Research Output per year
Over 20 years I have instigated and executed a diverse range of multimedia projects both commercially and independently which explore the breadth of material inniovation application, exploiting different skills and media from highly crafted interior installations in international exhibitions, museums and galleries and commercial product design to web based laboratories for use by industry.
Clients, sponsors and collaborators include global material manufacturers like ICI, Lucite International, Perspex, Ineos and Eastman, NGOs such as Vision Aid Overseas, Marine Conservation Society, Dreamcatcher Foundation and Eco-Bali as well as individuals and branded organizations as diverse as Vivienne Westwood, Dyson, Absolut Vodka,My work has featured in national and international press including the Times, Mail, Guardian and Independent, Design Week, World of Interiors, Elle Decoration, Blueprint, IDFX, The BBC and Channel 4 as well as proceedings for international conferences.
I lead the polymers and composites department, which is a creative ‘laboratory’ and workshop area that supports both technical, material innovation in an infinite range of materials and critical engagement with their cultural meaning and value. This includes consideration of the correct use and management of oil based and ‘alternative’ plastics as a potential pollutant, but that conversely has the capability to cut carbon emissions and enable us to continually reuse and recycle our materials – leaving space and opportunity for natural environment to flourish.
My work reflects our current questioning and the evolving attitude and relationship we have to materials in a finite world. It also reconsiders what is waste, seeing it not as a problem to be buried under a grass carpet in landfill, but as a vital resource crammed with embodied meaning, history and narrative. My work celebrates the creative ingenuity, dexterity and alchemy that are employed in the creation of our ‘stuff’ as well as exploring the shifting context and dynamic presented by our interaction with the substances that surround us. My material design work crosses areas of jewellery, fashion accessories, textiles, product, furniture and spatial design.
Recent research projects have involved exploring the transformation of waste into new forms that seek to engage the public, renegotiate and promote their value and reform their appreciation in material culture. Additionally, I have collaborated with colleagues to explore the value of this transformative process to communities in locally in the UK, in developing countries and for disenfranchised and marginalised groups.
I have worked with ‘orthodox’ materials that include consumer waste but also challenging materials that question our cultural traditions at a time when materials are finite and new opportunities emerge.
- Material innovation
- Design and craft aplication and cultural value and meanings of materials
- Plastics, polymers and composites and 'alternatives
- Reuse and recycling
Research output: Non-textual output › Exhibition
Breast milk booties: an investigation into 'waste' materials and the re-evaluation of meaning through the use of the communicative cultural archetype of shoesDean, T. & Gant, N., 16 May 2013
Research output: Non-textual output › Artefact