Experimental Making in Research (2000)

Rust, C.  Whiteley, G.  Wilson, A  (2000).  Experimental Making in Multi-Disciplinary Research, Design Journal, November 2000

Experimental Making in Multi-Disciplinary Research

This is one of several papers reflecting on the first major practice-led research project in Design at Sheffield Hallam University. I think we have moved on quite a lot since then but it shows where we were. Adrian Wilson, a clinical engineer, was my mentor in making sense of this project and the challenge of supervising a practice-led PhD. Graham Whitely had the original idea and did all the hard work.

download full paper from archive.org


For the past 3 years (to November 2000), Graham Whiteley has been using making in a project to develop a mechanical analogy for the human skeletal arm to inform the future development of prostheses and other artefacts. Other aspects of the work such as use of drawings and the use of a principled approach in the absence of concrete design goals have been documented elsewhere, this paper concentrates on the central role of making in the process.

The paper will discuss the role of making in multi-disciplinary research; craft skills and resources appropriate to each stage of a practice centred research project in this area; the use of models in an iterative experimental investigation and the value of models in eliciting knowledge from a broad community of interested parties and experts.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: