First Make Something (1999-2000)

RUST, C. CHAMBERLAIN, P. RODDIS, J. (2000) A Practice-Centred Approach to Research in Industrial Design Proceedings of Design plus Research Conference, Politecnico di Milano, May 2000
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RUST, C. WHITELEY, G, WILSON, A. (1999) First Make Something – Principled, Creative Design as a tool for multi-disciplinary research in Clinical Engineering. Proceedings of 4th Asian Design Conference, Nagaoka, Japan, October 1999, 733-743
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Starting to Unpick the Question of Practice-Led Research

In the mid-1990s, Jim Roddis came to Sheffield Hallam and introduced the concept of practice-led research. In these two papers I was trying to get to grips with what we were doing through examining the different kinds of work emerging from that initiative. Because Jim had come from the Royal College of Art to be Professor of Design we assumed that he was proposing a well-developed approach but in fact we came to realise that we had to invent it ourselves.

The Nagaoka paper was the first time I used the expression First Make Something which has become a slogan for me and I introduced the idea of tacit knowledge in evaluation of artefacts although I didn’t knwo what to call it at that time. The Milano paper was the same year as the La Clusaz paper and was an overview of the various projects that we had been working on, whereas the La Clusaz paper pointed to the main issues that I have been developing since then.


A Practice-Centred Approach to Research in Industrial Design

Design Plus Research Conference, Politecnico Di Milano, May 2000

This paper gives an overview of practice-centred research programmes at Sheffield Hallam University and discusses the principles behind practice-centred research, its place in the Design School, its effect on the regional economy and the community and the resources and methods employed. Implications for research degrees are discussed and developments in the form of the PhD are described.

First Make Something: Principled, creative design as a tool for multi-disciplinary research in clinical engineering.

4th Asian Design Conference, Nagaoka, Japan, October 1999

Design provides a set of tools for exploring our world and these can give very different insights from the tools of the natural scientist or social scientist. The Art and Design Research Centre at Sheffield Hallam University is developing the use of creative practice at the centre of multi-disciplinary research and has demonstrated that this approach can bring significant results in areas of research which are more usually thought of thought of as science or engineering.

This paper describes a 3-year project which has provided completely new ideas for the design of artificial limbs based on close analogies with human anatomy. The project was intended to look at very long-term developments but has also resulted in ideas for today’s products and has changed the thinking of both clinicians and manufacturers. Investigative methods included iterative cycles of creative development and reflection; work with users including the production of video material to stimulate their thinking beyond the state of the art; and both qualitative and quantitative evaluation of design outcomes with scientific and clinical specialists.

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