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Good product designs merge materials, technology and hardware into a unified user experience; one where the technology recedes into the background and people benefit from the capabilities and experiences available. By focusing on functional gain, critical awareness and emotive connection, even the most multifaceted and complex technology can be made to feel straightforward and become an integral part of daily life. Researchers, designers and developers must understand how to progress or appropriate the right technical and human knowledge to inform their innovations. The 1st International Smart Design conference provides a timely forum and brings together researchers and practitioners to discuss issues, identify challenges and future directions, and share their R&D findings and experiences in the areas of design, materials and technology. This proceedings of the 1st Smart Design conference held at Nottingham Trent University in November 2011 includes summaries of the talks given on topics ranging from intelligent textiles design to pharmaceutical packaging to the impact of social and emotional factors on design choices with the aim of informing and inspiring future application and development of smart design.