Design Culture Salon 2 – Is ‘making stuff’ back on the agenda?

Next Salon

Tuesday 29 January, 1900h-2030h

Is ‘making stuff’ back on the agenda?
Glenn Adamson (V&A)
Jocelyn Bailey (Policy Connect)
Daniel Charny (From Now On)
Nick Gant (Inheritable Futures Laboratory/University of Brighton)
Katie Hill (Sheffield Hallam University)

After decades of talk of ‘deindustrialization’ and the rise of service industries, it seems that manufacture and making are back in fashion. Politicians, TV producers and curators want to talk about stuff again. Why might this be so? Is there really a renaissance of materiality? How is this influencing design practice and the dynamics of consumption?

Free, but booking is essential::

Glenn Adamson is Head of Research at the Victoria and Albert Museum. Dr. Adamson is co-editor of the triannual Journal of ModernCraft, and the author of Thinking Through Craft (Berg Publishers/V&APublications), an anthology entitled The Craft Reader (Berg, 2010), and the forthcoming book The Invention of Craft (Bloomsbury/V&A, 2013).  His other publications include the co-edited volumes Global Design History (Routledge, 2011) and Surface Tensions (Manchester). He was the co-curator for the exhibition ‘Postmodernism: Style and Subversion, 1970 to 1990’, which was on view at the V&A from September 2011 to January 2012.

Jocelyn Bailey is Head of Manufacturing, Design & Innovation at Policy Connect, an organisation that works with parliamentarians, business and the public sector to help improve policy. Within Policy Connect she is Manager of the Associate Parliamentary Design & Innovation Group. Over the last two years she has overseen Policy Connect’s expansion into a programme of work around manufacturing, including the Parliamentary campaign, ‘Made By Britain’. She has also worked at Blueprint magazine and Nissen Adams architects.

Daniel Charny is an independent curator and co-founder director at From Now On, a creative projects consultancy. He has recently joined as Professor of Design at KingstonUniversity in the Faculty of Art Design & Architecture. Between 2002 – 2010 he was the founding curator of The Aram Gallery for experimental and new design. His most recent curating project was ‘Power of Making’ at the Victoria and AlbertMuseum, seen by over 320,000 visitors it has become the V&A’s most popular free exhibition ever staged. As Senior Tutor at the Royal College of Art, where he taught for 14 years,  he was a key member of the team that merged Industrial Design and Furniture Design into the Design Products department. His current projects include founding encouraging fixing as a way of thinking and promoting creative social values through design.

Nick Gant is a designer, researcher and educator and has led programmes in design and craft as well as high-value, practice based research projects with international industrial partners. As a maker by training, his collaborative research and practice explores material and object meanings and languages, ethics and sustainability and locality and community. His exhibition ‘On Our Doorsteps – Local Design Activism’ at 100% Design 2012 curated makers who explore ‘local’ as a creative methodology and context. The ‘Sole Searching’ project is part of an ongoing collaboration with Tanya Dean includes the fabrication of highly crafted shoes made from waste materials which map a culture of makers and help establish methodologies for ‘meaningful material interactions’. Nick is also researching the interpretation and valuation of virtual, made objects through digital media.

Katie Hill is a design researcher who works across academia and the third sector using creativity and design to engage communities in social and environmental projects. She is currently working on several Arts and Humanities Research Council ‘Connected Communities’ projects some of which use making as tool for community engagement and learning. In the late stages of a PhD at the University of Brighton, her thesis is on developing design practice as an enabling process to support agency and empower people to make positive social and environmental change within their neighbourhoods, and she is interested in various aspects of making in terms of DIY culture and the use of craft within activism and as a social connector.

Guy Julier, chairing the Salon, is Professor of Design Culture and the University of Brighton Principal Research Fellow in Contemporary Design in the Research Department of the V&A.

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