hana Walker-Brown

A Falling Tree production for BBC Radio 4.

0203Ageing Gracefully20141202

0203Ageing Gracefully2014120220150415 (R4)

Tom Dyckhoff, the writer about architecture, looks at the world we inhabit through the lens of design.

In today's episode, he talks to Sir Kenneth Grange about his ideas on designing furniture for older people, for whom the shiny surfaces and minimal comfort of much modernist design poses challenges.

He visits a retro-fitted 'Fifties home in Staffordshire and the site of the soon-to-be restored vintage-style amusement park, Dreamland in Margate, asking at what point a building, object or experience should become monumentalised.

And from Brooklyn, New York Tom hears about 'creative caring' and the need to 'respect age' for the objects in our lives, from participants in the Fixers' Collective.

Produced by Alan Hall and Hana Walker-Brown

A Falling Tree production for BBC Radio 4.

0203Ageing Gracefully20141202

Tom Dyckhoff, the writer about architecture, looks at the world we inhabit through the lens of design.

In today's episode, he talks to Sir Kenneth Grange about his ideas on designing furniture for older people, for whom the shiny surfaces and minimal comfort of much modernist design poses challenges.

He visits a retro-fitted 'Fifties home in Staffordshire and the site of the soon-to-be restored vintage-style amusement park, Dreamland in Margate, asking at what point a building, object or experience should become monumentalised.

And from Brooklyn, New York Tom hears about 'creative caring' and the need to 'respect age' for the objects in our lives, from participants in the Fixers' Collective.

Produced by Alan Hall and Hana Walker-Brown

A Falling Tree production for BBC Radio 4.

0204For Better or Worse20141209

0204For Better Or Worse2014120920150416 (R4)

Tom Dyckhoff considers the digital future of design. He examines Daan Roosegaarde's "Smart Highway" initiative- building interactive and sustainable roads- looks at an android phone-based diagnostic eye examination for use in remote locations, and talks to Dominic Wilcox about the integration of craft and computer technology in his driverless car.

Produced by Alan Hall and Hana Walker-Brown

A Falling Tree production for BBC Radio 4.

0204 LASTFor Better Or Worse20141209

Tom Dyckhoff considers the digital future of design. He examines an initiative to reduce response times in emergency situations by the use of 'drone ambulances', looks at a smart phone-based diagnostic eye examination for use in remote locations, and talks to Dominic Wilcox about the pros and cons of the driverless car.

Produced by Alan Hall and Hana Walker-Brown

A Falling Tree production for BBC Radio 4.

0301Playing 'God'20160405

In the first of a new series, Tom Dyckhoff looks at the doll and how we represent ourselves both individually and socially. He goes from the doll's ethnographic roots in stylised fertility to a future of personalised dolls - demonstrated as he has a life-like model created of himself through 3-D printing in a supermarket booth.

He questions gender and stereotypes, looking at the design features of successful dolls and meeting the voice of talking Barbie from the 1960s.

Not all dolls are for children, and Tom visits the workshop of a doll-maker who designs for adults with her re-born babies, also discovering how dolls can be used in education as well as therapeutically, with dementia patients in care homes.

Produced by Sara Parker

A Falling Tree production for BBC Radio 4.

0301Playing 'God'20160405

0302Money, Money, Money20160412

Tom Dyckhoff looks at the world we inhabit through the lens of design.

0302Money, Money, Money20160412

0303Death by Design20160419

Tom Dyckhoff examines the importance of design after death. He looks at the environmental considerations around the disposal of the body - including the work of British Columbia University's Death Lab.

With more than 75 per cent of the UK population being cremated, Tom takes a behind the scenes look at a crematorium which pipes its waste energy to heat a neighbouring Leisure Centre swimming pool - and takes a dip.

He also considers the option of a bespoke coffin designed in a range of replica shapes from musical instruments to cars, trains, planes and boats and hears from a woman who has already planned her green funeral in a coffin shaped like a pink satin ballet shoe.

Finally, Tom visits the most famous Victorian Cemetery of all at Highgate North London which numbers amongst its occupants celebrities, artists, musicians and philosophers including Karl Marx.

Produced by Sara Parker

A Falling Tree production for BBC Radio 4.

0303Death by Design20160419

0304Panic Button20160426

Tom Dyckhoff considers how we protect our personal space through design.

He asks whether increasingly sophisticated security makes us feel more fearful or more secure, looking at virtual systems which can let us see everything from who is at our front door using our smart phone to an alarm which alerts the police and neighbours to exactly what is happening if we are attacked. But at what cost?

Tom also looks at systems which monitor chronic illnesses, alerting health professionals if treatment is needed - and asks whether we really need the security of the Smart Home to keep us feeling safe when the mechanism of an 18th century lock invented by Joseph Bramah is still virtually unpickable.

Produced by Sara Parker

A Falling Tree production for BBC Radio 4.

0304Panic Button20160426