As to making an artefact for my dissertation, I feel that the Research and Development module will be of great assistance in figuring out the best possible way I can prototype, receive criticism, improve, and prototype again.
My work so far has mostly been centred around tactile experiences, because I experience the world through the lens of sensory hypersensitivity. It frustrates me how with a medium as tactile as ceramics, people are rarely invited to interact with the work. Through my work, I would like to bring new sensory experiences to people’s lives, but especially to enable young autistic people to bring the way they experience the world into conversation. Ideally, I would like to open conversation with allistic and neurotypical people about the ways in which they perceive autistic people.
This summer I have been compiling research and reading around and on the subject matter of art and autism, and how the two can work together. In order to make my work, it is important for me to explore the ways in which people experience art, be they autistic or allistic. I need to have control over various skill sets, including but not exclusive to: sewing, needle felting, sculptural ceramics, drawing, and communication. Regarding material properties, I will need to control the visual and tactile aspects of the work I produce, and be aware of the way in which the product of this work impacts various senses of the person interacting with it. Regarding the research areas on which I will need to touch in order to create a meaningful result, it is important that I contact other autistic people directly, or through organisations such as the National Autistic Society (NAS). It is also crucial that I work on specific skills such as those mentioned previously, especially communication. I feel it will be of great importance to become a part of the discussion around secondary education, especially that of autistic students, and thus it will be crucial that I speak to both autistic students and their neurotypical peers, as well as teachers who deal with both. In this way I will be able to ensure that my contribution is meaningful, and one with much research backing it up.