A Crafts Council and Cultural Institute at King's College London partnership
Parallel Practices formed one part of the Crafts Council's Innovation strand, and was run in partnership with the Cultural Institute at King’s College, London. The project aimed to demonstrate the mutual benefits and value of collaboration between medical and scientific academics and makers.
The 2014 pilot project consisted of four collaborations, with each collaboration lasting four months and involving a team of at least one maker and one medical and scientific academic. These pairings stimulated learning and innovation through a focus on the body, materials and processes.
In its second phase, a longer six-month Parallel Practices programme, ‘Learning Through Making’, allowed maker-academic collaborations more time to explore the benefits of their partnership, giving consideration to the pastoral and educational outcomes that were touched upon in the pilot project. Makers John Grayson, Shelley James and Celia Pym worked with academics, researchers and students from undergraduate to post-graduate level to encourage students to play, use their hands and take risks to push the boundaries and enhance their learning experience.
The partnerships for Parallel Practices ‘Learning Through making’ were:
- Textile maker Celia Pym and Richard Wingate, Head of Anatomy at King’s, who will question the qualities of haptic experiences evoked through touch, the feelings of care and the of patterns of wear in material
- Glass maker, Shelley James and physics lecturer Dr Riccardo Sapienza, who are investigating making and problem-solving through glass techniques and experimentation to broaden learning and confidence
- Automata maker John Grayson and Robotics lecturer Matthew Howard are exploring synergies and movement between synthesising analogue and digital technologies within the realm of robotics and automata.
A further collaboration between the Nursing and Midwifery team at King’s and textile maker Angela Maddock, whose practice explores emotional and physical intimacy, started in October. This project seeks to support students in developing their haptic skills and extending their personal and professional development through creativity and reflective practice. Angela’s initial work explored what the students understand by haptic practice. From this she will develop workshops to focus on making as a methodology for developing emotional and material empathy.
Follow the progress of John, Celia, Shelley and Angela through the Parallel Practices blog
Parallel Practices 2014 Pilot
Watch the film of Parallel Practices pilot programme in 2014