I was recently contacted by ceramicist Tamsin van Essen and invited to be part of Making Enhanced. Making Enhanced is a collective of designer makers and design historians working in pairs on the conception and production of writing, events and artefacts. Their belief is that we are all researchers, and together can work towards a shared purpose.
Made up of a set of partnerships, the collective includes members with backgrounds in architecture, design, jewellery, history and ceramics. Research spans the politics of governmental architecture, spatial ownership, heritage and domestic rituals.
Last year, Making Enhanced presented their research at the Crafts Council COLLECT Open 2015 at the Saatchi Gallery, receiving an excellent reception that has encouraged the collective to consider further methods of public engagement in order to enrich work-in-progress. Discussions concerning further forums for display and discussion are currently underway: watch this space!
My research partner, Tamsin van Essen, is a ceramicist living and working in London. Her work is primarily concept driven, exploring notions of beauty and impermanence through examining scientific, medical and social historic themes. Material experimentation is a strong characteristic of her work, probing the technical qualities of ceramics and the limits of its behaviour.
Together we are looking at the concept of 'Once Removed', the agency of objects and the traces they leave or impacts they have as a form of design. Research case studies range from ornamental vessels used as tear catchers by Victorians and Romans; the mass alienation of communist gymnastics as manifested in glass mantelpiece ornaments; and the seismic waves of economic and ethnical questions raised by a simple GIF depicting Black Friday crowds. The human cost as an often unquantified resource, as well as the body as a part of the 'once removed' process, is brought into question by all of these physical representations. The resulting imaginary and ideological spaces around objects are queried. The first articulation of our research will take the form of Kiosk, a pop-up shop for the public to bring their thoughts to the process.
More details to follow!