Dr Craig Martin is a cultural geographer and cultural theorist with a particular focus on design cultures. He holds a PhD in Human Geography from Royal Holloway, University of London, a Masters in Art History from the Courtauld Institute of Art, and a BA in Fine Art from Bath Academy of Art (Bath Spa University).
His research broadly focuses on 'design geographies' -- the interplay between cultural geography and the social forces of mundane design. This emerges through a variety of interests including:
- Cultural geographies of design
- Design mobilities
- Design and place-making
- Material cultures of the mundane
- Illicit design
- Object-centred geographies
Craig's research has been widely published in journals including ‘Mobilities', 'Society and Space', and 'Environment and Planning A', as well as edited collections including Architecture in the Space of Flows (2011), Stillness in a Mobile World (2011), and Cargomobilities (2015). His sole-authored book Shipping Container has recently been published by Bloomsbury Academic (2016) as part of their 'Object Lessons' series.
His current research is focused on three substantive projects:
The Mundane Materialities of Packaged Mobilities: This project looks at the material-culture significance of packaging design and its relationship to mobility
The Material Culture of Illicit Design: This project is part of a wider set of research interests in the link between criminality and design innovation. This particular project investigates the role of mundane objects such as consumer goods and vehicles in drug and contraband smuggling
Ad Hoc 'Design' and Place-Making: Overall this project is concerned with the relationship between contemporary ad hoc ‘design’ practices and place-making. One aspect deals with the geographical contexts of Scottish and Canadian rural environments. Another facet investigates the role of design and architecture in anarchist traditions of place-making, particularly through the writings of Colin Ward. Both focus on aspects of non-professional, amateur design practices
Craig also convenes the DISIGN research group in the School of Design. The group is purposefully broad and anti-disciplinary in scope, addressing the unstable nature of contemporary design, and practices which are dissonant, transgressive and disruptive. The group welcomes new members from within The University of Edinburgh and beyond.
He supervises and co-supervises eight MPhil and PhD candidates, and is keen to supervise in the areas associated with his research, particularly in the broad arena of design cultures, and more specificaly the cultural geographies of design; design mobilities; illicit design; ad hoc design. He also teaches courses on design cultures across all undergraduate and postgraduate programmes in the School of Design.