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I am a writer, researcher and lecturer in contemporary craft, craft theory and histories of everyday life.
I joined Kingston in December 2015 after lecturing posts at Liverpool Hope University, Camberwell College of Arts (University of the Arts, London), the Royal College of Art, the University of Creative Arts, and Buckingham University. I have a range of teaching experience on both undergraduate and postgraduate courses.
I am the author of Amateur Craft: History and Theory (Bloomsbury, 2015), a book derived from my AHRC-funded Collaborative Doctoral Award (CDA) PhD at the Royal College of Art/Victoria and Albert Museum.
Additionally, I am one of the editors of The Journal of Modern Craft and have written articles for a range of publications, both academic, such as Design and Culture, West 86th: A Journal of Decorative Arts, Design History and Material Culture; and non-academic, including Crafts, Ceramic Review, Art Jewelry Forum. In 2018 Stephen curated Tendenser at Galleri F15 in Moss, Norway, a showcase of contemporary craft and edited the accompanying catalogue, and is co-curator for Presence and Absence at the Crafts Study Centre (2021-22), an exhibition which responds to the lack of diversity within the Centre's collections.
Senior Lecturer in Critical and Historical Studies
My research covers the broad terrain of modern craft history and theory, with a particular focus on everyday making. The renewal of interest in a range of craft practices today foregrounds the ambiguous role of amateur making in modernity and its relationship with art and design practice in contemporary and historical contexts. I explored these themes and the historical antecedents to the contemporary revivals of craft in Amateur Craft: History and Theory, published by Bloomsbury in 2015. In this book I covered a range of much-maligned practices, and I investigated the relevance of amateur making to contemporary art and design practice.
Other areas of research include the turn to the decorative and applied arts in France and Britain in the late nineteenth century, modern histories of tooling and craft instruction (kits and manuals), histories of the Art & Crafts and Studio Craft Movements and inter-disciplinary pedagogy in art and design.
My current work develops these themes by exploring the quality and durations of free time in which making takes place.
Knott, Stephen [Reviewer] (2018) Book Review of "Documents on contemporary craft : material perceptions" by Knut Astrup Bull and Andre Gali (eds.). Kunst og Kultur, 101(4), pp. 264-267. ISSN (print) 0023-5415
Knott, Stephen [Reviewer] (2018) The power of cræft : Book Review of "Cræft : how traditional crafts are about more than just making" by Alexander Langlands. Crafts(270), pp. 66-67. ISSN (print) 0306-610X
Knott, Stephen (2017) Book review of: 'Arts and Crafts Stained Glass' by Peter Cormack. The Journal of Modern Craft, 10(1), pp. 111-115. ISSN (print) 1749-6772
Knott, Stephen (2017) The full picture of 3D printing. Exhibition review of 3D Printing: The Good, The Bad and The Beautiful, National Centre for Craft and Design, Sleaford. Crafts, 265, pp. 77-78. ISSN (print) 0306-610X
Chandler, Kimberley [Interviewee] and Knott, Stephen [Interviewer] (2017) Statement of practice : a conversation with Laura Ellen Bacon. Journal of Modern Craft, 10(3), pp. 293-308. ISSN (print) 1749-6772
Knott, Stephen (2016) It’s time to get serious about sloppy. Book review of: 'Sloppy Craft: Postdisciplinarity and the Crafts' edited by Elaine Cheasley Paterson and Susan Surette. Crafts, 258, pp. 61-62. ISSN (print) 0306-610X
Knott, Stephen (2016) A sense of an overview, yes; a sense of dynamism, less so. Art Jewelry Forum,
Knott, Stephen (2016) The peculiar problems of process. Book review of 'Craftwork as Problem Solving: Ethnographic Studies of Design and Making' edited by Trevor H. J. Marchand. Crafts, 259, p. 77. ISSN (print) 0306-610X
Knott, Stephen [Reviewer] (2015) Book review of : 'Hooked rugs : encounters in American modern art, craft and design' by Cynthia Fowler. Textile History, 46(1), pp. 135-137. ISSN (print) 0040-4969
Knott, Stephen (2014) Concours des vitraux de Jeanne d'Arc : the multiple ways of materializing the past in late nineteenth-century French stained glass. West 86th: A Journal of Decorative Arts, Design History, and Material Culture, 21(2), pp. 192-215. ISSN (print) 2153-5531
Knott, Stephen (2014) Amateur work: Reader participation and dialogism in late-nineteenth-century domestic design advice. Interiors: Design/Architecture/Culture, 5(2), pp. 161-177. ISSN (print) 2041-9112
Knott, Stephen (2014) This is one I made earlier : Bernhard Schobinger’s faux slapdashes at Manchester Art Gallery. Art Jewelry Forum,
Knott, Stephen (2014) Working class, middle class, upper class, evening class : supplementary education and craft instruction, 1889–1939. The Journal of Modern Craft, 7(1), pp. 7-32. ISSN (print) 1749-6772
Knott, Stephen (2013) Design in the age of prosumption: The craft of design after the object. Design and Culture, 5(1), pp. 45-67. ISSN (print) 1754-7075
Knott, Stephen (2012) Keen House: Scale and the architectures of enthusiasts. Design and Culture, 4(1), pp. 75-78. ISSN (print) 1754-7075
Sparke, Penelope , Kirkham, Patricia , Scholze, Jana , Knott, Stephen and Ioannidou, Ersi, eds. (2023) Interiors in the era of Covid-19 : interior design between the public and private realms. London, U.K. : Bloomsbury. 312p. ISBN 9781350294219 (In Press)
Knott, Stephen, ed. (2018) Watching making. Moss, Norway : Galleri F15/Punkt O. 100p. ISBN 9788278480731
Knott, Stephen (2018) Give it Time/Watching Making = Gi Det Tid/Se Ting Bli Til. In: Knott, Stephen, (ed.) Watching Making. Moss, Norway : Galleri F15/Punkt O. ISBN 9788278480731
Chandler, Kimberley and Knott, Stephen (2016) A show of hands : the spectacle of apprenticeship. In: Brown, Christie , Stair, Julian and Twomey, Clare, (eds.) Contemporary clay and museum culture: ceramics in the expanded field. Abingdon, U.K. : Routledge. pp. 105-114. ISBN 9781472470379
Knott, Stephen (2014) It's not perfect, but very good: technology and craft. In: Borda-Pedreira, Joakim and Steinsvag, Gjertrud, (eds.) Materiality matters. Oslo, Norway : Norwegian Crafts. (Documents on contemporary crafts, (2)) ISBN 9788299933513
Knott, Stephen (2013) Department 21 : the craft of discomfort. In: Ravetz, Amanda , Kettle, Alice and Felcey, Helen, (eds.) Collaboration in craft. London, U.K. : Bloomsbury Academic. pp. 130-141. ISBN 9781472520104