The work of the SCI lab draws from theories of material agency and distributed cognition. The projects outlined below are all concerned with how uncertainty in the world interacts with creative cognition and innovation. A key area for examination is the role of serendipity, that is the interaction between material change and a prepared mind in generating novel thoughts.
Crafting the possible
This project is a focused ethnography examining in close detail the work of a skilled wood turner as he creates wooden bowls. The work aims to assess the relative contributions of tools, material and the skills of the craftsman to generate a detailed processual account of a creative product. This is a longitundinal study in collaboration with Mike Groves.
Serendipity is reliant on the "prepared mind". Drawing on theories from creative cognition, this project will assess what the cognitive state is which is most prone to experience serendipity first by investigating the state of impasse (or being stuck)
Managing the cognitive environment
The cognitive environment extends beyond the brain to take into account other people and things which are used in cognition and become cognitive agents. However, not all things are cognitive at all time and understanding the reciprocal interplay of internal and external thinking is important to move beyond a simplistic model of how the brain and world coalesce to one which profile the relationship in the moment and through doing.