I'm Professor of Craft and Wellbeing and Head of Research and Innovation in the School of Design, Northumbria University, UK. I'm a design researcher and practitioner and my work explores the potential of jewellery, digital technologies and the act of making to support sense of self across a range of human contexts.
I'm currently principal investigator on the Enabling Ongoingness 3 year research project funded by the EPSRC. This is a design-led, practice-based engagement with older people, carers, people approaching the end of their lives and the bereaved. It seeks to design, develop and deploy a series of objects with digital capabilities that offer new ways for individuals to create meaningful content, curate the content that already exists from personal, social and national archives (i.e. television programmes, tweets, blogposts and films) and enable new ways to consume that content -- in order to support sense of self and relationships with others in relation to the notion of ongoingness. We aim to reconceive how our digital content can be reappropriated through new tools to give agency to people and make the use of digital media meaningful in old age and in relation to mortality.
[The image that I use here is of a brooch housing a photo of my grandfather - he had it made when he was 19 and gave it to my grandmother when he proposed to her before going to war. My using this image could seem to be based in sentimentality - but this isn't the case. Apart from the personal meaning of this piece, and an image of my grandad that I love, I use it because it speaks to what is fundamental to the potential of jewellery. A category of objects that can be intensely human, comprising complex relational dynamics and meanings, able to transport us to other people, places, emotional states - all whilst maintaining a close connection, physically and conceptually, to the body. There is the potential for an intense privacy played out in a public forum that makes jewellery unique as a carrier of meaning.]
School of Design
City Campus East
Newcastle Upon Tyne