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RTD 2017: New Disciplines of Making – Shared Knowledge in Doing

The third edition of the conference was chaired by Chris Speed and Ian Lambert and was held at the National Museum of Scotland in Edinburgh, UK, 22-24 March 2017. The museum context provided an exciting venue for exploring new and emerging disciplines of making, and a unique opportunity for RTD conference exhibits to be juxtaposed with curated NMS artefacts and collections, challenging contemporary and future notions of value and expertise.

Through the theme ‘New Disciplines of Making – Shared Knowledge in Doing’, the 2017 chairs continued a discussion and debate exploring how the artefacts and processes of practice-based research can become tangible outcomes. The conference programme explored ideas around the nature of knowledge ‘in doing’, and how we ‘unpick’ tacit forms of knowledge arising from processes that are often intuitive and impulsive, and sometimes recognised only on reflection – when the process has ended.

33 out of 233 submissions were included in the final programme, after being peer-reviewed by members of the Programme Committee and reviewers in the growing RTD community.

The RTD 2017 incorporated a number of Provocations alongside presentations and discussions of exhibited work. Invited speakers at RTD included Prof. Elisa Giaccardi of TU Delft, and Azusa Murakami and Alexander Groves of Studio Swine. As the conference was hosted by NMS, there was rich opportunity to hold two panel discussions that brought museum curators into conversation with design researchers and practitioners about relationships between artefacts, research, and museum spaces.

A new addition to the format for RTD 2017 was a day of workshops, which created the opportunity for researcher-practitioners to be ‘hands-on’ in making and experimenting and new materials, engaging multiple areas of exploration including printmaking, sandcasting and mapping. More information on the workshops is here. Outputs from experimental making at each workshop were presented back to delegates during the event.

The RTD 2017 proceedings were published through Figshare. Documentation from RTD 2017 will be available via the series website soon.

The image above shows the ‘Documentation Wall’ from RTD 2017, where professional conference scribes and delegates added sketches and comments about their unfolding conference experience.

RTD 2013 conference


RTD 2015 conference

RTD 2017 conference


To contact the RTD Steering Committee please email researchthroughdesign@gmail.com

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