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Disciplined Practice? Art & Design beyond the Boundaries

Yorkshire Sculpture Park & York St John University
10 September 2008 00:00 - 11 September 2008 00:00

Yorkshire Sculpture Park and York St John University are pleased to present Disciplined Practice? Art & Design beyond the Boundaries an international symposium convened on the occasion of the first major European exhibition of Isamu Noguchi at the Yorkshire Sculpture Park.

Japanese American artist Isamu Noguchi (1904-1988) came to prominence as a sculptor. His creative practice transgresses Western divisions that separate practitioners of art and design. Noguchi’s highly significant body of work includes public environmental projects and commissions, landscape and garden design, stage sets for the North American choreographer Martha Graham, as well as collaborations with Charles Eames, architect and interior designer Paul László and George Nelson on a catalogue of modern furniture widely considered to be the most influential of its time.

The Noguchi installation at YSP, staged in collaboration with the Noguchi Foundation and the Noguchi Garden Museum, includes exterior monumental stone carvings and smaller interior works. Alongside this sculptural exhibition, YSP will show a selection of ceramics, design, furniture, lighting, drawings and works on paper by this artist.

The breadth and depth of Noguchi’s creative practice shown at YSP facilitates a framework with which to consider those objects. Disciplined Practice? seeks to contest the Western division of art and design practice, and to debate and illuminate the transmission of knowledge and ideas across these creative areas.

Yorkshire Sculpture Park and York St John University invite educators, practitioners, scholars and students to submit panel abstracts (250 words) for this symposium in one of the following five panels:

  • Specialism or Cross-disciplinarily- within Western design practice of the past fifty years there has been a drive towards specialism within discrete areas such as product or graphic design. This panel seeks to examine examples and case studies that explore your views on Specialist Practice verses cross-disciplinarity to question its benefits and limitations for the making and understanding of past, present and future practices in design.
  • Art, Design and Commerciality - cultural and market forces have long been recognised as factors key to the commercial distinction of art and design practices. To acknowledge a creative era of what Julian Stallabrass has called ‘art incorporated’ in the twenty-first century is to question this traditional distinction however. Artists are, producing works that are manufactured and sold and designers are exhibiting their works in forums in  which we would expect to see art. This panel asks, what subtle distinctions and commercial drivers are now at work in creative practice in both art and design?
  • Sculptural design or Usable Sculpture? -does ‘Form follow function’ or can it inform use? In some designs the celebration of form seems to be more important than function. Conversely is sculpture just to be looked at? Richard Sapper once called design ‘commercial sculpture’. When encountering sculpture many of us want to touch and climb and experience the forms we encounter. In this theme we would like you explore issues of functionality and use in sculpture and design.
  • Cultural Influences on Cross-disciplinary Creative Practice - how does culture impact upon the cross-disciplinary natures of art and design? How are culture and the social negotiated and transformed by cross-disciplinary creative practice? As artists and designers work across the globe and encounter fellow practitioners working with and against globalisation how can these multiple perspectives and disciplines inform the way practice is viewed in the future?

Keynote speakers
They are in the final stages of organising a panel of keynote speakers with international reputation who will focus on each of the identified themes.

Delegate Fee: £150 for the two day conference

The conference proceedings will be disseminated as a multimedia publication via the internet and therefore we welcome a range of presentation types as well as traditional academic papers.

In order that the conference is disseminated as effectively as possible, it will be assumed that in submitting an abstract, each participant is granting the right to publish its content on the Conference website and elsewhere: if you do not wish your abstract to be publicised, please advise the organisers explicitly. Where appropriate, you be contacted seeking further information for use in conference press releases.

Poster Session
Poster presentations are designed to give researchers an opportunity to present late-breaking results, significant work in progress, well-defined problems, or research that is best communicated in conversational mode.  By definition, poster presentations are less formal and more interactive than a standard talk. Poster presenters have the opportunity to exchange ideas one-on-one with attendees and to discuss their work in detail with those most deeply interested in the same topic. Each presenter is provided with about 2 square metres of board space to display their work. They may also provide handouts with examples or more detailed information. Posters will remain on display throughout the conference, but a block of time separate from paper sessions will be assigned when presenters should be prepared to explain their work and answer questions.

There will be a programme of pre-conference practical workshop activities for a selected group of students.

Sarah Staton, artist in residence at YSP, will lead a six day residential workshop in the Design Centre of York St John University.  Usable Sculpture will address the design and production of pieces of ‘usable’ pieces of work by and for visitors to the sculpture park.

In conjunction with the exhibition Isamu Nogochi Yorkshire Sculpture Park presents an exhibition of fellow transdisciplinary artist Sarah Staton. Fascinated by construction processes, Sarah Staton’s work investigates form, function and feeling through a series of architectural and sculptural interventions. She makes richly layered assemblages of found and constructed objects that explore relationships between art and its context, be they social, physical, historical or political.

Website Yorkshire Sculpture Park & York St John University

Abstracts for papers may be submitted via email by 1st July 2008 to:

James Alexander, Senior Administrative Assistant-Project & Outreach

http://Yorkshire Sculpture Park & York St John University
Contact Name:
James Alexander
Contact Email:

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