Maarit Anna Mäkelä

Maarit Anna Mäkelä
Aalto University · Department of Design

Doctor of Arts

About

46
Publications
60,858
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540
Citations
Introduction
Maarit Mäkelä currently works at the Department of Design , Aalto University. Maarit does research in Higher Education.
Additional affiliations
March 2012 - present
Aalto University
Position
  • Professor (Associate)
Description
  • Associate professor of Design, especially Practice-Led Design Research and leader of EMPIRICA research group. Works also as an artist in the field of contemporary ceramics.
January 2009 - December 2011
Aalto University
Position
  • Coordinator of Design Connection Doctoral School
April 2004 - July 2006
University of Art and Design Helsinki
University of Art and Design Helsinki
Position
  • PostDoc Position
Education
September 1995 - December 2003
University of Art and Design Helsinki
University of Art and Design Helsinki
Field of study
  • Ceramics
August 1989 - May 1994
University of Art and Design Helsinki
University of Art and Design Helsinki
Field of study
  • Ceramics
August 1984 - May 1986
Kuopio Institute of Handicrafts and Applied Art
Field of study
  • Ceramics

Publications

Publications (46)
Article
Full-text available
Art, craft and design activities are fundamentally creative in nature, requiring the implementation of ideas in the form of materially embodied artefacts. Within art and design education, initiation to the creative process is usually enhanced via a studio model where material experimentations are an integral part of learning processes. This case st...
Article
Full-text available
Experimental research on the psychophysiological effects of different art materials and tasks is still scarce. This mixed methods research focused on physiological changes and emotional experiences in drawing and clay forming during the tasks of copying, creating novel designs and free improvisation within fast and slow timeframes. It combined an e...
Article
Full-text available
In a making process, a craftsperson starts a dialogue with the environment, tools and materials that are essential to their professional practice. During this materially and bodily entangled process, the act of making is thinking per se: the forming of the material emerges through the interaction with the material and is thus simultaneous with, and...
Article
Full-text available
In the context of artistic research, making has been traditionally understood as a process between the maker and the material. However, the digitalization that influences all practices brings us new kinds of making processes in which the ‘digital tools’ have a profound impact on the practitioner’s experience – also in the context of art, craft and...
Article
Full-text available
This paper discusses craft and design practices through their impact on the environment. We consider how to act concerning the consequences of the craft and design industry. Also, we reflect on the agency of our field of practice in changing how we perceive the environment. We present three case studies of the European glass industry sites in Swede...
Article
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This paper investigates the sociomateriality of collective creation in the context of a design studio project. Grounded in a relational approach that has influenced a multitude of studies in various fields, the notion of sociomateriality accounts for the constitutive entanglement of the social and the material in practice. How this entanglement occ...
Article
Full-text available
Kirja-arvio teoksesta Katve-Kaisa Kontturi, Ways of Following. Art, Materiality, Collaboration (London: Open humanities press, 2018), 268 s.
Conference Paper
Full-text available
This study examined a creative practice, namely felting, to explore the daily practices and encounters of felt makers. The study aimed at understanding the material connections of felt-making that are not limited to the making process. To examine how practices of felt makers emerge in connection to materials, we employed the material engagement the...
Article
Full-text available
This article discusses multisensorial aesthetic experience of environmental materiality via a craft process. The locally situated study investigates the interrelations of humans and environment through soil. In focus is how craft practitioners use their material sensitivity to reflect the idea of interdependency in the context of the contemporary e...
Article
Full-text available
Awareness of environmental issues, such as climate change and microplastics, has raised general concern about the state of the environment. Only recently has the discussion tackled the consequences of the human imprint in the contamination of the soil appropriately. In this artistic research, we use soil as the material mediator to explore and comm...
Chapter
Full-text available
The environment contains diverse raw materials that can be used for making ceramics. The chapter discusses the creative process that the author followed recently in New Zealand. Because of its volcanic nature, New Zealand offered diverse raw materials that can be used for making ceramics. The process was set forth via walking, which, Tim Ingold con...
Article
Full-text available
This article examines the interaction between maker and material in craft making in the case of felting. From the perspective of material agency, the article argues that the craft practice is the result of a negotiation between the material and the maker, and the bodily movements of a practice emerge from this dialogical act. The article investigat...
Article
Full-text available
Aalto University had the pleasure to host the 6th Art of Research Conference in November 29- 30, 2017. Over the past two decades, the Art of Research conferences have had a significant role in promoting continuous dialogue and fruitful convergence between art- and design-related research practices. The conferences have contributed to the developmen...
Article
Full-text available
Practice-led research has been under debate for three decades. One of its major issues concerns how the researcher who is also the practitioner documents and reflects on her creative process in relation to a research topic. This article reviews and discusses documentation and reflection in practice-led research through three cases of doctoral disse...
Article
Full-text available
Art and craft practitioners have personal experience of the benefits of making: the handling of material can help to regulate our mental states through providing a means to reach flow states. The mirror neuron system helps in skill learning, and the plasticity of the brain ensures that skills may be learned at all stages of life. Arts and crafts pl...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
In this paper, we argue that design can empower a craftsperson and accordingly provides the ability to maintain her work and practice. In addition, it can provide new opportunities to the local community she is part of. The study presents case studies from the field of felting in Turkey, a rooted craft that has been transforming in the last two dec...
Book
Full-text available
European ceramics traditions and cultures are facing challenges, many of them linked to the recent development of digital technology that is changing the rules of our everyday life as well as all aspects of trade. The publication shares, shows and discusses the ideas and processes that have evolved during the project Ceramics and its Dimensions and...
Article
Full-text available
Artists and designers have recently begun to take an active role in contextualising the creative process in relation to their practice. Thus, understanding how the creative mind proceeds has been supplemented with knowledge obtained inside the creative process. In this way, the spheres of knowledge, material thinking and experience that are fostere...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
The embodiment of tools and experiential knowledge of materials gained over time lies at the heart of both design and craft practices. However, empirical studies combining the study of mind and body in relation to design and craft practice is in its infancy. In the Handling Mind project, we conducted psychophysiological experiments in order to illu...
Article
Full-text available
Designing and making crafts is a complex, multifaceted process that requires sophisticated, professional thinking and competence, described as reflection in action and as an embodied process in which the hand, eye and mind collaborate. This article discusses these cognitive and embodied aspects central to designing and making crafts in light of cog...
Article
Full-text available
This article explores the role of the knowing body in material exploration and highlights the body as an important contributor in the formation of knowledge in the field of design. Our research involved gathering drawings, diaries and weekly and final reflections from 19 Masters students in Design during an eight-week course. Out of this data, we s...
Research
Full-text available
The Earth-dialogue exhibition was shown in the St Paul St Gallery in Auckland, New Zealand, between November 27th and December 11th 2015. The core of my artistic practice is the local, natural environment and in particular earth samples I gathered during my walks in New Zealand. These materials were processed in my studio and then used as clay body...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Within art and design, education material experimentations are an integral part of learning processes. However, the attention to materiality in educational studies has been rather limited. In this study, we discuss materiality in design education and explore the relation of materiality to learning, that is, how learning is entangled with or an effe...
Article
Full-text available
The experiential knowledge of practice resides within the practitioner and is out of the immediate reach for other researchers. Only when practitioners have an intrinsic motivation to research and make their practice explicit can their embodied experiential knowledge reach an outside audience. The present case study is an attempt to access and unde...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
The role of the body is not yet fully recognized in the process of knowledge creation. In the creative fields, especially in the field of art, craft and design, the manipulation of material is essential and much of the knowledge created in this process is generated bodily. This paper explores the role of the knowing body in material exploration. In...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
The process of design is a complex, multifaceted activity that requires sophisticated professional thinking and competence, described as reflection in action and embodied process where hand, eye, and mind collaborate. We propose that cognitive neuroscience provide valuable tools for analysing processes of thinking and acting relevant to designing....
Conference Paper
Full-text available
The experiential knowledge of a practice lives within the practitioner and is out of reach for an outsider researcher. Only when practitioners have intrinsic motivation in researching their practice, can experiential knowledge reach an outside audience. The present case study is an attempt to access some of the issues forming the embodied knowledge...
Article
Full-text available
Drawing, a fundamental tool in most art and design disciplines, has recently become a widely discussed topic within the context of artistic research. The variety of contemporary research into drawing has demonstrated that drawing is an activity that has almost boundless potential applications and roles within design and artistic practices. However,...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
What characterizes a design research exhibition compared to a traditional design and art exhibition? How do you show the very materialities of the design experiments as a means for communicating knowledge of research and of practice? How do you present, review and utilize such an exhibition? With those questions in mind, the intention and challenge...
Article
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This article describes an embodied way of making sense through making with the hands. We examine the potential o ftactile experience in the making process and analyse what tactile experiences mean. The study takes place in the context of an era marked by audio-visual dominance.The article presents a case study that observed and interviewed deafblin...
Article
Full-text available
Design practice involves multifaceted activities related to creative processes involving various design tools and material. In the present exploratory study, we investigated the feasibility of using contextual event sampling as a method of studying design activities, materiality and emotions in the making process. 'Event sampling' refers to a resea...
Article
Full-text available
This article introduces the intensive course Design Exploration and Experimentation (DEE), which encourages students’ free creative expression and supports managing of the creative process. The main objective of the course is to provide students with insights into inventive processes by utilizing the means of experimenting, exploration, documentati...
Book
Full-text available
Building on the work published in The Art of Research: Research Practices in Art and Design (Maarit Mäkelä & Sara Routarinne 2006), this anthology aims to unpick some of the issues surrounding practice-led research in the areas of art and design. The lively debate concerning research in this context began more than two decades ago and is still very...
Article
Full-text available
This article aims to discuss the use of crafting as a reflective tool in creative practice in relation to a particular historical context. The task will be approached by introducing the project 'Power of Everyday Life', which includes an exhibition at the Gallen-Kallela Museum, Finland, as well as the craft-related processes of participating artist...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Practice-led research has been under debate for nearly three decades. One of the major issues of this form of research concerns how the researchers who are also the artists/designers can reflect on and document their creative processes in relation to their research topic. In this paper, we review and discuss reflection and documentation in practice...
Article
Full-text available
Following the integration of artistic disciplines within the university, artists have been challenged to review their practice in academic terms. This has become a vigorous epicentre of debates concerning the nature of research in the artistic disciplines. The special issue " On Reflecting and Making in Artistic Research Practice " captures some of...
Chapter
Full-text available
In Finnish art universities, there has been a lively discussion about the substance and mode of practice-led research since the early 1980s. All the four art universities in the country have contributed to the field by creating their own Doctoral degrees from 1982 to 1997. A variety of practice-led Doctoral studies have been completed by artists an...
Conference Paper
This paper was presented at the Interrogations Creative Interdisciplinarity in Art and Design Research AHRC Postgraduate Conference, Loughborough University, 1st-2nd July 2009: http://www.interrogations.org.uk/conference/ This paper intends to contribute to the discussion concerning practice-led research by describing the knowledge and understandin...
Article
Full-text available
During the last decade, research in art and design in Finland has begun to explore new dimensions. Artists and designers have taken an active role in contextualising and interpreting the creative process in practice, as well as the products of this process, by looking at the process itself and the works produced through it. From this new point of v...
Article
Full-text available
In this article, I am uncovering my journey as an artist. This journey opens up to an ambiguous autobiographical space produced by narrative means. The space can be conceived both as mental and spatial. The mental space is an autobiographical state where identity is constructed through the stories we tell ourselves about our lives; the spatial spac...
Book
Full-text available
Kyseessä on taiteellisen tutkimuksen piiriin lukeutuva väitöskirja, jossa on käytännössä kokeiltu sitä, miten ajatus radikaalista sukupuolierosta ja naise(ude)sta toisena sukupuolena on mahdollista ottaa huomioon visuaalisia representaatioita tuottavassa taiteellisessa toiminnassa. Tutkimusprosessin aikana tuotetuilla keraamisilla naisrepresentaati...

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Projects

Projects (2)
Archived project
The purpose of the present research project is to analyze design thinking and learning as well as their material embodiment in studio-based practices. One aim of the multidisciplinary research project is to develop and test a new neuroscientific research method for studying creative embodied processes and skill learning in the field of design research.