Design Through Making

Roseanne Wakely

Roseanne Wakely is a future-focused designer, artist and maker, with playfulness and inclusive design at the core of her practice. She works within an ecosystem of robotic technology, digital fabrication, and social experimentation. At the Royal College of Art she focused on philosophical research and turned it into tactile interactive prototypes, working provocatively at the interface of the body, gestures, consent and neuropsychology. 

Roseanne is co-founder of Rusty Squid, a Bristol based laboratory for robotic art and design that brings together artists, engineers and designers to incubate new philosophical insights, technical innovations and cultural evolution. She has worked as a production manager, team leader, fabricator, and designer on numerous projects for companies such as the Bristol Museum, Aardman, Bristol Central Library and The MShed. Her work has been featured on The BBC. In addition, Roseanne won the University of Bristol’s New Enterprise Competition in 2013 and Best in Show at New Blades in 2009.  

Graduated with a foundation diploma from the University of the Arts London in 2006. Leading on to receive a BA in Model Making in Media and Design from Bournemouth University in 2009. Then an MA in Design Products at the Royal College of Art in 2020.  

Contact

roseanne.wakely@network.rca.ac.uk

Personal Website

Rusty Squid Website

LinkedIn

Instagram

Degree Details

School of Design

My practice considers different ways of knowledge formation and alternative intelligence. Design synthesis, collaborative design and designing through making are core to my working processes. Recently I have been working with groups of neurodiverse and visually impaired performers. Robotic technology is part of my design tool kit, for example, embedding sensors into layers of clothing or using Arduino to create mechanisms that are interactive with the breath. As a result, questions are posed about our relationships with technology and where the boundaries are between humans and technology or between skin and fabric. Technology becomes an accessible tool for fast prototyping allowing objects and environments to be interactive. Prototypes are realised off the screen and through real-world interactions. The intention is to promote optimistic outlooks on hypothetical and utopian futures where technology is embedded and we engage with it in surprising ways.
 

Alternative Intelligence

Alternative Intelligence Performance

Whisker clothes

Stick on whiskers

Wind Whiskers

Whisker Probes — Bespoke whisker kits were sent out to people in the neurodiverse, maker and visually impaired community. Participants were encouraged to create their own whisker designs based on their tactile needs, or give feedback which was core to the iterative process.

This is a playful speculative project celebrating different types of intelligence and ability. Augmenting the body with whiskers to experience the environment in a new way and explore tactile intelligence. The project is partially about being more somatic and partially about valuing tactility as a form of intelligence.
A hierarchical and binary approach was found alongside a predominant belief that what we consider "intelligence" is quite narrow and fixed, favouring speed, efficiency, and memory. This seemed to exclude the richness of neurodiversity and people with radically different abilities. The sense of touch and physicality seems to be often undervalued and not viewed as a form of intelligence.
If there was a test for kinaesthetic intelligence we would likely find that cephalopods exhibit the highest level. Not only does each of their arms have its own brain, but it can also taste, feel, and sense light. On top of this, they’re incredibly curious and reflect their discoveries in changing skin patterns and textures. Using non-human values as a starting point allows us to escape the metric of deep culturally embedded ideas of intelligence in order to diversify.

Alternative Intelligence celebrates tactile difference by distributing whisker packs to several neurodiverse and visually impaired performers collecting accounts of a variety of tactile experience. Participants were encouraged to create their own whisker designs based on their tactile needs, or give feedback which was core to the iterative process.

By giving our human body parts amplified tactility and more sensation through whiskers it suggests ways that humans may become more kinaesthetically intelligent, sentient, and curious. It considers ways we can manipulate and rewire our sense of spatial navigation by amplifying what our skin feels.

Medium:

Nylon, Neoprene, Polypropylene and Paper.
Bio Inspired
Body
Dance
Inclusive Design
Interactive
Neurodiversity
Neuroscience
octopus
Performance
Speculative Design
Tactile
wearable

Roseanne_Wakely_Other_IQ_RCA_show_2020

OtherIQ Rosie Wakely1

Other IQ tests based on octopus values.

Other IQ is a critical design project that explores how the IQ test excludes neurodiversity. Current IQ tests value speed, efficiency and memory, but are these the traits of the ideal human? This project aims to understand intelligence from a new perspective, creating IQ tests based on octopus intelligence.
It is unsettling to see many people struggling to feel human. People are not broken, they are trying to fit into a monoculture that excludes neurodiversity from its foundations. The IQ test purports to assess how well human ‘hardware’ functions, but the metric itself is subjective and biased. IQ tests merely assess what one particular group of privileged humans have deemed as ideal traits of human intelligence.
Other IQ proposes a series of physical intelligence tests that are designed around octopus values and abilities in order to encourage dialogue and critique around the current system and how we could better value neurodiversity.

Historical body modification. — World War I reconstructive face mask. Sub dermal implants from 1995.

The B-Part at home cosmetic surgery kit.

The B Part method — The mould is worn on the face for 3 hours after injecting the specially developed serum called “Boto-plasti” (patent pending) The revolutionary chemical composite is designed to expand the facial feature or body part into the mould and set it into that position.

Body Mod speculates upon the future of body modification and the evolution of accompanying copyright legislation. Through a collection of past and future objects and visualisations the project imagines a future of DIY body hacks, open source facial features and ‘Body Piracy laws’.

In the near future, Kim Kardashian started a media stir around a new form of electronic subdermal implant jewelry made by a company calling itself ‘A.Human’. This started to catch on with other celebrities and Youtube stars who expressed an interest in copywriting their implants or skin traits. This, and the recent growth of body oriented copyright battles has prompted amendments to UK copyright legislation. The public have started to call these new rules ‘body piracy laws’.

Set up in response to this wave of copywriting and accompanying technology, B-parts has emerged as the first company looking for funding to develop easily accessible at-home kits for a wider audience. The kits proposed on Kickstarter include everything you need to change your own features and body parts using open source models.

The B Part method involves the user wearing a mould on their face for 3 hours after injecting a specially developed serum called “Boto-plasti” (patent pending) inspired by saline injection popular in body modification subcultures. The revolutionary chemical composite is designed to expand the facial feature or body part into the mould and set it into that position.

This was a collaborative project with Gaston Golstein, Shengli Lu, and Xujie Tao.

Gaston Golstein:

Shengli Lu:

Xujie Tao:

Octopus Centred Design — Intelligence tests created around octopus values. This non human centred design focus allows us to escape the metric of deep cultural embedded ideas of intelligence in order to diversify.

Tactile Intelligence Test

Other IQ octopus inspired tests

Other IQ is a critical design project that explores how the IQ test excludes neurodiversity. Current IQ tests value speed, efficiency and memory, but are these the traits of the ideal human? This project aims to understand intelligence from a new perspective, creating IQ tests based on octopus intelligence.

It is unsettling to see many people struggling to feel human. People are not broken, they are trying to fit into a monoculture that excludes neurodiversity from its foundations. The IQ test purports to assess how well human ‘hardware’ functions, but the metric itself is subjective and biased. IQ tests merely assess what one particular group of privileged humans have deemed as ideal traits of human intelligence.

Other IQ proposes a series of physical intelligence tests that are designed around octopus values and abilities in order to encourage dialogue and critique around the current system and how we could better value neurodiversity.
B Parts speculates upon the future of body modification and the evolution of accompanying copyright legislation. Through a collection of past and future objects and visualisations the project imagines a future of DIY body hacks, open source facial features and ‘Body Piracy laws’.
In the near future, Kim Kardashian started a media stir around a new form of electronic subdermal implant jewelry made by a company calling itself ‘A.Human’. This started to catch on with other celebrities and Youtube stars who expressed an interest in copywriting their implants or skin traits. This, and the recent growth of body oriented copyright battles has prompted amendments to UK copyright legislation. The public have started to call these new rules ‘body piracy laws’.
Set up in response to this wave of copywriting and accompanying technology, B-parts has emerged as the first company looking for funding to develop easily accessible at-home kits for a wider audience. The kits proposed on Kickstarter include everything you need to change your own features and body parts using open source models.
The B Part method involves the user wearing a mould on their face for 3 hours after injecting a specially developed serum called “Boto-plasti” (patent pending) inspired by saline injection popular in body modification subcultures. The revolutionary chemical composite is designed to expand the facial feature or body part into the mould and set it into that position.
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