Archive for the ‘Making’ Category

Art lives from constraints – Lukas Brunner, Inventive Guitar Maker

15 December 2013

Leonardo da Vinci is credited with saying, “Art lives from constraints and dies from freedom.”


This seems to be self-evidently true, the most interesting design thinking often emerges from difficult situations where the designer’s freedom is constrained by circumstance. I would like to offer Lukas Brunner as a particularly pointful example of this. (more…)

Showing Your Stuff

5 November 2009

The importance of revealing your practices in “practice-led” research

Originally posted to the PhD-Design email discussion list on 20 November 2008

whiteley joint

image from Graham Whiteley’s PhD thesis

David Balkwill’s comments (in a previous message to PhD-Design) about students missing the point of their task, which is designing not drawing, is very relevant to research and doctoral studies. One of the key issues to be resolved in any “practice-led” project is how the quality and validity of the methods are to be made clear (more…)

First Make Something (1999-2000)

31 December 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. (more…)

Experimental Making in Research (2000)

30 November 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.

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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 (more…)

Knowledge and the Artifact (2000)

31 July 2000

Rust, C. Hawkins, S, Roddis, J. Whiteley, G. (2000) Knowledge And The Artefact Proceedings Of Doctoral Education In Design Conference, La Clusaz, France, July 2000

Knowledge And The Artefact

This paper was my first attempt to deal with the most interesting issue that arose in the investigation with Graham Whiteley and Adrian Wilson into analogous artificial limbs. The key idea that emerged was that artefacts could provide a means to tap into tacit knowledge.

The La Clusaz Conference was a scary event for a novice academic. Around 80 people in a single four-day session including some of the toughest minds involved with design research. At one point I seriously thought about withdrawing this paper because I had seen the way that the audience would dissect any weakness of argument or evidence.

I solved the problem by presenting the paper as a set of research questions rather than findings and it was well-received. The encouragement I had then led me to look more deeply into the subject of tacit knowledge and led to more recent work, particularly my papers on Design Enquiry: Tacit knowledge and invention in science (2004) and Unstated Contributions (2007)

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This paper discusses ways that knowledge may be found in or through artefacts. (more…)