Katie Bunnell, All Makers Now? Conference Convenor and Chair for Materiality and Aesthetics
Affiliation: Autonomatic Falmouth University
Key words: materiality and aesthetics, design practices, democratising technology
Katie Bunnell is a ceramic designer-maker, researcher and leader of the Autonomatic research group at Falmouth University. Katie has an MA in Ceramics and Glass from the Royal College of Art and completed a practice based PhD, “Integrating New Technologies into Ceramic Designer-Maker Practice” in 1998 and founded Autonomatic in 2003. Since then the group have established a reputation for practice-based research that explores the relationships between digital technologies and craft practices. The group consists of practitioner-researchers working in ceramics, metals, glass, textiles, wood and mixed media whose research is focussed on developing specialist digital craft skills and driven by the interests and needs of practices in the UK craft and designer-maker sector. Their work highlights the importance of specialist, high quality, small-scale production within the wider Digital Economy, creating a bridge between 20th century craft practices and 21st century manufacturing. The work of the group has featured in international public exhibitions and lectures, won significant national awards and prizes and influenced policy in the craft sector over the last 10 years. In 2013 HRH Prince Charles presented Autonomatic with the Craft Skills Spotlight Award in recognition of important work being done in digital skills across the sector. Their unique, open exploratory and hands on approach to working with digital tools has resulted in innovative processes and products and enabled them to develop new forms of collaborative and interdisciplinary practice.