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Peter Dormer Lecture

The Peter Dormer Lecture, now in its twelfth year, is a major event in the applied arts calendar. This year it will be delivered by inventor and materials scientist Saul Griffith. Entitled Heirloom Culture: How Looking Closely at the Way We Use Energy Leads to Rethinking design, Craftsmanship, and Repair, the lecture offers a rare opportunity to hear the charismatic US-based Griffith in action.

Peter Dormer, photographed by Edward Barber
Peter Dormer, photographed by Edward Barber

First given in 1997, the lecture, an annual event, is held in memory of the eminent writer and critic Peter Dormer, who died in 1996. Organised by a committee of his friends and colleagues and hosted by the Royal College of Art, the lecture aims to continue the debate about applied art and society which was central to the concerns of Peter Dormer. His prolific writings also embraced art, architecture, design, technology and education, and his critical and curatorial work helped to issue the crafts into the freeflowing currents of postmodern visual culture as a whole. This connectivity is something the Peter Dormer lectures celebrate and promote – previous speakers have embraced architecture, ceramics and modernism, the implications of digital technology, craft history and criticism, and design innovation. Radical rethinks are vital to the Peter Dormer Lecture’s purpose.
Saul Griffith, based in San Francisco, has degrees in materials science and mechanical engineering and completed his PhD in Programmable Assembly and Self Replicating machines at MIT. He is the co-founder of numerous companies including Low Cost Eyeglasses, Squid Labs, Potenco, and Makani Power and his many awards for invention include the National Inventors Hall of Fame, the Collegiate Inventor's award, and the Lemelson-MIT Student prize. An important focus of Saul's research is in minimum and constrained energy surfaces for novel manufacturing techniques and other applications. Saul holds multiple patents and patents pending in textiles, optics, nanotechnology, and energy production; he is a technical advisor to Make magazine and Popular Mechanics and a columnist and contributor to Make and Craft.

Monday 1 December, 6pm
Lecture Theatre One

For further information and a download of the Peter Dormer Lecture 2007 click here.