I have a broad practice ranging from Education, Design, Writing and Consultancy, working across a range of disciplines that span ceramics, designing through making, craft, computer vision, interaction, open source technologies, open design communities, co-design, product design and communities of practice.
I have a successful design consultancy with clients such as British Airways, Debenhams and Wedgwood. I was project co-ordinator (2010-13) on Firing Up, the Crafts Councils national programme to re-introduce ceramics into the school curriculum, during which we taught 3800 pupils and 150 teachers the key skills of ceramics. I hold the post Professor of Form at the National Academy of Art and Design in Bergen, Norway. I am the author of The Ceramic Design Course (2006)and the co-author of the Workshop Guide to Ceramics (2012) both published by Thames & Hudson and with Barons in the US. Since 2010 I have collaborated with Horizon Digital Economy Research Institute on the development of a new vision recognition system called Aestheticodes. The mission of Aestheticodes is to encourage beautiful interactions and put the human back into Computer Human Interaction. I am a council member of Idea’l Lab investigative design program (2013 – present), which brings creatives from all disciplines to focus on social issues in an attempt to create tangible works that inspire change.
In recent years my design practice has become more multi-faceted. These facets tend to inter relate and reflect key concerns within my practice. The Horizon collaboration, which resulted in the Aestheticodes image recognition system is based on an open source model and encourages a more human approach to Computer Human interaction, through a continuous public demonstration and teaching of how to encode drawings. This approach is mirrored somewhat in a project I run in Norway in which Design students from Bergen Academy of Art & Design co-design with Inmates of Vik Fengsel (Prison) to explore a series of design challenges. The Project transforms the team dynamic from suspicion to trust through iterative challenges and a design in real time concept which means we design with what is to hand and realize ideas as we conceive them rather than research through the internet. These projects reflect my interest in craft and skill and the communication of tacit knowledge through participation and community. I have explored these concepts further in a recent article for Fixperts.org called “Fixing the World through Open Design” in which I explored the political, social and ethical positioning of the open design communities, hack spaces and design movements. My work for the Crafts Council was primarily to build a national network that encouraged the transferring of craft skills from practicing artists to teachers and in turn to their pupils.
I have two ongoing projects:
Aestheticodes ESPRC Funded Grant Research in The Wild with Johnson Tiles and Busaba Eathai
Tall Tales KU Norwegian State Research funding for development of a Draft book about Vik/KHiB co-design prison project