Practice-Based Research

My past life as an academic researcher and tutor isn’t completely behind me. As I’ve learned more about my own textile practice, I’ve become interested in how data and technology can have wider impacts on craft practice. I now combine some of the skills I picked up in academia with my own making practice-based experience to develop and deliver projects for and with other makers.

Intersections in practice

I’m interested in the ways that makers incorporate technology into their making practice, what they/we might want to achieve by doing so, and how they/we can be supported to do this. I’m especially interested in the intersections: the spaces where hand meets machine, data meets design, object meets audience, experience meets participant, and where different craft disciplines meet. This means that the practice-based research projects I get involved with as a practitioner lead and/or project manager are centred around data-inspired design, hybrid digital-physical making practices, and multi-/trans-disciplinary making.

Collective learning in practice

Everyone involved with these research projects, whatever their role, learns by being involved. I aim to ensure that that collective learning is shared with as diverse an audience as possible, which can include other makers, academics and the general public. This includes through peer-reviewed manuscripts, academic conference presentations, physical and digital exhibitions with supporting interpretation, online seminars and discussions, and interviews for traditional media.

And because I’m all about the intersections, everything learnt through the running of these projects intersects with and informs my own making practice.

Research Projects

Below, you’ll find brief details of my current and past practice-based research projects – what we were aiming to do, who I worked with, who funded it, when it ran, and how we shared the findings (including links to anything available online). Scroll through to see more or, if you know there’s a specific project you want to find out more about, jump to it by clicking the project title here:

Aural Textiles / Distributed Capabilities


An in practice image showing the arms of two makers working together to develop ideas on paper.
Cross-disciplinary collaborative making in practice at a workshop for Stage 3.
A maker's hand holds a printed sheet containing a spectrogram while they point at part of the image.
Sharing knowledge with other makers about ways of interacting with sound data.

Working as practitioner lead together with academic design researcher Dr George Jaramillo (Glasgow School of Art, Heriot Watt School of Textiles and Design), we co-created a multi-stage project to explore the ways that craft practitioners might work with sound data as a source of design inspiration. This project intersected George’s design interests in soundscape and future heritage with my practice-based interests in data-inspired textile design and the making space where hands meet machine.

Stage 1 was development of a case study in collaboration between myself and George to demonstrate the potential to create novel woven and knitted textile patterns based on spectrograms of birdsong.

Stage 2 involved six other textile practitioners working to create new knitted, woven and screen-printed textile patterns from a range of self-recorded sounds.

Stage 3 explored collaboration between textile practitioners and makers from other craft disciplines to share the process of designing from sound and explore cross-disciplinary design potential.

This project ran from 2017-2021. You can find out more and visit the online exhibition for Stage 3 on the project website.

Funded by Royal Society of Edinburgh Workshop (stage 2) and Network (stage 3) Grants.

Photo credits: Daniele Sambo

Publications

Stage 3

Jaramillo GJ & Hocking-Mennie LJ (2021) Collaborative Capabilities: Aural encounters in digital/analogue co-creative making. In Design Culture(s). Cumulus Conference Proceedings Roma 2021Volume #2 Edited by: Loredana Di Lucchio, Lorenzo Imbesi, Angela Giambattista, Viktor Malakuczi, pp1521-1534.

Hocking-Mennie LJ, Prosser Z, Booker C, Lightbody L, Sinclair C & Jaramillo GJ (2020) Distributed Capabilities: Towards hybrid ways of making in collaborative arts/design practices. Making Futures 2019 Journal

Stage 2

Jaramillo GJ & Mennie LJ (2019) Aural Textiles. Hybrid practices for data-driven design. The Design Journal 22(Suppl1): 1163-1175

Jaramillo GJ & Mennie LJ (2019) Aural Textiles: From listening to pattern making. Journal of Illustration 6(1): 161-182

Jaramillo GJ & Mennie LJ (2018) “Tangible sounds: exploring contemporary textile design through collective making” [exhibition catalogue]

Jaramillo GJ & Mennie LJ (2018) “Patterning sounds: exploring contemporary textile design through collective making” [pattern book] 

Stage 1

Mennie LJ & Jaramillo GJ (2018) Aural Textiles: Beyond Visual Pattern Making. Journal of Textile Design, Research and Practice 6(2): 222-233

Presentations & Media

The following are presentations by Lynne. Details of presentations by George and by participating makers can be found on the project website.

Sound Exchange exhibition footage and curatorial conversation, April 2021.

Heritage As A Creative Future | Session 5: The Creative and Heritage Industries: Spinning yarns…in discussion, 8th April 2021

Thread Talk for Handweaver’s Guild of America annual spinning and weaving week, on the Aural Textiles project, 10th October 2020.

The Herald on Sunday (centre pages spread on the Aural Textiles project): “The fabric of reality. Have you heard the latest fashion?” [Left page & right page], 13th September 2020.

Good Morning Scotland, BBC Radio Scotland – interview, 1st September 2020

Creative Accelerator Exposition, Look Again Project Space, Aberdeen, 12th September 2019 [presentation & exhibition]

Decriminalising Ornament: The Pleasures of Pattern, 9th International Illustration Research Symposium, Anglia Ruskin University, Cambridge, 17th November 2018

DISTANCE Project


Three-dimensional object created in virtual space - practice work made up of circles and squares joined together.
Experimental object created in virtual space.

The DISTANCE (Digital Immersive Technologies and Craft Engagement) Project is a research and development collaboration between a team of freelance project managers from Applied Arts Scotland and Steve Colmer (Soluis Heritage, Lateral North). In it, we introduce craft practitioners to immersive headset technology – hardware and software. Through this, we aim to understand the ways that makers wish to use virtual, augmented and mixed reality to engage other makers and audiences with craft objects and experiences. We’ll also identify the practice-based support that will help makers acquire new skills and expertise for working in digital and hybrid digital-physical space.

Phase 1 was a discovery phase with six makers from the South East Scotland region, lasting two months.

Phase 2 is a seven-month, more in-depth exploration with nine makers from across Scotland that considers individual and collaborative working practices.

This project started in 2020 and is ongoing. You can find out more on the project website.

Funded by Creative Informatics Connected Innovators Award (phase 1) and Creative Scotland Open Fund for Organisations (phase 2).

Publications

Hocking LJ, Sopata N, Sinclair C, Colmer S (2022) Digital Immersive Technology and Craft Engagement – local-global collaborations at DISTANCE (in preparation)

Presentations & Media

The following are presentations by Lynne. Details of presentations by other members of the project team and by participating makers can be found on the project website.

Hocking-Mennie LJ, Sopata N, Sinclair C, Colmer S (2021) Digital Immersive Technology and Craft Engagement – local-global collaborations at DISTANCE. Making Futures: Re-crafting the Local-Global Maker Relationship, Plymouth College of Art, 16th September 2021

Creative Informatics Innovation Showcase, 9th June 2021

Dissemination event (phase 1), 28th April 2021