Dr Kristina Niedderer Professor of Design and Craft at the University of Wolverhampton, UK, where she leads the 'Material and Theoretical Practice' research cluster as well as Contextual Studies for the MA Design and Applied Arts. Kristina was originally apprenticed, and worked as a goldsmith and silversmith with Ulla and Martin Kaufman in Germany. She then trained as a designer and design researcher in the UK, with an MA (RCA) and a PhD in Design (2004) in which she used her craft practice's concerns with drinking vessels and social interaction to develop the idea of mindful design, resulting in the development of the new category of 'performative object'. Her research interests & supervision expertise range across:
- mindful design and behaviour change;
- conceptual issues in craft and design;
- models of research and research methodology in craft and design;
- the nature and role of knowledge in research;
- doctoral training.
Kristina's most recent work is developing her idea of mindful design as a means to facilitate and manage social behaviour change and promote social sustainability. Kristina is Principal Investigator for the AHRC development grant 'Creating Sustainable Innovation through Design for Behaviour Change' (2014), which brings together a team from leading design departments across Europe including Warwick University, Loughborough University, the Royal College of Art, Lancaster University, TU Twente and TU Delft. The project investigates how academic research into behaviour change can be utilised best by SME's in order to help bridge the gap between academia and industry, and to increase academic impact. Kristina's founding work on mindful design for social behaviour change has further received prominent recognition through invitation by Harvard Professor Ellen Langer to contribute to The Wiley Blackwell Handbook of Mindfulness (Niedderer 2014) and through publication in Design Issues (Niedderer 2007). The idea of mindful design has also driving Kristina's work in design practice in which she focuses on the exploration of design as a means for mediating mindful interaction through the use of artefacts in social contexts and of complex emotional expression through (elastic) movement. Her work is shown regularly at museums, galleries and trade fairs in England and Germany among others.
Since 2005, Kristina has led a number of research projects successfully to completion, including theoretical and practice-led, technical, philosophical and creative approaches to research in craft and design. In 2005, she conducted the 'Argentium Project' at Middlesex University, funded by the Arts Council England, which investigated technical and creative opportunities of Argentium. In 2008, Kristina received funding from the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) to extend her work on the Argentium Project with research into the use of Argentium and laser welding to create elastic movement as a medium for expressing emotion in silver design. Also in 2008, she received a start-up grant from UoW to lead research into the use of rapid manufacturing technology (DMLS) with Argentium, which has brought together several academic and commercial partners and resulted in subsequent commercial development.
Also from 2005, in her position as Research Fellow at the University of Hertfordshire (2005-7), she led the Experiential Knowledge Project studying the role of experiential and tacit knowledge within models of knowledge and research in Art and Design. In 2007, Kristina founded the first DRS Special Interest Group on Experiential Knowledge (EKSIG). She has chaired and organised the Experiential Knowledge Conference 2007 and the international EKSIG conferences 2009, 2011, and 2013. A Council Member of the DRS and Secretary for Special Interest Groups (SIGs) since 2007, Niedderer was pivotal in establishing the DRS SIGs, which promote international exchange and collaboration in areas of design research.
Kristina has participated in the development of the field through contribution to international debates through membership of appropriate professional bodies; through conference presentations and publications, exhibitions and competitions; and as a keynote speaker and invited speaker at various European universities. She has extensive experience of peer review and of research quality through her work as an editor, chair and reviewer for conferences, journals and funding applications, and as a PhD supervisor and external examiner. In 2010, Kristina has founded the journal 'Craft Research' (Intellect Publishers), dedicated to developing and advancing contemporary craft practice and theory through research. Since 2010, Kristina is a member of the AHRC College of Peer Reviewers. In 2014, Kristina has also been an evaluator for the European Commission.