Invention in the Space station

As some people here know I started an organisation called Little Inventors to inspire children to become the creative thinkers of the future. We ask children to think up invention ideas, draw them then we ask skilled makers to turn the most interesting into real things for exhibition. Recently, Little Inventors teamed up with the Canadian Space Agency to set a ‘Life in space’ invention challenge. Over 3000 ideas were sent in and over 20 were made into prototypes and models. Amazingly the astronaut Davis Saint Jacques did a live video link from the International Space Station to assembled young inventors at the Canada Wide Science Fair. 2019. See some pictures below of some of the ideas…

It was great to see a child’s invention drawing on a Little Inventors drawing sheet floating around the Space Station.

This was an idea to make life more fun and also to get around the moon quicker, a roller coaster on the moon

I made this into a model with a crank to turn the moon…

The great designers based in Canada, Radical Norms made a brilliant version of the space suit for pets by Ella age 11.

Designer James Plant made 3 objects including these working space tool gloves, an idea by Eimaan age 10.

This is an amazing collaboration between Opal age 12 and expert animator and model maker Chloe Rodham.

The live video link from the International Space Station by astronaut David Saint Jacques for the final presentation of winners of the Little Inventors Life in Space challenge.

To see more visit this page on the Little Inventors website here.
The project was brought to Canada by NSERC.

For more info on Little Inventors and see over 10000 invention ideas visit

Arguing with my iron


In the future we will develop relationships with inanimate objects. I fully expect I will love the humour of my sofa that comments on the tv show I’m watching. I’ll smile at the front door as it welcomes me home and tells me the gossip spreading amongst the furnishings upstairs. We all like people with a good personality and technologists will always try to turn objects into things that make us feel good. I don’t think that robots need to look human. They can be simple, like this robot spoon I designed for Kelloggs. Adding two nicely animated eyes makes you feel like this object has a life and has thoughts. It’s lack of arms and helplessness makes me want to pick it up and look after it. (Thanks to my friends Florian Dussopt and Seb Lee-Delisle for their help and skills giving the spoon life.)



Robot Spoon by Dominic Wilcox for Kelloggs


Little Inventors: Children’s ideas made real.

Back in October of 2015 I returned to my home town of Sunderland and asked 450 primary school children in the city to think up and draw their invention ideas. Then I asked skilled local makers to make the best into real things. We rented an empty shop and turned it into a gallery. The project went viral and we had tv cameras from around the world visiting the show. 5 objects were taken into the V&A museums’s permanent collection which is amazing.

I started to get emails from people in other countries asking me if they could do the same thing so we decided to start Little Inventors as an ongoing project. We now have expanded to Little Inventors China and in Canada and many other countries. One project we are working on now is in Canada with the government’s NSERC organisation. We are working with the Canadian Space Agency to ask children there to think up ideas for life in space. The best idea may even be shown on the International Space station!
Here is a nice short film about the very first project.

I see the project as a fun way to inspire children to gain a lifelong passion for creative thinking, problem solving and innovation as well as coming up with some brilliant ideas and objects. The ideas can be fantastical or function, there are no limits placed on the children’s imagination. I add my drawings to to create a playful feeling to the whole thing.

Our website now has over 7000 childrens amazing invention drawings

All weather invention oddities

I was asked by Goodyear Tyres to think up 30 inventions that could be used all year round, in different seasons. I was a bit of challenge to think of that many ideas on one theme. I just have to think and think and draw and think until I find them all. 3 of the ideas were made real…

It’s difficult skateboarding in the snow unless you attach a flame thrower.

An idea for a sledge that can also be used as a sun lounger.

Ice cube tray snow grips

No more slipping in the snow and enjoy ice in your drinks all year round. (3D Printing is useful)

Ice cube tray snow grips

With thanks to James Plant and Niki Wrigg for their help turning the ideas into reality.

By the way there is a 12 page article about my work in the Feb/Mar 2018 issue of Creative Review magazine.

Mini Snow ball Freezer

No one has snowball fights in the summer. It seems a shame, it would be nice and warm, running around in shorts and t-shirt hurling snowballs at each other. I guess it would sting more being hit on legs and arms. Anyway here is an idea I had to bring a bit of winter fun into August.

Hello again

It’s been 3 years since I last posted here. I think I stopped after the short film The Reinvention of Normal about me came out. I got inundated with requests for interviews and to do interesting projects and to give talks about my thoughts on creativity. That was all great but it meant that I no longer had the time and space to write things here. One of those requests was an invite to be a guest on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert. Here’s a video of the last part but I was on for about 7 minutes and showed 7 other things. I should write a post about it one day.

Since last I posted I’ve started a worldwide children’s project called Little Inventors, spoke at the UN, and been made an Honorary Doctorate in Art and Design at my home town University of Sunderland.

When I’m busy it keeps my mind in the normal day to day, but I need to get my thoughts outside of that place to find interesting ideas. So I’m going to return to this blog to use it as a sort of diary for me and place to share new ideas, big or small.

I began this blog in 2009 while living in Berlin for a few months and it changed my life. At the time, I was searching for some direction, not sure what I was doing or what I should be doing.

I’d gone through the best creative education I could have hoped for including an intense 2 years at the Royal College of Art in 2002. I learned a lot at the RCA but I lost myself a little when surrounded by famous designer tutors all giving advice and me testing myself to see if I could apply my imagination to the various design briefs we were set. Then I had a few years working with a friend I’d met on the course, we were called Mosley meets Wilcox. We did some interesting work including collaborating with a famous photographer Mick Rock designing some objects inspired by his photos of Bowie, Blondie and Lou Reed. Then from 2006 I went solo and drifted along, not sure as to what I should do.

I was interested in things that didn’t fit neatly in the design or art world at that time so I couldn’t rely on the support of the art gallery system, but I also wasn’t interested in designing things for mass production. I just didn’t know where my work fitted in the world or how to show it, and so I sat about not doing much.

I lived in London but decided to visit Berlin for a few months for a change of perspective and to try to sort my head out. I visited Gorlitzer park and sat watching some old punk rockers playing golf and frisbee each day. I had some sketchbooks of ideas that I’d always talked about putting together as a book but never quite got around to it. Boredom is a great motivator and I had the idea, while sitting in the park, to start a blog called Variations on Normal. I uploaded 7 invention idea drawings and it got picked up by a big website called Suddenly I had people commenting on my work. I’d found a way to show my work and it motivated me to keep adding more ideas and things took off from there.

I think the thing I’ve learned is that if you want to find a direction in life then it is best to just get on with doing it, not thinking about doing it. The process of doing things gets the train moving and it can take you to unexpected places.

Short Film: The Reinvention of Normal

I’ve been featured in a short film by Liam Saint-Pierre who followed me around while I tried to think of new ideas. He even travelled up north with me to talk to my parents. You can view the film here….

“Go straight off the wall” said his dad and Dominic does just that. This film follows Dominic Wilcox, an artist / inventor / designer, on his quest for new ideas….Transforming the mundane and ordinary into something surprising, wondrous and strangely thought provoking.

Directed & Produced by Liam Saint-Pierre (
Edited: Sam White
Post Production: The Whealhouse (
Original Artwork & animation: Dominic Wilcox
Additional Animation: Shroom studios (
Original Music: Olly Jenkins (
Sound Mix: Iain Grant
Dominic Wilcox’s project website:
Dominic’s book ‘Variations on Normal’ :

The Reinventing of normal
The film features a quick idea by me to listen to birds by attracting them with a tray of bird seed on a pole with a listening horn and tube.



The Stained Glass Driverless Sleeper Car of the future goes for a spin.


Dominic and his father Derek.

What to do when you spill red wine on your carpet

The sight of red wine spilling on a cream carpet has traumatised many before. Panic kicks in and various desperate methods are used to remove the stain. However my idea is quite the opposite of this approach. Let’s make the most of this bordeaux blunder. With careful attention the red blemish can be enlarged to create a beautiful replica of an ornate rug…


Stained Glass Driverless Car of the Future

stained glass driverless car by Dominic Wilcox

Dominic Wilcox in his Stained Glass Driverless Sleeper Car. (all photos by Sylvain Deleu)

In September 2014 I was asked by MINI the car people and the design blog to create my ‘vision for the future of mobility’. I thought about driverless, automated vehicles and how they are an inevitable part of our future world. I needed to focus my mind on a year so I chose 2059, 100 years after the launch of the original Mini car. I proposed the idea that in 2059, driverless cars will be common place, in fact there will be motorways on which only driverless cars are allowed. This will mean that they are extremely safe and will have zero collisions. It will become far safer to ride in a computer controlled car than a human driven car. This means that car designers will be free to concentrate on creating a ‘living space on wheels’. No longer bound by modern day bumpers, airbags and other safety requirements etc.

stained glass driverless car by Dominic Wilcox

I decided to demonstrate this vision of a safe future by making a stained glass car with only a bed inside. Glass being extremely fragile and sleeping being the most vulnerable time we have. I was inspired by a trip to Durham Cathedral in the North East of England where I am from. In my car, the passenger will be transported to their chosen destination while they rest or sleep. Once they arrive they will wake up covered in coloured glass reflections.
stained glass driverless car by Dominic Wilcox  stained glass driverless car by Dominic Wilcox stained glass driverless car by Dominic Wilcox stained glass driverless car by Dominic Wilcox
To make the car I needed to design and build the chassis frame/base. Here I worked closely with Middlesex University Product Design Department lead by Wyn Griffiths, technical tutor Neil Melton and recent star graduates Chris Brennan and Harry Bradshaw. They were a huge help working out the wood structure that would support the glass and making it. Once this frame was made I took it to ‘Lead and Light’ a stained glass workshop in Camden, London. I took a 5 day course in stained glass making and started work cutting and soldering the glass onto the car. I was advised by stained glass expert Lynette Wrigley and assisted by Massimo Cappella.

The making of the base and frame took about 5 weeks and the glass also about 5 weeks. It was very much a case of working it out as we went along. The car was revealed during the London Design Festival at an exhibition called Design Junction. It has received a huge amount of interest from press and media and is currently travelling from exhibition to exhibition in the UK.
crafts magazine glass car

I also made a fictional website where you could order your driverless taxi to pick you up and take you where you wish.

My new inventions book, Variations on Normal.

Variations on normal book

{UPDATE: Variations on Normal is out now!

Available in shops and online such as Amazon

Also signed copies available from my shop sent worldwide. }

I’m very happy to say that I have a book of my invention drawings coming out on the 21st of August.  Earlier this year I signed a book deal with publisher Square Peg for a hard back, 128 page book full of my odd yet perfectly logical invention drawings.

Available to buy:

Worldwide delivery and signed by Dominic via the webshop £10 + Delivery

Or on here
in UK on Or Waterstones or Foyles 




Or buy the Kindle version on all Amazon sites.

Variations on Normal

I’ve been lucky enough to get some nice quotes about the book from interesting people.
Paul Smith Variations on Normal

Really bad jokes… I love them! Really great illustrations… I love them!” (Paul Smith, fashion designer)

Dominic Wilcox’s drawings aren’t just witty and beautifully drawn, they are serious challenges to the real world to keep looking at itself with innocent eyes, wondering what else is possible.” (Thomas Heatherwick, designer)

A delightful book of invention drawings ” (Ron Arad, architect)

‘I love this book. Laugh-out-loud funny. I want a salty thumb lolly now!’ (Harry Hill, comedian)
‘From funny through ingenious and all the way to sad, Wilcox’s resourceful ideas make for poignant questions on the way we accept the world around us’
(Daniel Charny, curator of Power of Making exhibition, V&A museum)

I made some animated gifs of some of the pages….

toothbrush Maracas

yoyo bungee

In late 2012 I self published a book of my drawings and they sold out quickly, this book includes an additional 28 new ideas now totalling around 125 of my bonkers inventions.

NEWS: I’m going to be on BBC Radio 4, Loose Ends on Saturday, 16th August, 1815-1900 GMT, talking about the book. You can listen here


Helium Filled Flying Suit

Helium filled flying jump suit

I regularly come up with ideas for a project but end up not using them. Here’s one I did for my Selfridges window of inventions. A helium filled flying suit. I want to gently drift across the city to go to the pub or visit tower block living relatives…

(See the ones I did make here.)

Get more attention on your engagement ring

side signage ring by Dominic Wilcox

Yes you’re engaged, yes you have a beautiful ring, but there are still people walking by you without noticing it. How can this be? Are they blind? Obviously some people need an extra clue as to where to look. Here is the solution, ‘Side signage rings to bring more attention to your engagement ring’.


My book ‘Variations on Normal’ will be out on August 21st, full of absurd yet logical invention drawings like the one above. More details here.


Binaudios : Sounds of a city

Mammy Wilcox uses the Binaudios.

Suzy O’Hara from Thinking Digital Arts teamed me up with a technologist called James Rutherford to create an artwork currently on show at the Sage Gateshead music performance centre. I came up with the idea of making some ‘Binaudios’ that are like tourist binoculars except you can ‘hear’ across great distances. For example, point the Binaudios towards the football stadium and you will hear the crowd chanting, turn it again to the river and hear a boat moving on the water.

I set about recording over 50 sounds around Newcastle including things like street performers, the train station and the local Grainger Market. I also used some historical sounds like the sound of the long since vanished shipbuilding in the 1970’s and King George V’s opening speech of the Tyne Bridge in 1928.

Then I sketched out how the Binaudios would look. James worked out, using electronics, how to make each sound be heard when the binaudios pointed towards the location of the original sound in the distance. This gives a real feeling that the Binaudios can listen across a whole city. We worked with a local company Raskl to fabricate the Binaudio object and James hid the electronics inside the structure. I wanted the Binaudios to appear to really listen to sounds far away without the technology behind it being visible.

Visit my projects website for more pictures and information here.

Hear a sample of the sounds heard by moving the Binaudios to point to different locations.


My Dad trying them out.

(photo credit Karolina Maciagowska)


The view across to Newcastle.
Recording the sounds of playing pool in a local pub The Tanner’s Arms.

Point the Binaudios to the Town Moor to hear the sound of cows eating grass.

The venue, Sage Gateshead

The Ages of Modern Man

The Ages of Modern Man

Here’s a drawing I did called ‘The Ages of Modern Man’. I have to say that I have an uncomfortable relationship with the screen. I look at one most days but it feels so old fashioned. In the future I can’t believe we will be still staring at the internet through a glowing rectangle.

Beyond the Google Glass experiments, the advanced contact lens with dynamic text and images overlaid on whatever we look at seems inevitable at some point in the future. A blink to click, a slight finger flick to scroll. Beyond that, integrating brain boosting technology implants will arrive. My first reaction is to think I wouldn’t want to get something attached to my brain, but if it enabled you to speak 10 languages, communicate thoughts with fellow brain implanters and remember people’s names at parties, then there will be inevitable demand.

gps name rememberer
date online video invention

See my GPS embedded ‘No Place Like Home’ shoes here

My inventions book ‘Variations on Normal’ is out now in most book shops. More info here here.

Using snoring to stop snoring

snoring solution

For those kept awake by their snoring partner I have come up with this idea. This device dramatically increases the volume of the snorer’s own snores using a microphone and headphone combination. As soon as the snorer starts snoring they wake up from hearing the loud noise.

My new book of inventions is coming out in August, details here.

Reverse telephone invention: A constant ringer

reverse telephone by Dominic Wilcox

Here is my idea to make a simple alteration to the household or mobile telephone. This telephone continually rings when not in use, only when you receive a call will it fall silent.

When I first moved into a flat long ago it appeared to be quite noisy due to the traffic outside, but after a week or so I got used to it. I assume this would also be the case with my new telephone.

My new book of inventions is coming out in August, details here.

Screw in Shoe Table Combo

screw in shoe table combo

Let’s make use of that upper area of the shoe. There must be loads of things we could screw into it. Here’s my everyday choice, a portable table that I can screw into my shoe whenever I need a flat surface.

My new book of inventions is coming out in August, details here.

Fly down warning device

Fly down warning device
I’ve just about finished my book of invention drawings that will come out in August. Here’s a new idea, don’t you hate it when you forget to zip up your fly? Well those days are gone with my new warning device invention. It’s easy to attach and is rechargeable via USB.

Variations on Normal book to be published!

variations on normal by Dominic Wilcox

I’m very excited to announce that I signed a book deal with Square Peg (Random House) for a hardback edition of my book ‘Variations on Normal’ with even more ideas. The book will contain over a hundred (around 125) invention drawings that are perhaps absurd and odd but also have some strange logic to  them.

In 2012 I self published 1000 books of my drawings and in a couple of month I had sold them. Earlier this year I made contact with Square Peg who wanted to publish a bigger edition with even more inventions in and sell distribute them far and wide. I took a few seconds to think (1.2) and now I’m happy to say it will be published on 21st August 2014.

If you would like me to send you an email when it does come out in order to buy please visit here and enter your email. Many thanks Dominic.

‘Dominic Wilcox’s drawings aren’t just witty and beautifully drawn, they are serious challenges to the real world to keep looking at itself with innocent eyes, wondering what else is possible.’

Thomas Heatherwick,
Designer, architect, creator of the 2012 olympic cauldron amongst other brilliant things.

Some of my invention drawings that will be in the book below. (lots of new ones included in the new edition as well)


10: Future and Past Viewing Binoculars


Imagine looking through a technologically revolutionary pair of binoculars and viewing the past or future. Simply input the date you wish to view into the keypad and select enter. Hold the binoculars as I demonstrate above and view the world around as it was, or as it will be. I spent a few days looking around East London viewing life on my street in 1922 and visited central London to see what will be happening there in the year 2045. The future looked similar to now, busy people, road works, some more high rise buildings, video advertising was everywhere, quite a lot of bicycles, it looked like the 80’s was back in fashion, again. I did notice some young people had baseball caps where the brim appeared to be an interactive screen of some sort. Unfortunately these binoculars are only useful for viewing so I couldn’t ask any questions.

Future viewing device byDominic Wilcox
Future_viewing_binoculars future_viewing_binoculars futurviewing
future viewing detail

old photo

Me looking at East London in the past demonstration.

Future and Past Viewing Binoculars were designed and made by me, Dominic Wilcox for my Selfridges window during the Festival of Imagination starting Jan 7, 2014 onwards. Above photographs of Dominic Wilcox’s objects taken by Pec studio.

Check back on my blog lots more of the things I made over the next few days. I’ve got a book (sign up to be notified) coming out this year also full of my invention drawings, oh and I’m also on twitter here, say hello.

9: Flying London Taxi

Flying taxi by Dominic Wilcox


Flying Taxi’s above the streets of London.

Trafic in London gets more and more congested every day. The mayor tries his scheme and that but more and more people want to get across the City fast. Here is one of my solutions, a flying Hackney taxi cab. Ok, landing may be challenging the drivers but it will be no problem to London’s great taxi drivers.

Flying Taxi was designed and made by me, Dominic Wilcox for my Selfridges window during the Festival of Imagination starting Jan 7, 2014 onwards. Above photographs of Dominic Wilcox’s objects taken by Pec studio

Check back on my blog lots more of the things I made over the next few days. I’ve got a book coming out this year with lots of inventions, oh and I’m also on twitter here, say hello. 


8: Toothbrush/Maracas

toothbrush maracas by Dominic Wilcox

Music and plaque removal are rarely connected. So I connected them. Add a little percussion to your dental hygiene with these toothbrush maracas.

Toothbrush Maracas were designed and made by me, Dominic Wilcox for my Selfridges window during the Festival of Imagination starting Jan 7, 2014 onwards. Above photograph of Dominic Wilcox’s object taken by Pec studio.  Check back on my blog lots more of the things I made over the next few days. I’ve got a book coming out this year with lots of inventions, oh and I’m also on twitter here, say hello.

7: Walking Suitcase

Walking suitcase by Dominic Wilcox

I’m tired of having to haul around my heavy suitcase. This is the year 2014 so it’s time things changed. For my Selfridges window I made this suitcase with robotic legs. When the owner wears a special tracking device the suitcase will follow wherever they go. For the window I made a model with motorised legs.

[vimeo 84786869 w=500&h=270]

Walking Sutcase was designed and made by me, Dominic Wilcox for my Selfridges window during the Festival of Imagination starting Jan 7, 2014 onwards. Above photograph of Dominic Wilcox’s object taken by Pec studioCheck back on my blog lots more of the things I made over the next few days. I’ve got a book coming out this year with lots of inventions, oh and I’m also on twitter here, say hello.

6: Crystal Beard

crystal beard by Dominic Wilcox

Here I am modeling my handmade crystal beard. There are over 2000 crystals on this beard and moustache. The photograph was taken by my friends at Pec studio

Imagine the admiring glances I will receive as I dazzle down the High St to buy my Sunday newspaper.

crystal beard detail by Dominic Wilcox
A detail of the above photograph.

Crystal Beard was designed and made by me, Dominic Wilcox for my Selfridges window during the Festival of Imagination starting Jan 7, 2014 onwards. Check back on my blog lots more of the things I made over the next few days. I’ve got a book coming out this year also with lots of inventions, oh and I’m also on twitter here, say hello.

5: Spiked objects

punk tap by Dominic Wilcox

I’m posting the objects I made to hang in my window at Selfridges department store during their Festival of Imagination. This spike idea came about when I saw a photo of a pile of metal studs/spikes and thought that they looked visually interesting. I tried to imagine objects covered in spikes and thought about what would be the most unexpected juxtaposition between spike and object. After a few hours of thought going through possible objects, which usually means me just sitting still staring into thin air while my mind wanders, I gave up and put the idea to one side. Then later in the bathroom I looked at the tap and thought about the idea of chrome on chrome. I thought it would be interesting to combine chromed spikes with chrome objects, giving the appearance that the object is one piece, in one material. I also enjoyed the idea of making safe, functional objects appear dangerous.

Taps are usually smooth and clinical objects so it was interesting to mess with that by breaking up the aesthetic with the sharp shapes of the spikes. I played with various types of tap designs and location of the spikes but eventually settled on this Mohican style.

Looking around at what other polished stainless steel objects are common in our world I decided on using a teapot. I liked the simple curve of the pot and its contrast with the spikes.

spike teapot by Dominic WIlcox

spike teapot by Dominic Wilcox
spike hip flask by Dominic Wilcox

Finally I made this spiked, hip flask. Care for a drink?

(All photographs above were taken by my friends at Pec studio)

Spiked objects

Hanging in my Selfridges ‘Variations on Normal’ window.

These spiked objects were designed and made by me, Dominic Wilcox for my Selfridges window during the Festival of Imagination starting Jan 7, 2014 onwards. Check back on my blog lots more of the things I made over the next few days. I’ve got a book coming out this year also, oh and I’m also on twitter here, say hello.