Project role: Research Associate (Design)
My role within the project is assisting the development of ideas and research within each sub-project as well as developing my own line of enquiry. This involves working with the project’s doctoral students and researchers through meetings, workshops and collaborations. I have worked most closely with the ‘An Architecture of Entanglement’ sub-project where the lead researcher - Rachel Harkness - and I have developed insights concerning the relationships between design, making and temporality. This work evolved into the article ‘Different Presents in the Making’, featured as a chapter in the edited collection ‘Design Anthropological Futures’ (Smith et al 2016). Rachel and I’s work in this area involves an ongoing collaboration with the Danish Research Network for Design Anthropology.
My own line of enquiry is concerned with the relationship between form and perception in contemporary practices of designing, making and using. This area of work has been developed with the project’s principal investigator - Tim Ingold - and together we have published some of our ideas in the articles ‘Designing Environmental Relations: from Opacity to Textility’, in MIT’s Design Issues, and ‘The Charge Against Electricity’, in Cultural Anthropology. This line of enquiry is also being developed via a thesis which argues for a social understanding of design that considers intention, gesture, language, drawing, visualising and making as sinuous practices of dialogue between bodies, mediums, materials and place. This work also relates to the project’s collaborations with the anthropologist, Cristián Simonetti, PC University Chile, on exploring ideas of social life through the notion of surfaces.
Image: ‘Drawing Conversations’, Anusas & Harkness 2014
The above image shows Rachel Harkness and I drawing our conversations to paper. The image evidences a dialogue between two people where the distinction between one person’s ideas and another’s becomes blurred and a sense of synergy results. The image has been edited to emphasise the texture and undulations of the paper and allude towards the underlying material structures and layers of printed matter. This edit draws attention to the material grounds and histories of everyday life which correspond with the emergence of ideas.