Unexpected angles from UK thinkers

Tue, 03 Jun 2014 12:48:00 +1000

Students and staff connected with the Centre for Memory, Imagination and Invention have had additional exciting and enriching research encounters in recent weeks, with the arrival of two progressive UK visiting professors.

The Thinkers in Residence are audience research and hobbit expert Professor Martin Barker, and architect and designer Professor Lorraine Farrelly.

Professor Martin Barker, Emeritus Professor at the Welsh Aberystwyth University, is an expert in audience research and Director of the World Hobbit project. At Deakin from 1 June - 31 August, Professor Barker is a leading figure internationally in the rapidly-developing field of audience research.

His books and articles embrace theatre, film, and comic-book audiences, and in 2003 he founded Participations, the only journal devoted to audience and reception studies.

Professor Barker directed the international project on the reception of The Lord of the Rings films and is currently leading the follow-up, 44-country (30-language) project on the films of The Hobbit. He has led six funded projects on audience research, and has served on UK and international bodies focusing on teaching and research quality in the Higher Education sector.

During his time at Deakin, Professor Barker presented a range of seminars and workshops, including two highly-acclaimed seminars for Early Career Researchers; and a fascinating presentation entitled “Kint, Söze, Spacey: Who’s Acting Who?”, which explored what part acting plays in audiences’ responses to films, and how prior knowledge of an actor plays into their perceptions and judgements. Professor Barker also gave a lively talk at the Australian Centre for the Moving Image, in conversation with CMII’s Professor Deb Verhoeven, in which he spoke about the international project on the reception of The Lord of the Rings films, and how he himself came to audience research.

Professor Lorraine Farrelly is Professor of Architecture and Design at The University of Portsmouth UK, and was at Deakin from 1 July - 13 August. Her research interests include a multi-disciplinary approach to art, design, and architecture at various scales, through understanding ideas of design details, to urban concepts.

Professor Farrelly leads the Portsmouth Masters in Architecture Urban design studio, which has proposed and promoted new paradigms in mixed use and housing proposals for European sites in Dublin, Paris, Amsterdam, Vienna, Venice, Rotterdam and London.

Professor Farrelly’s own projects range from the design of bars, restaurants and retail, through to individual house design, school design and public spaces, and her books include The Fundamentals of Architecture; Representational Techniques; Construction and Materiality; and Drawing for Urban Design.

She is also part of the Portsmouth School of Architecture’s Project Office, which combines aspects of architectural practice, community engagement and associated research.

While at Deakin, Professor Farrelly gave a number of public lectures, including “Designing for the Third Age – Architects and Urban Designers responding to an ageing population in a global context” as part of the Real Lecture series. She also met with staff and students to talk informally about a range of topics including pedagogy and design, was a member of two PhD confirmation panels, and presented the design research seminar “An Architect’s Practice in a University - community engagement, live projects, and a research environment”.

The School of Architecture and Built Environment, and the Centre for Memory, Imagination and Invention, were also delighted to host the launch of Designing for the Third Age: Architecture Redefined for a Generation of “Active Agers”, which was edited by Professor Farrelly. Please see the CMII events page for more details about the launch, and also the article on the Conversation by Professor Farrelly.


Professor Martin Barker and Professor Lorraine Farrelly.
Professor Martin Barker and Professor Lorraine Farrelly.
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20th August 2012