Four Continents

Pete Quinn Davis (Plymouth University, Plymouth, UK)


Research Questions: My work has always focused on the nature of identity, personal, collective, cultural and institutional, how we define ourselves, how we are defined, how we locate ourselves by place-making and define ourselves by the objects we use or make. Methodologies: I use a range of historical, anthropological and material culture research, mixed with data analysis, tacit knowledge and practice based research. Speculations: Could the promises and contradictions that surround the democratization of scanning, and 3D printing, if taken as another emblematic, consider the ambivalences behind the emancipation expected by the maker movement and deliver, new, explorations that contribute to emerging, diffuse, digital continents.


The work comprises of impressions/ representations/experiences, of eight ‘Cookworthy’ pieces of porcelain (the four continents 1765-85) Made in the time of British imperialism and colonialism., the pieces harp back to a world divided into four and controlled by exploitative nations.

The Plymouth porcelain pieces are scanned and the data retrieved, this is then ‘re-processed’ to deliver a completely different experience of the objects in the context of the 21st Century.


Peter Quinn Davis is Director of the MA Postgraduate programmes in Design, incorporating, Design, Maker and Materials, Product Design, Spatial Design and Sustainable Futures. MA Post Graduate teaching Thinking/Sustainable Futures, within the School of Arts. Design and and Architecture: Programme Leader for MRes Design Thinking and the coordinator for Design Knowledge Research.

Research interests are art, design, architecture and the creative disciplines. Focused interests include, notions of place, in terms of transformation, object making, identity and memory.  The research concerns reflect the multiple contexts of art and design as it has evolved through the twentieth century and into the twentieth first century. The research reflects a high level of relativism, contextualization and pragmatism.  I am interested in ideas of personal identity/how this contributes to place-making, artefact manufacture and the understanding of heritage, through the industrial and post-industrial ages. I also work outside the university in other sectors, schools, forums, councils and institutions and artist’s studios.

Creative practice & artistic projects: Audi Design Foundation ‘Sustain our Nation‘ (national campaign 2009) Through 2009 and 2010 I have worked in partnership with South West Design Programme.Teach-In 2012: ‘Eco-literacy in Design Education‘ at the Victoria & Albert Museum, London. October 2009. Curating and organising a major project and exhibition with Plymouth City Museum and UOP School of Architecture and Design, detailing the responses of twelve architects and designers to the museums collections, 2012; Envelope a major exhibition featuring 50 of the worlds best designers, responding to the idea of Value. 2015: Pen Arts Plymouth. Showing work in Milan and Dutch Design fairs -2014-15-16: Exhibition: Design Latitudes – Alberta, Canada 2016.


Balance-Unbalance 2017

Balance-Unbalance (BunB)
is an International Conference designed to use art as a catalyst to explore intersections between NATURE, SCIENCE, TECHNOLOGY and SOCIETY as we move into an era of both unprecedented ecological threats and transdisciplinary possibilities.

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