Fruit graffiti gadgets and stress-sensing offices: a design engineering showcase

Embla co-creator Alfie Thompson explains the wearable office climate controller

Embla co-creator Alfie Thompson explains the wearable office climate controller

Imperial’s Dyson School of Design Engineering opened its doors to show off its best student projects.

From introverted bananas to blood pressure-lowering office mood machines: Caroline Brogan and Thomas Angus explored the offerings of the Dyson School Open House 2019 - an annual showcase of final-year student projects as part of Imperial’s Enterprise Month 2019 .

DESIRE award winners

The yearly Design Engineering Selected Innovation REward ( DESIRE ) award is presented to the group or groups with the most innovative design idea with real-world applications.

This year, two winners were announced at the Keynote speech during the Open House: Embla and Ro-Biotics .


By Alfie Thompson, Oli Thompson, Ric Zhang, William Pepera, and Melisa Mukovic.

Embla is a ‘smart office’ tool that reacts to physiological signals, or biometric data, to create soothing office environments.

Workers wear a bracelet that connects to climate controls. The bracelet monitors heart rate and blood pressure for signs of stress and adjusts temperature, lighting, and sound accordingly.


By Minal Choudhary, Sam Willis, Tom Woodburn, and Seung-Hui Huh.

Ro-Biotics are a potential alternative to antibiotics, to which bacteria are becoming increasingly resistant.

They are tiny injectable peptides - strings of amino acids - which seek out bacterial infections before initiating chemical reactions against them. The technology has shown success in mice and could eventually be used in humans to curb antimicrobial resistance.

Also on display

Lettuce Labs

Lettuce Labs are a vision of connected kitchens to address the tonnes of food wasted every year.

Connected to the internet of things, and equipped with personal assistant Chef, the kitchen tracks eating and buying habits. Using scales, it keeps track of how much of each ingredient is left in fridges and cupboards.

It uses the data to re-order food, connects the bin to a biogas plant, which recycles unavoidable food waste, and recommends recipes based on nutritional needs and availability of ingredients.

Just for fun

The Dyson School prides itself on encouraging student creativity - and had a section dedicated to creativity for creativity’s sake.

Banana nanator

Brighten your day with some fruity graffiti, courtesy of students at the Dyson School.

  • Banana nator

Colin the Cyclist

The louder you shout, the faster Colin cycles. Try to beat your high score.


A floating head equipped to follow sound, just like a real head.

Sharing the wonder

Part of Imperial Enterprise Month 2019, the Open House brought visitors face-to-face with leading and emerging design engineers and their installations and exhibitions of work. Organised entirely by students at the School, it included student-led talks and a keynote on sustainability from author Michiel Schwarz.

The School, founded with the support of the James Dyson Foundation , is now in its fourth year of full operation and its first cohort of undergraduates is due to graduate this summer. Photos and graphics subject to third party copyright used with permission or Imperial College London.

Caroline Brogan
Communications and Public Affairs

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