Memory, Perception and the dyspraxic craftsman

Project Leaders: Emily Öhlund, Antje Illner, Alison Mercer

Number of participants: 25

Duration: 5 days

This is a workshop-based project investigating the process and experience of dyspraxic makers at the Royal College of Art, with a view to improving memory strategies. Collectively led by three researchers whose work investigates the role of dyspraxia, memory and life experience, in a makers practice. Researchers take turns leading the days. Alison and Emily ran a similar project last year called Making Memories, which was successful and well received.

This year it has evolved in response to last years experience, focusing on students with particular memory difficulties – dyspraxia.

We are also bringing in the addition of tutor Antje Illner to run the internationally acclaimed ‘Lifelines’ workshop and exhibition.

The workshop can take up to 25 dyspraxic students. This is part of ongoing research and therefore consent forms will need to be signed prior to attending

Materials List to bring each day; Pens, sketchbook, pencils, long ruler, scissors, suitable paper for folding, PVA. iphone/ipad/camera

Preliminary Schedule (10-4 daily)

Monday led by Emily Öhlund

Bring daily materials + an object which provokes a memory or sensory response

10.00 Introduction for the week

10.15-10.30 Talk: Memory, Perception and the Dyspraxic Craftsman
RCA Jewellery Doctoral researcher Emily Ohlund talks about her research into dyspraxia in the craft workshop.

10.45-11.30 Forum: What is Dyspraxia?
Open discussion about all things dyspraxic. This is an opportunity to learn, to ask questions and raise any subjects you wish to explore during the week.

11.30-11.45 Coffee break

11.45- 1.30 Forum: Sensory Perception
An open discussion about sensory perception, synaesthesia and our relationship with objects and materials.

1.30-2.30 Lunch

2.30-4 Workshop: Synaesthesia and Visual Memory
Explore and expand memory through associative, sensory and visualisation techniques.

Tuesday led by Emily Öhlund

Bring daily materials+ your favourite art medium

10.00 In to the Flow

10.30 talk by neuroscientist Janet Eyre on the brain and the flow.

10.45 Q&A with Janet Eyre

11.15-11.30 Coffee break

Workshop: familiar and unfamiliar materials

1.30- 2.30 Lunch

Workshop continued

Wednesday led by Emily Ohlund and Antje Illner

Talk: Material Interactions
RCA Tutor and Jeweller Antje Illner talks about her research.

Cognitive making exercise

Workshop: Memory exploration and strategising working in 2d and 3d

Lunch Outing: Walk through Hyde park and memory drawing/writing activity

Workshop continued

Thursday led by Alison Mercer

Bring daily materials + an arrangement of your favourite found objects
Talk: ‘What’s going on during textile making’?

RCA Textile Doctoral researcher Alison Mercer talks about her research.

All day sketchbook workshop: Beginning the Conversation with the Subconscious

How do we begin to bridge the conscious making we do and the subconscious activities that follow through? The activities during this session will engage in a conversation with your subconscious using a range of making and thinking activities to stimulate a closer look at how and why you are making images, selecting materials and manipulating materials. Participants will create a small book art structure using a maze folding technique developed by Mercer to create a meandering thought process as a starting point for thinking while doing. A small homework will be presented to continue in the evening.

Friday led by Antje Illner

All day workshop: Lifelines

To softly introduce critical thinking into the making practice. A hands-on making workshop exploring social and relational aspects of what it means to be a maker/jeweller/artist/designer. The workshop will be built around the LifeLines Project started by Jivan Astfalk In 1999 at the school of Jewellery in Birmingham.

LifeLines is a collaborative making and installation project focused around myths, particularly Levi-Strauss’ understanding of mythology as a system for coding and understanding reality. We will make physical ‘mini myth objects’ (Levi-Strauss calls them mythemes) which will become a collection of hanging linear objects. These can intersect, cross over and interact with each other, reflecting how our experiences and understanding of the world also overlap in time and meaning.

Exhibition and Pecha Kucha
Exhibiting work is at the discretion of each student and is entirely voluntary