Amelia Huw Morgan

Illustrator : Drawing. Performance.

‘in hope of the participant viewer’ is a research project by publication which explores experimental and phenomenological relationships between the illustrated image and the participant viewer, in reaction and relation  to socio-political problems and the unfathomable effort of the human being to become redundant in society beyond passivity of ‘like’ in the everyday life. Modes of thinking including `Brechtian and `Stansinslavskian’ theatre, puppetry and ‘The Soul of the Marionette’ (Gray, 2015), are experimentally deployed in a critical, practice research in which embodied streams of consciousness wonder why we seem forever intent on making ourselves more graceless and senseless than the marionette; both mocked and revered in Heinrich Von Kleist’s essay (1810).

(Supervisors : Thompson. Woodward.)

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Henry Hill

Product Designer : Design. Postanthropcentricism. Artefact Becoming.

CAVE  This PhD research project – co-supervised with Keble College, Oxford University – brings a revised theory of things to design. Re-reading Louis Sullivan’s 1896 essay, the research postulates that form doesn’t follow function, but rather follows what Martin Heidegger entitled ‘The Fourfold’. Such an upheaval to the orthodox understanding of form is anticipated to be invaluable to the emerging political, ethical, and ecological discussions and applications of design. Particularly as designers expand their interdisciplinary scope, and material culture becomes a growing focus within the humanities.

(Supervisors : Thompson. Woodward. Malafouris.)

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Theo Humphries

Interaction Designer : Design. Humour. Entanglement

A PhD research project – co-supervised with Plymouth University – scoping a new theory of ‘malentanglement’. Deviation from an expected order of things can illuminate engagements with designed artefacts and the inhabited ‘designed world’. Malentanglement is proposed as a means to understand the role and place of humour in design, and as a means to account for the difficulties faced by design/designers when describing highly innovative artefacts or aesthetics to other parties – such as clients or the wider public. The research has impact into understanding the role of humour in effective participatory and user-centred design practice.

(Supervisors : Thompson. Pepperell. Punt.)

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Rachel Eardley 

Interaction Designer : HCI Design. Movement. Human Hand.

A PhD research project – co-supervised with Bristol University – that seeks to understand hand movement as a facet of cognition and how it can be accounted for in HCI research terms, specifically in respect to the design of mobile phones. The research tests ways in which micro-movements of the hand afford a higher level of complexity in sensorimotor action in human – non-human cognitive processes. The research has impact in terms to understandings for the design and additional potential of small device interaction.

(Supervisors : Thompson. Gill. Roudaut.)

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Laura Barritt

Artists & Teacher : Art. Abstraction. Extended Spaces. Mind.

A PhD project – co-supervised with Cardiff School of Education & Social policy and the WJEC  – which considers the possibilities of the arts in secondary education as a means to equip adolescent artists with the necessary (but overlooked) skills of artistic abstraction as a mean to render visible the contemporary ‘ontological crisis’ that many adolescents endure.  With the fast-accelerating expansions of digital space extending (lived) abstract environments beyond previous understandings, this research considers the impact and genesis that contemporary extended and unstable environments may have on the vulnerable developing minds of adolescents, who are already going through a period of instability and rapid biological development.

(Supervisors : Thompson. Woodward. Popovac)

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Emma Smith

Textiles Designer : Design. Owning. Metatphysics.

In my PhD I want to explore deeper questions of what goes into the condition of contemporary and future in Tum Genus Longa relationships. I want to inquire if when we focus attention onto questions of both sides of the ownership-relationship, what new ideas might emerge that designers can draw upon? The overarching aim of my research will be to draw discourse emerging from new materialism together and to shine fresh light upon the ideas and problems of ownership or possession-endurance for design. How we can we better understand and focus these emerging metaphysical and philosophical ideas forward in a way that is useful for textiles designers?

(Supervisors : Thompson. Woodward. Canavan.)

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Yalda Borzorg

Artists Ceramicist : Cognition., Material Engagement Theory. Ceramics.

Asking how might Material Engagement Theory might contribute to theories of creativity in Ceramics, this PhD research will connect Cognitive science, Material Engagement Theory (MET) and ceramics practice. MET has been successfully deployed in archology to explain and explore the human cognitive system both from an ontogenetic and a phylogenetic perspective. In my research by tracing common threads between the material world, artists’ cognition and creative knowledge I wonder is whether it is possible to use MET to understand the effects of materials on artists’ creativity.. There is a reciprocal relationship between the maker and the material. The maker and the material learn from each other.

(Supervisor : Woodward & TBC)

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Bert Jones

Research Potter

Text to fiollow

(Supervisors : Woodward. Pigott. & Jones.)

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Nigel Ash

Artist, sculptor & maker

As a sculptor and a maker, I am interested in practical, embodied and sometimes tacit knowledge, used by makers in material processes. My research project examines the idea of serendipity and the part it plays in making processes. At present the research is questioning how is the role of ‘serendipity’ accounted for in histories and critical analyses of making processes, from the time of the invention of the word ‘serendipity’ in 1754, up to the present? What can a re-reading of “Walpolian serendipity” (Yaqub 2017) reveal, in the context of 18th century European rationalism, mechanisation and imperialism? The research asks whether the role of serendipity is under-accounted in craft processes and asks what might be revealed by its purposeful inclusion in histories and critical analysis.

(Supervisors : Thompson. Casaliggi & TBC.)

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Andrea Gogova : Associate Research Student

Animator & Graphic Designer : Doctoral Researcher Erasmus Exchange in partnership with Tomas Bata University in Zlin.

From Grid to Rhizome – (post) digital text layout structure. My doctoral research is based on two scopes of research. The first area is based on cybertext theory implementation. The (post)digital text layout as an open and complex system that depends on two types of materiality based on the processing mode. The first is the text of programming code, invisible for users, and the second the text structure of visible interfaces as a Transitoire Observable (Bootz, 1999). The second area of research is based on comparing the research of the grid-based structure in architecture and urbanism with graphic design. Both scopes of the arguments lead to the idea of Rhizome (Deleuze and Guattari, 1980) as a model of (post)digital text layout structure.

(Supervisors : Zervan, Mitášov & Husarova.)

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