Arts Design & Architecture

Publication Search Results

Now showing 1 - 10 of 19
  • (2022) Keenahan, Debra
    Thesis
    This thesis develops the concept of Critical Disability Aesthetics. Critical Disability Aesthetics extends upon the current conceptualisation of Disability Aesthetics developed by Tobin Siebers. I argue that Disability Aesthetics adheres to a restrictive definition of the term aesthetics anchored in the judgement of beauty, whilst Critical Disability Aesthetics explores the broader sense of aesthetics as a sensory-affective process. This framework provides a conceptual grounding for a practice-based exploration of the embodied dimensions of lived experience. As an artist with achondroplasia dwarfism, I explore the experience of corporeal difference from a subjective position. My practice examines the framing of disability but also the embodied social interactions of a female dwarf. In my art practice I deploy different media to elaborate various dimensions of this experience, beginning with a series of photographs, “Take a Look at THAT!”, documenting the micro aggressions that confront a person with dwarfism in the act of walking down the street. Then a sculptural work, Little Big Woman: Condescension, that considers the dynamics of an objectifying gaze. From these works, I move into practice that embodies unfolding psychosocial dynamics in a public environment. In Awkward Conversations I offer members of the public the opportunity to walk with me in public. In the Virtual Reality experience, Being Debra, I construct a first-person narrative whereby the story unfolds from my embodied perspective – both in the present and in a series of flashbacks. The thesis demonstrates via this body of artwork, how Critical Disability Aesthetics can advance understanding of the subjective and intersubjective experience of ‘disability’, which is not a quality of the subject but rather, arises within a social nexus.

  • (2022) Patterson, Kate
    Thesis
    3D computer generated biomedical animations can help audiences understand and contextualise scientific information that can be challenging to communicate due to resolution and complexity. Biomedical animators bring together multiple sources of authentic scientific data, to translate abstract information into a visual form through storytelling and visualisation. The field of biomedical animation has emerged from a long history of science visualisation and science-art endeavours, and despite there being rich discourse in the fields of data visualisation and science communication, the academic literature in the field of biomedical animation is limited, and focussed on the technical methods for visualisation, or the role these animations play in scientific research, rather than the processes through which they are created. However, as the field matures, there is a need for a deeper understanding of the creative process, and the field is now poised to expose and characterise these aspects, particularly from the perspective of the practitioner. This practice-based research project aims to expose and characterise both the visible and invisible factors that influence my personal process of creating a biomedical animation, and the tacit dimensions that influence orchestrated design choices. This research project employs a multi-method and reflective practice approach with disciplined capture and documentation of critical moments of self-reflection, that ultimately comprise the data for analysis. Thematic analysis was then used to analyse the data, and to identify themes that could contribute to frameworks that represent my personal process(es) in creating 3D biomedical animations. This has allowed me to identify and contextualise my creative process both in terms of my personal and professional position as well as within the field more broadly. I am now able to better advocate for the intangible and often undervalued aspects of my creative practice, and can articulate how a hierarchical decision matrix that considers multiple inputs contributes to my creative process. These insights will also be relevant to others in the field of biomedical animation and in the field of design more broadly, who may gain a deeper insight into their own processes of working and ways of exploring creative practice.

  • (2022) Litvan, Bec
    Thesis
    The Kitsch Glitch is a personal investigation of the impact of cultural shame and stigmatisation on the lived experience of breast cancer. My point of departure was the apparent inability of my inherited (Russian-Jewish) culture to admit any discursive practices that would do justice to such a lived experience. Influenced by family history, kitsch aesthetics, and glitch theory, I sought to combine these components in order to produce a set of works that open a space in which the received cultural perceptions of cancer could be challenged. I refer to various aspects of “Soviet Kitsch” and Russian history to demonstrate that a restrictive and self-suppressing Stalinist mentality continues to pervade my culture, and even overdetermined my family’s perception of disability and illness. Utilizing a punk-luxe aesthetic, my artistic practice takes an experimental approach in presenting cancer as a bodily glitch, while critiquing what I have discovered about my Russian cultural heritage. This paper presents an empathetic perspective and eclectic iterations of medical and cultural aesthetics. This is articulated through a series of experimental digital and physical outputs. As a result, I argue that my work could be considered as a positive rendition of “cancerous propaganda”.

  • (2022) Herse, Sarita
    Thesis
    As collaborative agents are implemented within everyday environments and the workforce, user trust in these agents becomes critical to consider. Trust affects user decision making, rendering it an essential component to consider when designing for successful Human-Agent Collaboration (HAC). The purpose of this work is to investigate the relationship between user trust and decision making with the overall aim of providing a trust calibration methodology to achieve the goals and optimise the outcomes of HAC. Recommender systems are used as a testbed for investigation, offering insight on human collaboration with dyadic decision domains. Four studies are conducted and include in-person, online, and simulation experiments. The first study provides evidence of a relationship between user perception of a collaborative agent and trust. Outcomes of the second study demonstrate that initial trust can be used to predict task outcome during HAC, with Signal Detection Theory (SDT) introduced as a method to interpret user decision making in-task. The third study provides evidence to suggest that the implementation of different features within a single agent's interface influences user perception and trust, subsequently impacting outcomes of HAC. Finally, a computational trust calibration methodology harnessing a Partially Observable Markov Decision Process (POMDP) model and SDT is presented and assessed, providing an improved understanding of the mechanisms governing user trust and its relationship with decision making and collaborative task performance during HAC. The contributions from this work address important gaps within the HAC literature. The implications of the proposed methodology and its application to alternative domains are identified and discussed.

  • (2022) Harkness, Matthew
    Thesis
    This research proposes practice-based models for examining the perceptions of 3D printing as entrepreneurial, accessible and environmentally sustainable. The dissertation and practice-based research argue that these popular perceptions limit the potential of 3D printing, and maker culture more generally, because of their overemphasis of human agency in maker culture. The research contends that such perceptions have arisen because of misunderstandings about the agency of the materials and technologies engaged in 3D printing networks, the failure of maker culture to make 3D printing accessible to an audience beyond the typical readership of maker magazines, and the failure to account for the significant environmental dangers of the plastic filament that construct 3D printed objects. Tracing maker culture’s initial commitment to anti-consumerist principles that no longer prevail – DIY culture of the 1960s and 70s and hacker culture of the 1980s and 90s – the practice of 3D printing has instead become a black box. In this research, I define black boxes as objects, systems, or processes whose inner workings become hidden because of their own success and so, black boxes are typically understood by their inputs and outputs. To open up the black box of 3D printing, the research reflects on a series of material experiments with 3D printing that are informed by critical making, co-design and speculative critical design within an Actor-Network Theory (ANT) framework. Through the ANT concept of generalised symmetry the research argues for the importance of ascribing agency to the more-than human actants in the maker practice networks of 3D printing, and provides documentation of the critical making project titled Dissolvable Furniture as a model. An investigation of contemporary challenges to participating in maker culture, framed within the ANT concept of translation, was conducted through online co-design workshops on 3D printing and identified barriers to inclusive maker culture. Subsequent to the workshops further investigation of the agency of 3D printing materials, titled Co-created Ceramic Objects, provides a model for the disposal of PLA through incineration in a kiln. The final exploration of a model for un-black boxing 3D printing, specifically addressing claims that PLA is environmentally sustainable, demanded a provocation that unsettled complacency about the dangers of plastic. Based on extensive research on the waste management practices of plastics the research documents the practice-based model of the speculative critical design titled Biorecycling Machine. These projects address the long-term implications of entrepreneurial, accessible and environmentally sustainable practices of maker culture and interrupt the individualism at the core of much debate in maker movement groups by reframing maker practices as material–semiotic constellations of interactions of human and more-than-human actants that are constantly in flux. The research concludes with recommendations for areas requiring further study, including the need for better protection of the intellectual property of makers, the necessity of creating more accessible maker cultures, and the urgent need to address the environmental dangers of 3D printing materials.

  • (2022) Lomm, Meg
    Thesis
    This research explores the interconnectedness and professional identity formation of international alumni in art and design. The research is situated in pre-pandemic international education policy, practice and experience. The study analyses thirteen selected Australian policy documents to examine how policy acknowledges and fosters connectedness for international alumni, identifying that innovative mobile technology is underutilised as a means to professionally connect (Lomm, Snepvangers & Rourke, 2018; Snepvangers & Rourke, 2020) and enhance employability. With the view to identify representations of online best practices, relevant multi-stream literature contributions and eight case exemplars are initially investigated. Three contrasting case studies (Cochrane & Antonczak, 2015; Lemon, 2018a; Lien & Cao, 2014) are selected for deeper analytical investigation using the ‘Ecologies of Practice’ framework (Kemmis et al., 2014). Theoretical conceptions of connectedness (Bridgstock, 2016a; Bridgstock & Tippett, 2019a; Pegrum, 2010) are extended to include psychological and intercultural viewpoints, relational and identity capital and relational network behaviours in social media perspectives. Primary data (questionnaire and reflective email interviews) relating to professional employability journeys, identities, and online connectedness of a small number of alumni (n=31) from UNSW Art and Design is also collected and analysed. The research uncovers online creative practice traditions that facilitate connectedness and digital identities in social and professional online ecologies and suggests ways to address identified gaps in policy and practice. Strengthening a sense of belonging and visibility in informal and social creative settings may increase online networked relations and employability for art and design alumni.

  • (2022) Bergo, Costanza
    Thesis
    My project articulates and examines the notion of a settler-colonial structure of feeling through visual analysis of landscape in Australian film, art and popular culture from post-World War II to the present day. The focus of such an investigation is not the overt intentions of representations of landscape, but rather the unrepresentable tensions they aim to conceal. The thesis theorises a relationship of interdependence between the physical occupation of territory and the production of images that represent those territories as landscape. It considers the role of landscape representation within the ongoing performance of possession that settler colonies rely upon for the (re)production of sovereignty. As Tuck and Yang argue, land is the main preoccupation of settler colonialism. Landscape representation, in turn, indexes the settler-colonial cultural perception of land. The very concept of an Australian landscape is rooted in the epistemology of colonialism: the settler-colonial nation relies on its subjects to continuously conceptualise its national landscape not as occupied territories belonging to Indigenous peoples but as an undisputed sovereign white nation called Australia. Settler-colonial landscape is one of the tools through which the settler colony circulates and enacts the denial mechanisms it depends on. My project brings together Wolfe’s articulation of settler-colonialism as structure with Williams’s notion of structures of feeling. It does so to theorise and analyse a settler-colonial structure of feeling—the inherently ambivalent network of unconscious drives that both uphold and disrupt the settler-colonial project. My project maps settler denial through various terrains. Chapters 1 and 2 examine the co-constitution of anxiety and pleasure in representations of the landscape within the settler imagination. Chapter 3 focuses on land as property and examines the settler home and garden to disentangle the complex relationship between care and violence that characterises everyday life in the contemporary settler state. Finally, chapter 4 moves to the coast and beach to examine the death-line of the border. Each chapter builds its argument through visual analysis of diverse media, ranging from tourism advertisements to feature films and artworks, all analysed from a perspective that brings together art history, settler-colonial studies and cultural studies.

  • (2022) Zhou, Hao
    Thesis
    Contemporary immersive virtual reality (VR) technologies present significant potential for artists to expand their creative repertoire, and for art museums to facilitate exhibition delivery and visitor engagement. To date, studies in the field focus predominantly on identifying the affordances and constraints of VR for art museums and examining visitor experience in the virtual context, with little attention paid to artists as creators of VR works and their realities in the creative process. Illuminating artists’ experiences of ideation and creation helps develop insider’s perspectives beyond what can be determined from solely inspecting the finished works or their reception, and understand how the potentiality and novelty of VR are negotiated in practice and translated into meaningful installations. This research seeks to cast light on the creative practice with VR through three selected projects in the context of Australian art museums as case studies, exploring why and how the artists employed VR in their particular situations. Adopting a qualitative research paradigm and naturalistic inquiry approach, each case study follows a two-phase research design, conducting a review of literature that critiques the project and semi-structured interviews with artists in each phase respectively. Thematic analysis is applied to analyse interview data to derive meanings, patterns and embedded ideas from artists’ accounts. Within-case analysis has generated a detailed presentation of each project regarding its context, VR work(s) produced and the creative process. Led by the research questions, cross-case comparative analysis has established a range of themes and sub-themes (as manifestations of the themes in the case studies), which are integrated and presented as a table. These themes concern the affordances of VR valued by the artists that lead to their employment of the technologies, significant factors influencing their creative process, and key considerations underlying their conceptualisation of VR works and adoption of corresponding approaches. This research contributes new knowledge to understanding artist’s practice in making VR installations, by revealing a range of significant and commonly encountered elements characterising the creative practice, and their contextualised manifestations in the particular case projects. The findings provide art practitioners with a set of considerations for future engagement with VR.

  • (2022) Emmett, Deborah
    Thesis
    This practice-based research focuses on traditional textile artisan communities in Kashmir, India, who create handcrafted products with expertise learnt through intergenerational observation and making. The research shows that the rich cultural heritage inherent in these communities has the potential for growth towards a sustainable future through co-design projects. Assumptions in contemporary co-design processes are, however, based on industrialised and technological contexts which need to be reconsidered when working with artisanal communities in India. As members of India’s informal economy, these artisans tend to have low socio-economic status and limited educational opportunities. Consequently, the future of their craft heritage is now becoming economically and practically unsustainable, owing particularly to the global impact of fast fashion and the younger generations leaving the industry. Yet, at the same time, more and more consumers or users are becoming interested in traditional design processes and their provenance, and the makers and the techniques they use to produce these products, prior to purchase. For this research, three co-design projects were conducted with the Kashmir shawl artisan community and Australian users and collectors of their products. Two embroidered pashmina shawls were created by artisans working directly with two customers in Australia, while the third co-design project reintroduced using natural dyes to the shawl community. This practice-based research on co-designing within the context of artisan craft heritage investigates and documents the role of ‘facilitators’ sourced from within the artisan community; a re-evaluation of ‘value’ as perceived by intercultural participants; and using digital technologies to connect user and maker through storytelling and lived experience. The relevance of relationship-building to sustainability, recognised within the frameworks of co-design theory and slow fashion, are key drivers of this research. Through the researcher’s Kashmiri connections, these co-design projects were built on rare and unique access to artisans in their work environment who shared their perceptions of their work, relationships and values, without commercial or social status concerns. This research proposes a new understanding of co-design methodologies in the Indian context and highlights the potential constraints of language differences and geographical distances between the intercultural participants. The research also contributes to a critical rethinking of assumptions within contemporary co-design practices, especially when working with participants whose culture and values differ. The emergent co-design strategies proposed in this research have significant application to projects in other traditional artisanal communities in India, and towards a more sustainable future for handmade crafts.

  • (2022) Pervez, Wajiha
    Thesis
    This practice-based MPhil looks at circular economy innovation in athleisure garments, a hybrid of athletic and leisure clothing such as compression garments and yoga pants. The increasing uptake of athleisure garments as everyday clothing contributes to the environmental crisis at a scale that perpetuates the unsustainability of fast fashion due to their extensive use of blended plastic-based textiles. While there may be a current shift towards a circular economy in athleisure clothing, the industry’s approach is predominantly inclined towards recycling, which does not lessen consumer demand and, in fact, perpetuates increasingly rapid cycles of consumption and production. Design for disassembly is an underlying strategy for achieving a circular economy in which the potential for waste is designed out in the conceptual phases. It considers the lifecycle of each product building block and integrates an optimum resource recovery and reassembly plan (through recomposition, repair, reuse, recycling etc.). However, while the practical advantages of design for disassembly are known, the uptake of circular economy as a design strategy is embraced by the industry and consumers according to their differential definitions, understanding and adoption of sustainable practices. This research argues that achieving a ‘critical circular economy’ in athleisure clothing requires investigation into the socio-cultural functioning of the industry as well as the political aspects of consumption patterns of its’ consumers. Informed by Chantal Mouffe’s concept of agonism, Adversarial Design theory by Carl DiSalvo proposes that critical designers use their practice as a generative frame to expose inconsistencies and disagreements within the systems designed to build relationships between product, production, and consumers. For example, material design for disassembly, end of life, and post-use recycling might be popular industrial approaches for designing athleisure garments; however, adversarial design can provide other ways to navigate the concepts of labour, waste, the female body, time, movement and materiality of athleisure garments within a circular economy by confronting users with alternate versions of these concepts. DiSalvo’s concept for firstly revealing hegemony consists of identifying and documenting power structures and their influences in athleisure clothing design. Secondly, those insights can then be used to assess the excluded agendas in the design of athleisure clothing and reconfigure the remainder, thereby informing a third tactic of articulating an agonistic collective that includes designing participatory models in which alternative garments and material constructions are offered and experienced. Moving the circular economy value propositions away from recycling using adversarial design opens the potential for a collaborative model that enables education, research, industry, and craft to connect in achieving alternative approaches to the circular economy, that retain and make the female body and movement, material and waste and labour and time visible through the design and making of athleisure garments. Therefore, this research intervenes into the preconceived materiality of athleisure garments to achieve experimental stretch, fit and moisture management capabilities for exercise and daily task performance by using and manipulating natural/ undyed calico and linen as ubiquitous and relatively sustainable, but surprising, material substrates for athleisure garments. Although the research began with concerns about the predominant use of plastic-based fibre blends in athleisure garments, the explicit intention of the studio experiments is not to change the normative typology of athleisure garments but rather to elicit ‘adversarial’ questions through the material choice and the experience of experimental prototypes. The adversarial design prototyping experiments work towards the critical analyses of ‘disassembly’ systems, and thus the assumptions, myths and promises of sustainability within the athleisure clothing industry and its’ fashion systems that support the predominant use of synthetic textiles and their near impossibility for disassembly.