Innovation & Technology Product Design

Max Phillips


Hi, I’m Max! I’m a curious and creative designer, specialising in service design and research gathering. With a background in engineering and product design, I have developed a mixture of analytical and innovative skills, helping me to respond to every problem I face in the best way I can.

I like to approach design in a fun and engaging manner, providing out of the box solutions and services which provoke conversation, new lines of thought and create unique user experiences. I am able to generate my own thorough research, test hypotheses, learn from my findings and iterate this into new designs quickly and effectively. In this way I can highlight the challenges that my design must respond to, prove why these are important and create refined design solutions.



Every day, people who stutter (PWS) suffer from systematic discrimination and self-stigmatisation. This impacts quality of life, mental health and confidence. Society’s lack of understanding of stuttering leads to feelings of shame, inferiority and loneliness among people who stutter. These emotions and reactions create a world where people who do not talk “normally“ are not always accepted or treated with respect. This reinforces a negative perception of stuttering, an issue which has never been properly highlighted or addressed.


Enter MUMBLE, the stutter friendly charity.

From the research I conducted, I learned that to mitigate the fear of stuttering, we need to encourage all of society to learn to accept and embrace it, not just placing the onus on people who stutter to fix the problem themselves.

MUMBLE’s main goals are to visualise what life with a stutter is like for people that don’t stutter, and to show people that do stutter that they are not alone, fostering pride, empathy and understanding. MUMBLE operates through cafe takeovers, hijacking ordinary cafes into communicatively inclusive learning environments. MUMBLE encourages cafe goers to step into the shoes of someone who stutters, prompting understanding and conversation through a range of tools and resources. Then, after two to three days, MUMBLE relocates to a different café, continuing the cycle and spreading the word.

This system allows for the challenges of stuttering to be recognised and empathised with by society, while offering a platform for people who do stutter to express themselves, share experiences, learn and connect with each other in their local areas.


This film shows how a person with a stutter would interact with MUMBLE, showing their stutter monster reducing in size throughout the video, a metaphor for their increased confidence.

The MUMBLE tip jar

The MUMBLE “tip jar“ is used to create new local support groups. If a regular liked the experience, they can drop their contact details into the “tip jar“. At the end of the session, mumble helps the people that placed their details in the jar to connect to each other, forming a local support group on their doorstep.

The little book of understanding

The little book of understanding is used to spread awareness and education of stuttering. It does this through visual representations of stuttering, making the issue easier to understand and relate with for people that do not stutter. For people that do stutter, the visualisations show that they are not alone. The little book of understanding is designed to be a takeaway object, with both educational and interactive elements. Through the inclusion of a "draw your own monster" section we can track the evolution of the self identity of someone who stutters, as if they go to the next MUMBLE cafe, it may be that the monster they draw is smaller, showing the success of the experience.

The MUMBLE menu

The MUMBLE menu, encourages regulars at the cafe to order differently, putting them in the headspace of someone who stutters. This helps to create awareness of how stuttering can impact all parts of life, even small ones like ordering a coffee. Additionally, it normalises and removes pressure from stuttering. The MUMBLE menu offers multiple forms of ordering, both vocal and in hand signs, depending on the needs of the user. The menu item names are designed chaotically to represent the feeling of a lack of control, while also showing the severity of a stutter. This allows people who stutter to order without fear as the stutter is prebuilt into the menu, while simultaneously expressing what its like to live with a stutter to the rest of society.

The MUMBLE award

The MUMBLE award is awarded to cafes who offer to run the MUMBLE takeover. This creates incentive for cafes to want to host the experience, highlighting that the cafe/organisation is a positive and inclusive environment.

MUMBLE in the moment

MUMBLE cafe miniature model


From my research, I asked people with stutters to visualise their stutter as a monster. I learned that the more the interviewee hid their stutter the more scary it became. Fundamentally, these different monsters are the same. With the right environment, proper social understanding and self acceptance the user can get to know their stutter, removing the element of fear and mitigating the control it has over their life. These monsters are where the mascot for mumble came from, a small friendly monster, showing what a stutter could be seen as when it is accepted.


Welcome to KIN! A new supplementary health service, seeking to prevent illness before it starts and connect communities through food.

In 2034, societies have become more fragmented than ever, with rising worries about privatised healthcare and a lack of proper nutrition.

KIN allows communities to approach healthcare through a non-medical approach, using food as natural and preventative medicines for the suppression of general ailments. KIN provides its users with personalised gut microbiome check-ups, highlighting what they are deficient in. KIN also provides the community with seasonal recipe lists, made to tackle all kinds of different deficiencies, empowering users to understand what foods their body needs to be strong and prevent ill health.

Finally, KIN encourages users to connect with one another through cooking, providing platforms to arrange cooking and community events, establishing new bonds and connections over food.

KIN journey map

Cooking with friends

KIN is all about connection through food. Users can record their experience with KIN in their cooking scrapbook, strengthening their connection to the community while improving their knowledge of health.

KIN artefacts

KIN recipe printer

The KIN recipe printer is found in supermarkets and foodshops, encouraging users to print recipes while shopping. These recipes highlight particular deficiencies in the gut biome, meaning that the correct combination of recipes can essentially be used as a preventative medicine tool, ensuring your gut has everything it needs to be healthy without requiring you to buy pharmaceutical medication.

KIN smartpills

The KIN smartpills are completely digestible gut biome analysis devices. Three hours from swallowing, the smartpill will be able to send your phone a health-checkup, recording the bacteria or vitamins/nutrients that your gut requires to keep you healthy and happy. For further information, users can access a range of recipes on the KIN app, and print them off using the KIN recipe printer.