Practice Overview

DARREN BROWETT

email: d.l.browett@lboro.ac.uk  blog: https://darrenbrowett.wordpress.com

Collaborative Partners:

Arts for Health, Manchester Metropolitan University. 

Derbyshire Primary Care Trust.

Derbyshire Community Health Services.

Graduating from BA(Hons) Design Product at Staffordshire University in 1996, his career encompasses that of both practitioner and educator in the capacity of Technician Instructor in Three Dimensional Design at the Faculty of Arts, Media and Design, Staffordshire University, and since 2007 as Technical Tutor in Three Dimensional Design at Loughborough University School of the Arts, primarily concerned with the technical specialisms within Wood, Metal and Plastics materials. Browett completed a Masters postgraduate study in Three Dimensional Design at the Manchester Institute of Research and Innovation in Art and Design, Manchester Metropolitan University in September 2010. His personal practice aims to further contextualise his professional work through research, making and reflection and has come to represent a succinct example of crafted objects in a given context.

Throughout this research, the pursuit of a philosophical ideas-based approach to my design practice alongside an investigation of materials and technical processes has been the fundamental concern. This theory has been investigated through the practice of making decorative handcrafted objects that come to be understood from the background tradition of skill and the ‘well-made thing’. The study interrogates the evocative aspects of the way that studio craft objects are made, and brings into question the values that we place on materials and processes and the cultural associations that they hold. Exploring the division present between craft and the ideologies of design practices, the proposition for work is positioned outside orthodox craft practices, with outcomes being derived from a design methodology where ideas become concerned with designing people’s experiences, opposed to conventional thinking towards the design of an object. In conclusion to this research the primary focus towards delivering a solution to a perceived problem forms a rationale, whereby a number of crafted objects are produced that have the potential to stimulate responses, and this possibility being tested amongst participants. Further, based on findings drawn and processes of self-reflection, modifications to the designs are then brought about.

Conclusions are founded within a ‘real-life’ healthcare setting facilitated through a collaborative venture between Arts for Health at Manchester Metropolitan University, Derbyshire Primary Care Trust and Derbyshire Community Health Services. The results develop user centred approaches to open gateways of communication and connect with patients experiencing dementia. Drawing upon contemporary case studies such as the work of Anne Davis Basting and the Museum of Modern Art Meet Me Programme that illuminate models for best practice, outcomes are employed in a variety of scenarios to test their value and effectiveness as therapeutic tools as a stimulus for memory and stories to be shared. Through critical evaluation, the solutions derived promote communication, identity and self-expression for individuals experiencing the disease and support their caregivers.

The structure of this blog is kept as closely as possible to a chronology of events, providing insight into the design process in action.

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