Embodied Making and Learning









The role of sensory experiences and emotions in craft practice 

Camilla Groth

Aalto University


Keywords: Craft-practice, critical incidents, emotions, decision making


Emotions have traditionally been overlooked in the practice of scientific research. In the field of design and craft research, too, personal feelings and emotions have been considered as interfering with the rigour and validation of the research. However, as a result of findings in neuroscience, a new understanding has emerged, providing emotions a central role in risk assessment and decision making processes. This has implications also for how we understand craft practice. In this practice-led research, a craft practitioner analysed five video-recordings of herself while throwing clay blindfolded. The researcher-practitioner specifically studied critical incidents in the throwing process and made a detailed analysis of how felt experiences and emotions guided her in her risk assessment, decision making and problem solving processes during the throwing sessions. The research suggests that sensory experiences and emotions moderate and guide the making process and are thus important factors in craft practice. 

This paper is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International licence.

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Cite this paper: Groth, C. (2016). The Role of Sensory Experiences and Emotions in Craft Practice. Proceedings of DRS 2016, Design Research Society 50th Anniversary Conference. Brighton, UK, 27–30 June 2016.

This paper will be presented at DRS2016, find it in the conference programme

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