Ivor Williams is a designer, developing new ways of thinking about and experiencing death, dying and loss in the 21st century.
He leads the end-of-life care projects at the Helix Centre, an innovation design lab inside the Institute of Global Health Innovation led by Lord Ara Darzi at St Mary’s Hospital in London. As director of the tech-for-good company Humane Engineering, he co-leads the development of Cove, a flagship mental health app available on the NHS, and quoted as “one of the best mental health apps” by the Guardian newspaper. He is also the founder of the research and design consultancy group Being and Dying.
In 2018, he was named a New Radical by innovation foundation Nesta and the Observer newspaper for “pioneering a human-centric approach to the experience of dying, bereavement and grief”.
Born and raised in Scotland, he studied design at the Glasgow School of Art and has been a practising designer for over 10 years in the UK, Italy and the Netherlands. He was an art director at the experience design studio Tellart, studio director at the design research centre Fabrica, and designer for Graphic Thought Facility, John Morgan studio and others. His work has been featured in the British Medical Journal, The Guardian, Wired, Harvard Business Review, the European Journal of Palliative Care and has received awards from D&AD, Graphis and Core77. Alongside designing products and experiences, he design books. Publishers include Rizzoli Skira, JRP Ringier and Gagosian Gallery. One of his books was nominated for the Most Beautiful Swiss Books award in 2009.
He is visiting lecturer on the Healthcare and Design Msc at Imperial College London. He was visiting professor of Information Design at the Università Iuav di Venezia from 2014–2016, and has held teaching positions at Design Academy Eindhoven and the Glasgow School of Art.
He talks regularly, with recent presentations including Radical change: a blueprint for the next 50 years of dying at the Royal Society of Medicine and Designing at the end at IxDA 2019.
He co-founded the Helix Centre’s first spin-out venture, Digital Care Planning, with its mission to bring critical illness and end-of-life planning to the mainstream. He is a council member for the Association for the Study of Death and Society, and serves as an advisor for End Well, the annual end-of-life symposium in San Francisco, and The Collective Psychology Project. In 2019, he joined Zinc VC as a Fellow in their third mission to add 5 more high-quality years to later life.