Mr Roy Tam

Mr Roy Tam

Associate Lecturer

School of Art, Design and Architecture (Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Business)

Mr Roy Tam can be contacted through arrangement with our Press Office, to speak to the media on these areas of expertise.
  • Design
  • Sustainable design
  • Product design
  • Furniture design
  • Wood
  • Steam bending


Roy is an Associate Head of the School of Art, Design & Architecture (Recruitment & Admissions), Admissions Tutor and Lecturer on BA Product & Furniture Design. He is a multidisciplinary lecturer embracing Designer Makers and Product Design (Design for Industry). He has a background in design, engineering and electronics and his focus is in Enterprise, Business and Sustainability.

He started the 3D Design PopUp Shop and regularly runs Live projects with major manufacturers including Herman Miller and Benchmark, and designer makers like Sebastian and Brogan Cox. He also coordinates student entires into design competitions with notable successes in the RSA, New Designers Awards and Young Furniture Makers.

Roy helps to embed employability within design modules, and coordinates activities that adds to students' employability experience, such as competitions, showing at key exhibitions, getting work experience and dry running interview techniques. Graduates are networked through our LinkedIn Alumni group. He was nominated for a SSTAR Awards for Excellence in Championing Career Development.

Roy was a KTP supervisor, and explored new ways of Work Experience. He is a great supporter of business games. He is coordinator for the New Designers exhibition and a key link to the Worshipful Company of Furniture Makers. His marketing skills is used both in teaching and for student recruitment.

Roy teaches a holistic approach towards sustainability, but specialises in Low Impact Production and Designing in Timber. He has lectured widely and given papers on sustainable furniture. His research is in Intelligent Energy Saving Devices and explores holistic approaches to reduce energy use.

He completed a masters level course in Learning and Teaching in Higher Education and is a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.

His responsibilities include designing experiences for recruiting, admissions and interviews. He is an External Examiner to the BA Product & Furniture Design course at Kingston University, and previously at the University of the Arts and Manchester Metropolitan University. He is an external link tutor to Schumacher College at Dartington. He was external adviser for Rycotewood Furniture Centre at Oxford & Cherwell Valley College, Colchester Institute and City of Bath College.

For his Professional Practice, Roy designed furniture to commission for clients like the NHS, and made a range of batch produced furniture. He was co-founder and director of Trannon Furniture Ltd with eco-pioneer David Colwell, who is renowned for his steam bent scandinavian-style designs using forest thinnings. Previously he was a Product Designer at Cambridge Consultants and was instrumental in setting up their design department at parent consultancy Arthur D Little Inc, USA. His area of work included domestic and outdoor appliances, professional audio equipment, healthcare products, fire and security, industrial equipment and toys, and he holds two US patents.


MDesRCA Industrial Design Engineering, Royal College of Art

DIC Industrial Design Engineering, Imperial College

Diploma in Wood, Hooke Park College, Parnham Trust

BSc (Hons) Biomedical Electronics, University of Salford

Professional membership

Crafts Council: Member of the Crafts Coucil Register of Makers
Design Knowledge Research Group: Member
Higher Education Academy: Member
City & Guilds Amateur Radio License

Roles on external bodies

2015: External Adviser, revalidation, Rycotewood Furniture Centre, Oxford Brookes University
2015: External Adviser, revalidation, Colchester Institute
2012: External Adviser, new course, Rycotewood Furniture Centre, Oxford and Cherwell Valley College
2010-13: Supervisor for a classic KTP for Spinnaker International.
2009-10: Supervisor for the university's first short KTP, which won the VC's Enterprise Award.
2009-10: Judge, You're Hired, Plymouth's Tamar Business Education Partnership.
2009-10: Adviser, Bath City College.
2007-08: Supervisor for Schumacher College.
2006-08: Competition judge, Fine Wood Working Competition, the New Forest Trust.
2006: Competition judge and organiser: '2020 Living' for the 2007 Ideal Home Show.
2004-08: Link Tutor to Somerset College of Art.
He was a member of the Design Council Kite Mark Selection Panel and took part in their Designers in Schools Week programmes.



Teaching interests

Furniture and Product Design.
Sustainable Design.
Live Projects
Design in wood, in particular, steam bending, green woodworking and the use of small diameter timber 'in the round'.
Cross Year Peer Learning.
Careers programme and setting up in Business.
Enterprise experience through public engagement.
Work Experience (awarded an ongoing CEPPL).

Promotion of Enterprise:
University PopUp Shop, organiser.

Teaching Marketing, Promotion and Networking techniques.
FLUX business game, 3D Design team organiser.
Mentoring with Arts Matrix.

He has lectured or tutored at:
Bournemouth Arts Institute
Bucks New University
Centre for Sustainable Design, Surrey Institute
City of Bath College
Colchester Institute
Design Council's Designers in Schools Week
Godolphin School, Salisbury
The Gryphon School, Sherborne
Hooke Park College, Parnham Trust
King Arthurs School, Wincanton
Manchester Metropolitan University
The Royal College of Art
Thomas Hardye School, Dorchester
Somerset College of Art & Design
South Wilts Grammar School
Southampton Solent University
Strode College
Tonbridge School
Yeovil College
Budmouth Technical College
Thomas Hardye School
Weymouth College

Staff serving as external examiners

2020-current: External Examiner, BA (Hons) Product & Furniture Design, Kingston University

2010-2014: External Examiner, BA (Hons) Three Dimensional Design, University of the Arts at Camberwell
2006-2010: External Examiner, BA (Hons) Three Dimensional Design, Manchester Metropolitan University
2005: MSc project external supervisor at Schumacher College



Research interests

Design Research
Steam Bending: Freehand Wood Twisting
Listening to 'Design Noise': Energy saving Domestic Electric Appliances

Embedding enterprise in teaching & learning
Low Impact Production in timber
Energy saving appliances
Cross year, cross discipline learning

Design Lab
Research Centre for internal and external client projects including:
Prototyping design for Hospital Food
Design and production of a lock up IT Support Desk
Crowd Activity design for the 2012 Olympics
Ergonomic design for an iPhone and Tablet exhibition display
Prototype design of a high end Hospitality Trolley

Other research

Member of Design Lab.

Energy saving household appliances.

Manufacturing without tooling: Low tech, low impact work in timber bending.

Creative practice & artistic projects

Project Manager, curator, New Designers 2004-current.
Business Mentor, You're Hired, Young Enterprise Plymouth.
Organiser, mini FLUX annual Business Challenge for 3D Design careers program.
2006: Editorial advice and providing content to 'Furniture Today DVD' by Jez Broun.



2015: Dutch Design Week, Eindoven - Steam twisted structure
2015: 'Fine Crafted Wood', New Forest Trust - Freehand steam bending
2015: 'Salone Satellite', Milan Design Festival- 'A Fence is a Bench' - Steam twisted structure
2011: 'Cabinet' Exhibition and Conference - Steam Twisted Structure in Wood. Exploring making in timber without jigs, Peninsular Arts
2009: Making Future II Conference - The crafts in the context of Emerging Global Sustainability Agendas, Furniture for LIFE, Can Craft be a model for industry? A practice-based presentation, Making Futures Vol 1: 276-287 PCAD
2007: Paper presentation at the Design Museum for the Twentieth Century Furniture Research Conference, Sustainable Furniture Design by Trannon 1980's - 2004, Bucks New University



Reports & invited lectures

Roy has lectured, tutored or spoken at:
Architype Architects
Arts Matrix
Bournemouth Arts Institute
Buckinghamshire Chilterns University College, Furniture Design
Budmouth Technical College
Centre for Sustainable Design, Surrey Institute
Colchester Institute
Design Council's Designers in Schools Weeks 2002-2004
Edward Cullinan Architects
English Nature
Godolphin School, Salisbury
Gryphon School, Sherborne
Hooke Park College, Parnham Trust
King Arthurs School, Wincanton
Manchester Metropolitan University
The National Trust
The Royal College of Art
Sherborne Boy's School
Somerset College of Art (SCAT)
South Wilts Grammar School
Southampton Institute
Tonbridge School
Yeovil College

Other academic activities

KTP Supervisor: Classic and Short KTPs.
Career's Program: Portfolios, CVs, networking, business, marketing, promotions, CDP.
Work Experience: 2nd year module.
PopUp Shop to sell student's time and designs.
FLUX business game and miniFLUX for 3D Design.
Student's websites: and to promote work by students and alumni.
Students' Exhibitions: Promoting the student experience at New Designers and national exhibition.
Communicating students' successes: Major press features, including on BBC programmes.
Strategic student recruitment activities.