BA (Hons) Creative Events Management alumni Amelia Knowlson delivered a paper at the Provocative Plastics symposium on the ability of 3D printing to facilitate relationships between museums, communities and companies.

She tells us about her journey:

“I always wanted to work in Creative Events and Curation but I was much more of a theorist rather than a practitioner. The course was really great, as it gave me the opportunity to work in lots of different industries but still have the freedom to create really artistic events, whilst exploring the theory behind my practice. My final project was a three-day kinetic art fair in Bournemouth lower gardens; we commissioned local artists and invited people to interact with the artwork. In total we had around 4000 visitors across 3 days.

I graduated from BA (Hons) Arts and Events Management and went on to study (MA) Art Museum and Gallery Studies at Newcastle University, where I specialised in 3D printing in museums. My interest in 3D printing started at AUB, we went on a research trip to an art fair called Kinetica, which was in the catacombs of Westminster University. It was all about kinetic art and movement. There was a guy using 3D scanning and holograms, I’d never thought of this before, and I thought it was fantastic. I did some research and realised there was another step, which was 3D printing. I wrote my MA dissertation on it and won an award. 3D printing is a huge passion of mine now.

After I finished my MA I got a job as Research Assistant on the AHRC funded project ‘Co-curate’ which brought together online collections, museums, universities, schools and community groups to make and re-make stories and images from the North East of England. I used 3D scanning and printing technology to engage different communities with their heritage, material culture and wider community. The overall project was about getting the communities to integrate with the museum whilst providing something sustainable for each community. It was a fantastic project and I absolutely loved it.

I then applied to do a PhD and got accepted on a full AHRC scholarship at Sheffield Hallam University. The process was really hard and I spent about 4 and half months on the PhD application. Now I’m working on projects where I’m 3D scanning and 3D printing museum objects to use in educational environments. My research focus is on materiality and meaning making and how audiences learn through replicas. It’s great that we can create these 3D printed objects, but at present we don’t understand how audiences respond to them. My PhD centres on 3D printing in cultural heritage environments focusing on audiences, policy and practice.