‘Future factories’: teaching Techné

ATKINSON, Paul, DEAN, Lionel, T. and UNVER, Ertu (2003). ‘Future factories’: teaching Techné. In: Techné: Design Wisdom: The 5th European Academy of Design Conference, Universitat te Barcelona, April 2003. (Unpublished)

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Abstract

The phenomenon of the ‘Artist-in-Residence’ has a long-standing precedent in many areas of social and business activity where the imperative to present a different perspective on a number of aspects of everyday activity and to bring art into otherwise aesthetically impoverished environments has been seen to be of great benefit. Consequently, their appearance in corporations and state institutions is well known. Their place in an art education setting is perhaps less frequent, but by no means unusual, as the educational value of regular exposure to a ‘qualified’ or ‘experienced’ practitioner carrying out their own work has long been recognised. However, the use of a ‘Designer-in-Residence’ in a design for production education setting (as opposed to a designer-maker or craft environment) is perhaps even less well documented. The School of Design Technology at the University of Huddersfield recently decided to allocate an amount of research funding to provide an ‘Artist-in-Residence’ to work alongside Fine Art students, and a ‘Designer-in-Residence’ to work alongside Product and Transport design students for a period of one year. The detailed description of the role of the Designer-in-Residence in educational terms; the benefits to students in improving project management and time planning; and seeing the pace of professional design work in real time are substantial, but perhaps the subject of a slightly different paper to this one. Here, we wish instead to concentrate not so much on the process of using a Designer-in-Residence, but on the content of the particular project being undertaken, the far-reaching implications the work has for the practice of design and design education both on a theoretical and philosophical as well as a more pragmatic level. The title of the project ‘Future Factories’ describes the exploration of the potential for the direct digital manufacturing, using the latest CAD 3D modelling and rapid prototyping techniques, in which a random element of variance is introduced by the computer software. The outputs from this practice-based research project are expected to consist of a number of inspirational products produced as a result of the residency itself, which will be exhibited in a traditional gallery environment and later digitally – either on-line or by CD-ROM dissemination. Alongside the practice-based research outputs, it is hoped there will be a publication describing the parallel Designer-in-Residence and Artist-in-Residence projects at Huddersfield in a pedagogic context, as well as a number of different academic papers (of which this is one) addressing the different theoretical and contextual issues raised by the content of the ‘Future Factories’ project.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Research Institute, Centre or Group: Cultural Communication and Computing Research Institute > Art and Design Research Centre
Related URLs:
Depositing User: Paul Atkinson
Date Deposited: 06 Nov 2014 10:47
Last Modified: 20 Aug 2015 14:40
URI: http://shura.shu.ac.uk/id/eprint/8667

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