Notes based on Art, Craft and Design.

DESIGN- Good design problem solves through the use of new knowledge to inform products which are functional and aesthetically pleasing.
We communicate the findings of new knowledge whilst working with advanced technologies to extend our material understanding.
Furthermore, we explore and push material properties in order to create durable and sustainable design, which challenges orthodoxies and archetypes, improving both the human and geographical environment.
All we produce aims to be commercially viable and may challenge the market.

ART-With strong intention, clarity and self-belief we challenge perception in order to make people engage with a concept and explore their senses. At times we may capture memories, evoke personal sentiment, collaborate, shock or give people a sense of their space to achieve artistic recognition.

CRAFT -The importance of process and materials can conserve tradition. In addition to this, a craftsman’s ability to exploit and extend materials also develops and challenges these traditions. Through re-purposing materials, our skill can recreate lost craftsmanship, therefore challenging the markets. As craftsmen we use time and labour to demonstrate skill; enabling us to leave a legacy.


Materiality Talk with Zoe

We had a talk from Zoe a ceramic artist who works in the university about materiality. We first had to explain what we thought materiality was. The definition is “Materiality- the state or quality of being physical or material, the quality of being composed by matter” we also spoke about immateriality and the definitions of this is “Immateriality- of no essential consequence; unimportant, not pertinent; irrelevant, not material; incorporeal; spiritual.” This was interesting to hear, and later we read a text by Tim Ingold called ‘Materials against Materiality’ where we had to get an understanding of what was being said about materiality in an academic text. In this text Ingold spoke about how everything has materiality and that materiality is not a static thing because it exists in everything and everyone (we are submerged in materials like air, rocks, dirt and everything has materiality). She then spoke about her work and how she worked with flux in the glazing process and how it was a critical element in her conceptual meaning but also in the making process. 

This talk was very important in the motivation of finding and sourcing the best materials for using in your own work and you need to relate to the histories of these objects and how would they talk with the other materials and processes you will be using in your work. This talk really made me question my own material choices.

Monday Seminar (3) Design as Art- Bruno Munari

In today’s seminar we had to read Bruno Munari’s Design as Art, This was a easy text to read and was easy to understand. There are 2 types of design an industrial designer/design engineer  who focuses more on the functional qualities rather than looks and then there is a designer who notes that the ultimate form of the object is vital when the potential buyer is making up his mind. The designer gives it an appropriate form to follow its function. “A leaf has the form it has rather because it belongs to a certain tree fulfills a certain function; it’s structure is determined by the veins which carry the sap, and the skeleton that supports it might have been worked out by mathematics. Even so, there are many kinds of leaf, and every leaf from every tree slightly differs. But if we saw a fig-leaf on a weeping willow we would have the feeling it is unwell. It would lack coherence.” This was a quote which I really loved, the idea of  a leaf having the perfect design suited to the tree which it came from.

“A designer tries to make an object as naturally as a tree puts forth a leaf. He does not smother his object with his own personal taste but tries to be objective.” SO he is not decorative in the Art sense or craft but does it to fit the object at hand.

So for today’s seminar/workshop we were given post it notes and was asked to find one

  • Art
  • Design
  • Craft
  • and a not so sure.

and label why these reasons for the objects we placed in the glass cabinets. By doing this we got a better understanding of how and why we label such things for example, do we label craft based on ‘natural’ materials being used and design based purely on a simplistic form. It was interesting to see why. But also this exercise was to help us get the peer assessment of how others saw out work.


Before this exercise I saw myself as an Art/Craft person but it’s clear from these post-it notes that I am Craft. I thought my ideas and thoughts behind this piece was art and my process of the making as craft so I am halfway there. This exercise has helped me understand how we judge others based on pure looks rather than the story and knowledge of the piece so I need to be mindful of how I am to get that across.

Subject Seminar Series (1)

For our first seminar we were asked before the lesson to read ‘Beyond Relativism and Formalism- The Empathy Principle’. I found the first few pages difficult to read as it was an academic text but also for the long words like ‘psychophysiological’ (which means the relationship and interaction between mind and body). The pages after that seemed less daunting. After reading it a few times and finding the definition for a few words I sort of grasped the ideas behind it, which was the debate against relativism and formalism. To me Relativism meant that when looking at a sculpture (lets say) you are more drawn to the ideas and narrative behind the work more than the physical appearance. Whereas the formalist approach is purely form and physical characteristics (like size, pattern, and texture and so on). The newest ideas of how we find certain art beautiful then comes from the idea of engaging with it as it has a persona and we relate back from our history and memories, this leads up to the Empathy Principle.

Upon discussing this argument I felt swayed between both, until Ingrid asked us to pick a side of where we found ourselves on the spectrum either relativism or formalism (we couldn’t be on the fence, it was one or the other). I chose to sit on the Relativism side, mainly because as a viewer of an object I tend to relate myself more to the object through memories and experience rather than just the formal elements. We then went into our groups and made up a debate. My idea was that we must be more relativism because of our Human condition where we are emotional and have personal experience. I really enjoyed today’s lesson because it challenged my way of thinking as a maker and made me question how I could alter my decisions in my practice to play along with the idea of aesthetics and how the viewer can relate to them.