Philippa Mothersill

Object-Based Media
  • Research Assistant

Pip Mothersill is a PhD student in the Object-Based Media group at the MIT Media Lab, where she explores the language of design, particularly how objects can communicate information to us through their form. Through research that connects design theory, cognitive science, and linguistics, she investigates computational processes for the design of expressive objects and explores how the physical attributes of artefacts can become a more active medium for communication.  Over the past 4 years researching at the MIT Media Lab, Pip has combined her experience as a product designer with knowledge of computational design to create new creativity support tools (such as the EmotiveModeler) that allow a designer to more seamlessly embody their poetic expressions into the physical embodiments of forms through the digital medium. Her in-depth investigations (both academic and through case studies in industry) into how meaning is embodied in form and how computation plays a role in that process are working to build a 'digital language of design' that can be a foundational platform from which the 'AI design… View full description

Pip Mothersill is a PhD student in the Object-Based Media group at the MIT Media Lab, where she explores the language of design, particularly how objects can communicate information to us through their form. Through research that connects design theory, cognitive science, and linguistics, she investigates computational processes for the design of expressive objects and explores how the physical attributes of artefacts can become a more active medium for communication.  Over the past 4 years researching at the MIT Media Lab, Pip has combined her experience as a product designer with knowledge of computational design to create new creativity support tools (such as the EmotiveModeler) that allow a designer to more seamlessly embody their poetic expressions into the physical embodiments of forms through the digital medium. Her in-depth investigations (both academic and through case studies in industry) into how meaning is embodied in form and how computation plays a role in that process are working to build a 'digital language of design' that can be a foundational platform from which the 'AI designer' can emerge.

Before the Media Lab, Philippa worked for three years as a product designer for Procter&Gamble, where she led the upstream industrial design of new products by bringing together design research, marketing narrative, and functional technology to create the first aesthetically designed functional prototype in a product’s development cycle. She holds a MEng in Aeronautical Engineering and a joint MA/MSc degree in Industrial Design Engineering from the Royal College of Art and Imperial College, London.