BiographyI have a broad creative practice ranging from Education, Design, Writing and Consultancy, working across a range of disciplines and materials. As a design consultant I work with a range of clients such as British Airways, Debenhams and Wedgwood. From 2010-13 I was the project co-ordinator 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. From 2008-2020 I held 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 with Duncan Hooson (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 Artcodes. The mission of Artcodes is to encourage beautiful interactions and put the human back into Computer Human Interaction.
In recent years my research 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 Artcodes 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 ran in Norway in which Design students from Bergen Academy of Art & Design co-designed with Inmates of Vik Prison to explore a series of design challenges. The project transformed the team dynamic from suspicion to trust through iterative challenges and a design in real time concept, which means we designed with what is to hand and realised ideas as we conceived 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 an 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.
More recently this thinking has resulted in an Erasmus+ Strategic Partnership grant CRAFT: Activating Pedagogy for Ceramic Education Future which takes the position that Expert Ceramic knowledge is fragmented across Europe, either concentrated in universities, research centres, museums or in areas of specialist industry knowledge such as Delft, Faenza, Stoke-on-Trent or Selb. As a result we have witnessed the progressive decline of Ceramic Education within Higher Education due to factors such as cost of provision and declining applications. Moreover, this knowledge is often held by individuals within these institutions and is subject to many external pressures.
The CRAFT strategic partnership, considers a cohesive and inter-disciplinary solution to the ever-widening issue of loss of intangible cultural heritage and knowledge. It also addresses the global, imperative concern in arts education of invaluable crafts and skills being lost due to lack of innovation and lack of a solid, established repository of knowledge. The project offers a tangible way forward, and enlists key players in the European ceramic field, to offer a specialised and complementary approach to bring together these fragmented practices, consolidating them into a range of forward-thinking pedagogical approaches.
Aims and objectives
Mapping ceramic places, skills, process, technologies, intangible knowledge and training practices for making ceramics.
Developing pedagogical approaches and innovative teaching methods to teach ceramics to sustain the future of the subject.
Developing skills resources, offering repertoires of knowledge and practice for making ceramics.
Trialing new training materials & innovative pedagogies to support the training of teachers and practitioners through 3 joint staff training for consortium teachers/trainers/researchers and practitioners.
Grants and awards
(Figures indicate amount awarded to UAL)
- British Academy, Pump Priming Collaboration between UK and EU Partners – PPHE210101, £7,968.22, (2022-2022)
- Erasmus+ Programme of the European Union, CRAFT: Activating Pedagogy for Ceramic Education Future, €401,000.00, (2020)
- Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), Interactive Decorative Pattern, £17,276.00, (2014-2015)
- Quinn A, Benford S, Thorn EC, Koleva B. Interactive Illustrations (2015)
- Benford S, Quinn A, Koleva B, Mortier R, Pridmore T, Baurley S, Ali S, Thorn EC. From Codes to Patterns: Designing Interactive Decoration for Tableware (2013)
- Quinn A, Eden M, Baurley S, Koleva B. Tracking tableware (2011)
- Quinn A. Pierced, The Table Landscape: Inspired by our Past Designing for the Future (2005)
- Hearn K, Quinn A. The Craft of Design: In Celebration of the Maquette (2006)
- Quinn A, Hooson D. The Workshop Guide to Ceramics (2012)
Conference, Symposium or Workshop item
- Quinn A. Craftsmanship Alone is not Enough (2017)
- Preston W, Thorn E, Koleva B, Benford S, Mortier R, Quinn A. Enabling Hand-Crafted Visual Markers at Scale (2017)
- Quinn A. Craftsmanship Alone is not enough - about the need for a dynamic curriculum in a craft based education. (2017)
- Quinn A. Fixing the World Through Open Design (2014)
Current research students
- Megan Rowden, The bond between maker, material and the audience (Joint supervisor)
3D design and product design