Thinking through making together-apart: The sociomaterial becoming of a geographically distributed design practice

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperScientificpeer-review


This paper contributes a methodological approach to conducting practice-led design research, addressing the urgent need to explore the thoughtful dimension of making beyond the scale of individual practice. Drawing on the relational ontology advocated in recent studies of sociomateriality, I offer an empirical example of how the notion of ‘thinking through making’ (i.e., the foundational principle of practice-led design research) can transcend its current pre-individuated logic. My focus is on the process of designing Translocal Pottery, a collaborative project organized in six remote locations during the outbreak of the covid-19 pandemic. The project consisted of figuring out a way to make pots with people across spatiotemporal divides. This approach allowed for a mode of ‘thinking through making together-apart,’ a term I introduce to anchor practice-led design research in socially constituted design activity while challenging long-established traditions of working with pre-assumed units and boundaries—be they social, material, or analytical.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages12
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2 Aug 2023
MoE publication typeNot Eligible
EventSenses & Sensibility International Conference: Design and Complexity - Universidad de Málaga, Málaga, Spain
Duration: 28 Nov 20231 Dec 2023
Conference number: 12


ConferenceSenses & Sensibility International Conference
Abbreviated titleSENSES
Internet address


  • boundaries
  • making
  • practice-led research
  • relational ontology
  • sociomateriality

Field of art

  • Design


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  • Translocal Pottery

    Luis Vega (Organiser)

    Apr 2021Oct 2021

    Activity: Participating in or organising an event typesOrganization of a workshop, panel, session, tutorial or event

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