Heidi Yeo

Studio 19: Material in Motion

Studio 19: Material in Motion.

Studio brief

"Things make us just as much as we make things" (Miller). This studio will explore a reading of objects focusing on the interplay between materials, the objects they form and their context.

We will investigate what constitutes a stimulating relationship with objects such that an audience will invest time, money and thought in acquiring them. This will involve consideration of the complex relationships between material, object and context, covering both intentional and unintentional aspects. The attributing of value will be considered as a judgement made by an audience, whether an individual or by society more broadly. This exploration will embrace the perception and experience of objects from a broad sensory perspective, how they function against intent and over time, the potential for emotional attachment, our own and other cultural perspectives and economic interests. We will also analyse object transformation from ordinary to extraordinary or obsolete, through transitions of time and context.

The studio will be of relevance to 3D students interested in consumer culture, and more specifically those seeking to grow audience desire for their work, whilst valuing the principle of consuming less. It will also speak to those interested in contemporary material culture, that have an interest in what such objects do and will say about us, and the times that we live in, to future generations. From a ‘me’ to a ‘we’ focus, you will have the opportunity to consider the implications of your research in relation to your design practice decisions.

View: Westfield Commercial plus a short behind-the-scenes film on the making of the commercial for the launch of Westfield London.


The London Design Festival
Various events, various venues 7 – 27 September 2016

Colour and Vision – Through the Eyes of Nature
Natural History Museum, London 15 July - 6 November 2016

Engineering the World: Ove Arup and the Philosophy of Total Design
Victoria and Albert (V&A) Museum, London 18 June – 6 November 2016

Silver Speaks
Victoria and Albert Museum, London, Silver, Room 66 8 March 2016 – 2 July 2017

Beazley Designs of the Year
Design Museum, London 24 November 2016 – 19 February 2017

Week 1 to 7 – In addition to introducing the formal framework of a dissertation, the first seven weeks will model a development of a dissertation proposal, which can be varied or interpreted or even ignored, assuming you present an alternative model. A combination of material/object handling sessions, object in context visits, readings, short pieces of writing, group work plus discussion and debate, will demonstrate how what you do can produce a dissertation. These weeks will also serve to demonstrate that you are a valuable resource to each other in identifying authentic areas of interest, engaging with the dissertation process and developing confidence in setting up a range of primary research experiences.

Week 8 to hand in – You will set up a support agreement within the group, meeting regularly to continue to share ideas, research, books etc and offer feedback, which it is hoped will be of great mutual benefit over the following weeks of self-study and individual tutorials.

Reading list

  • Chapman, Jonathan, Emotionally Durable Design: Objects, Experiences, and Empathy, (London: Earthscan, 2005)
  • Karana, Elvin, Owain Pedgley, Valentina Rognoli, Materials Experience: Fundamentals of Materials and Design, (Amsterdam: Butterworth–Heinemann, 2014)
  • Salminen, Justin, and Trevor M. Letcher, Janet L. Scott (eds.), Materials for a Sustainable Future (Cambridge: Royal Society of Chemistry, 2012)
  • Sudjic, Deyan, The Language of Things (London: Penguin, 2009)
  • Turkle, Sherry, Evocative Objects: Things We Think With (Cambridge, Mass: MIT Press, 2011)
  • Schwartzman, Madeline, See Yourself Sensing: Redefining Human Perception (London: Black Dog Pub, 2011)
  • Dudley, Sandra (ed.) Museum Materialities: Objects, Engagements, Interpretations, (Oxon: Routledge, 2009)
  • Simmel, Georg, 1903


Tutor Heidi Yeo

Tutor biography

Heidi Yeo

Senior lecturer for Jewellery and Silversmithing BA (Hons).

After graduating Heidi Yeo established a successful international jewellery practice working with such clients as Guggenheim Museum NY, MoMA San Francisco, The Royal Academy, Aquascutum and Selfridges in London.

Dissertation Studios

Studio 1: Another India

Harriet McKay

Studio 1: Another India will examine, reflect upon and critique the historic use of "exotic" motifs in design.

Studio 3: Music is the Weapon: Performance, Culture and the Music Industry

Christina Paine

Studio 3: Music is the Weapon: Performance, Culture and the Music Industry is an exploration of race, gender, class and more in music.

Studio 4: What Not to Wear?

Emma Davenport

Studio 4: What Not to Wear? will investigate the roles that dress and fashion play in our workplaces.

Studio 5: Imperfect Theories

Ektoras Arkomanis

Studio 5: Imperfect Theories allows you to critically examine any work that can be seen as theory or presents an interesting relationship with theory.

Studio 6: Curating Contemporary Art: From the Wunderkammer to Installation art

Nico de Oliveira

Studio 6: Curating Contemporary Art examines the impact of curatorial practice on art.

Studio 7: Fashioning culture: clothing and the shaping of identity

Dr Lesley Stevenson

Studio 7: Fashioning culture will examine critically the links between fashion, clothing and identity.

Studio 8: Pleasure, Excess and Dirt

Edwina Attlee

Studio 8 explores ideas of category, definition, identification and belonging through the examination of a series of objects and behaviours that appear to be in the wrong place instead of the right place.

Studio 9: The Continuing Lives of Objects

Danielle Hewitt

Studio 9: The Continuing Lives of Objects uses debates about change and preservation explore ideas within architecture.

Studio 10: Critical Theory and Critical Design. Artefacts, Images, Sites, Processes in Graphics and Illustration

Dipti Bhagat with Christopher Emmett

Studio 10 requires deep commitment and completion of critical theory and design for graphic design and illustration.

Studio 12: London Walking

Clare Qualmann

Studio 12: London Walking looks at walking as a mode of creatively appropriating the city, with particular attention to our own city, London.

Studio 14: All in the best possible Taste

Dr John Cross

Studio 14: 'All in the best possible Taste' examines the historical influencers of taste, style and fashion.

Studio 15: Music, Technology and Ideas

Lewis Jones

Studio 15: Music, Technology and Ideas encourages you to explore how and why we make music, including its origin, relationship to technology and more.

Studio 16: Narrative and Storytelling

Jon Baldwin

Studio 16: Narrative and Storytelling will see you produce storygraphs, storyboards and various forms of narrative analysis in the seminars.

Studio 17: Knowing Audiences

Jeremy Collins

Studio 17: Knowing Audiences will encourage you to study an audience group using qualitative research methods in your investigations.

Studio 19: Material in Motion

Heidi Yeo

Studio 19: Material in Motion will explore why an audience will put time, money and thought into acquiring an object.

Studio 20: Image ethics: Form, meaning and context

Dr Nick Haeffner

Studio 20: Image ethics: Form, meaning and context explores the aesthetics of the image and its role within fantasy, desire and social memory.

Studio 21: The Nonsensical Realm III

Joseph Kohlmaier

Studio 21: The Nonsensical Realm is a cross-disciplinary studio. This year it will engage with the idea of metaphor in art, architecture, design and music.

Studio 22: Meaningful work

Paul Harper

Studio 22: Meaningful work explores the value of making and the idea of craft as meaningful work.

Studio 23: A Common Thread

Gina Pierce

Studio 23: A Common Thread examines the relationship between textiles and everyday life, including its design, trade, sustainability and more.

Studio 24: Words in Space

David Price

Studio 24: Words in Space reflects on the role that words play in our visual world, performative spaces and the urban environment.

Cass Studios archive by year