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Investigating the phenomenology of design objects within a specific environment

On the 23rd May our partners, Staffordshire University along side Glyndwr University hosted the Inaugural Postgraduate Research Student Conference.
In 2012 Staffordshire University and Glyndwr University signed a Memorandum of Understanding agreeing to develop and deliver opportunities for academic collaboration for the benefit of students and staff in both institutions. Key collaborative activities were identified in the areas of; research supervisor training, joint scholarship, postgraduate research student support (including a joint postgraduate research conference and sharing best practice and supporting each other and teaching)
The aim of this year’s inaugural postgraduate conference was to provide a mulch-disciplinary, inclusive and supportive environment where students and staff from both universities can meet to present and discuss diverse research plans and activities.
Our very own Anthony Rayworth, The National Design Academy’s Director of Studies attended and presented. Anthony’s presentation, titled “Investigating the Phenomenology of design objects within a specific environment” posed the main research question; What is the phenomenon that occurs when, prior to assimilating content, the viewer encounters an intentional presentation of interiors-related artefacts?
To discover the propositions you can view Anthony’s full presentation here.

Anthony considers the possibility of designing an artefact digitally and remotely, for example whilst on a railway journey, send the information to a 3D printer and arrive home to find the object waiting to be used or displayed raises a host of implications for our culture. These may be progressive and positive or they may contribute towards the development of a society solely reliant upon instant gratification; it is too early to tell. The research seeks to analyse the phenomenology of experiencing artefacts to do with the residential interior and extrapolate those essential, significant elements which may, in turn, contribute towards the inclusion or retention of depth and meaning within a contemporary culture.


At its most fundamental level, the research focuses on the immediate reaction of a viewer to a presentation of artefacts related to, or normally associated with, residential interiors. The supposition is that this phenomenon usually occurs within the first few seconds and is a combination of emotional, psychological, and intellectual stimuli. Through a process of “unpacking” the elements of a group of artefacts; both tangible; method of production, material, colour, scale and intangible; age, significance, provenance, patina, intention, the research will attempt to discover what precise phenomena each of these elements induce.

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