Professor Peter Downtone Lecture – notes

by stronged


– Epistemological Pavillions

– Different work spaces: 1) for puddling about, 2) larger area for puddling, and 3) messy space

– “Dogs look with their noses”

– The shed is a device to allow design research

– Research definition = ‘inquiry into things’ – How/Why/So what?

– Good research is built on clarity and conception

  1. History, context and processes
  2. What is necessary for design (Research for designing – ie. assemblage)
  3. Research through design (draws on a precedent.)

– Does the project embody the research?

– Sources, inspirations and irritations

– Documentation: Try to understand why you have gone in that direction by recording process in a variety of formats (i.e. pics, notes, sketches, audio) – log of construction/production handy tool

– We operate in an exhibiting culture – we make sense of things and share knowledge in exhibitions. They are a device/ecology to create collective knowledge.


I was relieved to hear that Peter’s work was mainly project-based. His annotating, reflection and documentation the only real academic component to his research. His process mainly consisted of tinkering around in his shed and crafting each object out of raw or recycled materials. More of a hands-on approach moving away from academia. Perhaps more of an exemplar of how RMIT students used to study – technically, as opposed to in a scholarly sense.