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5 Minutes with Robert Curtis


Robert Curtis is the principal designer at Dovetailed responsible for the design of nūfood 3D food printer, a one-man UX powerhouse and invaluable member of the team. We sat down for a quick coffee to get his perspective on what’s going on behind the scenes at nūfood.

I got into industrial design at university. It allowed me to pursue my interests in the arts and sciences, rather than forcing me to choose between them.

UX has become a natural expansion of my skillset as software and graphical interfaces become an integral part of consumer, industrial and medical products.

Dovetailed’s design philosophy is to consider the physical and digital together, so that you stop noticing the technology and start enjoying the experience of using the product.

UX spans from cradle to grave. From the moment of purchase to the point at which you explain to your grandchildren why you raved about this particular thing back in your day.

I’m most proud of products that I have worked on which have made it to market, such as the Tyco Zettler Fire Panel. I’m looking forward to getting our nūfood 3D printer into people’s hands so they can surprise us with their creations.

I have a very sweet tooth. Dangerously for me, so does the rest of the Dovetailed team! This maybe explains some of our 3D printed food creations…

I’m a big fan of Japanese food and have been recently cooking dishes from Tim Anderson’s book; everything so far has been delicious, although I did have a slight mishap making Tempura!

As designers we have high standards and aspire to achieve the same desire and utility as some of our contemporaries.

My Swiss Army knife and Spotify are two things in my daily life which inspire me as a designer, not forgetting Sonos and my Oxo Good Grips ice cream scoop! I’m inspired by the things in my own home, or the simpler things that I use on a daily basis

Cambridge is a melting pot of design, science and engineering. It also has great restaurants, food pop-ups, festivals, theatres, music venues and the Arts Picture house cinema.

We surround ourselves with great design. We work in an attic space just off vibrant Mill Road, close to all our favourite meeting places for creative people. Our office space features a dedicated workshop for creating prototypes and models and is full of design inspiration, the latest wearables, structural packaging, mobile phone tech and wireless speakers.

People worry too much about things they could change if they really wanted to. Sometimes you have to pursue the things that excite you, that get you up in the morning, that might seem a little risky or go against perceived wisdom.

I get a buzz from seeing something I’ve helped build come to life for the first time.

Beautiful and thoughtful is how some people have described the nūfood printer. It helps me remind myself why I’m putting in these extra hours and going the extra mile.

I like my coffee like I like my life. Frothy with some nuggets of sweetness!

Connect with Robert on LinkedIn or follow nūfood on Twitter for all the latest updates.