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Innovation Design Engineering (MA/MSc)

Seb Tam

Seb is a multidisciplinary innovator and designer based in London and Hong Kong. His work both academic and professional spans many industries and disciplines, including product and system design, exhibition production, urban design and architecture.

He is currently co-founder and COO at Epicue, a startup working on heat stress management via wearable PPE. Before pursuing Innovation Design Engineering MA/MSc at Imperial College London and the RCA, he graduated with an MA in Architecture from the University of Edinburgh. He has worked at and collaborated with award-winning design and architecture firms in London, Shanghai and Hong Kong, including Unknown Works, CHAP and Aedas.

Beyond his creative pursuits, Seb dreams of regaining the athleticism he once had as a professional sport climbing athlete.

Relevant Experience

Co-Founder @ Epicue

Creative Technologist @ Cook Haffner Architecture Platform

Architectural Designer @ Unknown Works

Architectural Designer @ Aedas

Co-Founder @ Ghost Labs

Student Ambassador @ Gravity Sketch

Portrait Photo of Seb

Building on my foundation of architecture through the framework of Innovation Design Engineering, my work continues to question the role and responsibilities of technology in shaping human behaviour, moulding society at large, and expanding the perceived limits of our species.

With a firm belief that innovation, harnessed through subsequent design, is a force for good in society, my lifelong ambition is to become a holistic designer fluent in different scales and mediums. Driving innovation across the intersections of design, technology and the built environment, my projects range from prosthetic augmentations and crisis intervention to speculative futures and urban regeneration.

Feel free to check out my website and Instagram for more of my projects and experience.

Aquamole logo image
An operation team inspecting an active Aquamole sensor that’s installed within a large fire hydrant and valve chamber.
Aquamole system blueprint
Aquamole sensor unit in-situ
Exploded diagram of Aquamole sensor unit

Turbidity-based Leak Monitoring in Water Distribution Networks

Aquamole is a fixed, distributed sensor network system that takes in-pipe turbidity readings and provides leak insights to water companies through an ML powered model. The sensors are self-powered and self-reporting and can be retrofitted into any existing system.

Exacerbated by factors such as climate change and population growth, half the world’s population will be facing water scarcity problems by as early as two years from now. In the UK alone, we lose 3 billion litres of fresh water every day through pipe leakages, this equates to around a quarter of all the potable treated water that we produce. Aquamole enables water companies to monitor networks and localise leaks at significantly higher spatial and temporal accuracy and with less labour than existing methodologies.

As we face the multifaceted challenges of the climate crisis, the climate resilience of our urban fabric is ever more important to the sustainable development of our civilisations. Introducing embedded intelligence to invisible urban systems such as our water distribution networks is an important step in our journey to a more symbiotic existence with the ecosystems we build for ourselves.

Epicue logo image
Epicue being worn by a construction worker
Epicue being worn by a metal worker
Epicue wearable semiotics

Heat Stress Management Wearable for Workers in High Heat Environments

Epicue is a low cost, sweat powered heat stress management solution for workers in high heat environments, achieved via continuous epifluidic sweat monitoring. A visual cue informs the worker of their heat stress level during a shift, giving them tangible proof of how their body is handling heat at that particular moment.

As our planet heats up, more outdoor workers are at an ever-increasing risk of extreme heat stress. The global construction workforce of 280 million are 13 times more likely to die from heat related illnesses than workers in other industries. Currently, 32.7% of accidents in the construction industry are caused by high ambient temperatures. Each single one of these accidents leads to an average loss of $1.3 million to a development project. Our device allows people working in high heat conditions to form healthier relationships with heat and assists their regulation habits.

As our immediate environments become increasingly unpredictable, we need to better our specific understanding of how individuals’ bodies respond to these changes. Low cost on-body sensors for effective biomarker measurements, will be a vital step in our journey to an inclusive and environmentally symbiotic future.

This project was a collaboration between Selene SariOrestis Neokleous and Priyanshu Mukhopadhyay. Epicue is now an ERDF-funded startup bringing this innovation to reality.

Holde logo image
A surgeon wearing Holde in a hospital setting
Holde component breakdown
Holde device in hand
Holde device on user
Holde device in shopping scenario

An extra hand for gripping, storing and retrieving

Inspired by my time on two crutches when moving around and carrying things were mutually exclusive endeavours, Holde is designed to be an extension of the user’s arm.

Providing supplementary dexterity, Holde can act as additional on-person inventory for handling and managing a high volume of physical items, as well as a method of rapid retrieval of key resources in times of emergency.

This project was developed with Priyanshu Mukhopadhyay.

Feel free to read more about the project here.

Foil Chair hero image
Shiny Foil Chair in the sun
Twisted paper to demostrate concept
Scale model variant of Foil Chair
Model of Foil Chair
Foil Chair outside RCA
Foil Chair Hero 2

A Cinematic Statement Piece Expressed as a Reflection of the Seated

The Foil Chair is so named based on two definitions of the word foil: 1. A very thin sheet of metal and 2. A thing or person that contrasts with and so emphasizes and enhances the qualities of the protagonist. Using simple elements and a streaked mirror finish, the design achieves an organically evocative and dynamic form.

Designed through the lens of distributed manufacturing, the Foil Chair is an exercise in radical formal exploration while employing standard material sections and sheets.

Feel free to read more about the project here.