Doctoral Researchers

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Amelia Johnstone

Illustrator : Drawing. Performance.

Eidetic  Experience and Memory : A PhD by Publication project that explores modes of performance and illustration as a means to explore the human condition particularly as it is shaped by culture, politics and the media.

(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 – acts upon a realisation that the models of analysis employed in design’s own histories emphasise the anthropocentrism of narratives concerning human activity. These histories appear insufficiently complex in order to establish the necessary and urgent deeper understandings of the futuring importance of designed objects. The project aims to establish a design model of the nature of technological artefacts that is in step with a wider gamut of current discourse within the humanities. These new-materialist discourses bring attention to the mediating role of man-made things in the human interaction and understanding of the environment and our own selves.

(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 illuminates 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. Education & Assessment. Abstraction.

An MPhil/PhD project – co-supervised with Cardiff School of Education & Social policy and the WJEC  – that explores how we might better formulate and develop pedagogy for the teaching and assessment of abstract art and to make that work with both the needs of the individual learner and institutional educational policy? By unpicking the different strands that feed into this question and using the research to open and maintain a dialogue with curriculum developers and assessment bodies, the research aims to outline either a new form of art curricula or more likely a training pack for teachers that enables them to better reflect the cognitive schema, ambitions and intellectual foundations of professional art practice in their students.

(Supervisors : Thompson. Woodward. Davies.)

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Emma Smith

Textiles Designer : Design. Owning. Metatphysics.

In my MPhil/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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