I am a Brighton based designer researcher.
My work spans spatial design, philosophy and illustration. I'm interested in the psychology of space, cognitive science of visual perception, and the interplay between art and science, text and image, experiment and knowledge.
I trained at the Central School of Speech and Drama, specialising in designing immersive productions and for participatory projects. I have worked on touring productions at the Minack Theatre, Cornwall; designed sets, costumes and puppets for productions at the Arcola, Finborough, Jerwood Space, Stratford Circus and Polka Theatre. I have experience in developing new work as part of the companies and collectives: Flock theatre makers; Shapeshifter; Little Wonder; and, Playground Studios. I'm primarily interested in devised work, or work which challenges the traditional form of text-based productions.
I hold postgraduate research degrees in philosophy and cognitive science from The University of Edinburgh and Birkbeck College. My thesis argued that diagrams in science offer a richer and more complex embodiment of scientific concepts than is possible in text alone. I've been developing these ideas in my creative practice; designing an art installation that is an exploration of spatial perception. My other academic interests include early-modern philosophy of science, theories of explanation, the evolution of cognition and philosophy of physics.
Active projects include: a visual essay about Prussian Blue and its application in art, chemistry and technology; two short comics exploring the role of text-image relations in storytelling; and a music and puppet theatre piece for children based on a story book - There's a Tiger in the Garden.
I'm also involved in a photography charity, Rebecca Vassie Trust which I co-founded following the sudden death of my sister in 2015. We support the art of long-form narrative photography, and promote education in and through photography for emerging professionals, young people and the broader public. We're currently fundraising for visual storytelling workshops in inner-city schools and donations are welcome!
2002 - 2005
BA Hons (first class) Design for Stage, Central School of Speech and Drama, London
2010 - 2011
MSc Philosophy & Cognitive Science, University of Edinburgh, Scotland
2013 - 2015; 2018
MRes Philosophy (distinction), Birkbeck Collage, London
Tiger in the Garden (devised performance, Brighton parks)
Blue/ Anna (visual essay)
Keeper of the Light (comic)
Wolf Solar Theory (comic)
Designer – Kissing Annie Lennox, devised (Brighton Fringe)
Designer – Pool (no water) by Mark Ravenhill (Central Studio)
Designer – Cherry Orchard, semi-devised (Central Studio)
Designer – Lie of the Land by Torben Betts (Arcola)
Designer – 4:48 Psychosis by Sarah Kane (Central Studio)
Designer – Melt Down, devised dance (Stratford Circus)
Designer – Three Sisters by Anton Chekhov (Central Studio)
Designer – Little Wonder R&D performance (Camden People's Theatre)
Co Designer – The Quest, devised (Minak Theatre)
Designer & Collaborator, Little Wonder R&D performance (Jerwood Space)
Designer – This is a chair by Carol Churchill (Central Studio)
Designer – Last Chance Saloon, festival venue, (BAC)
Designer – Face to the wall/ fewer emergencies by Martin Crimp (Central Studio)
Assistant Designer – Heads you lose, devised (Shaw Theatre)
Assistant Designer – Lark Rise to Candleford by Keith Dewhurst (Finborough Theatre)
Scenic Artist – The Kitchen by Arnold Wesker (Embassy Theatre)
Co Designer – Playgrounding festival of short plays (Polka Theatre)
Vassie, K. (2018). Can visual artefacts be useful scientific models? (Unpublished master's thesis). Birkbeck College, London, UK.
Vassie K., Morlino G. (2012). Natural and Artificial Systems: Compare, Model or Engineer?. In: Ziemke T., Balkenius C., Hallam J. (eds) From Animals to Animats 12. SAB 2012. Lecture Notes in Computer Science, vol 7426. Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg
Vassie, K. (2012). Systems thinking and theories of inheritance (Unpublished master's thesis). Edinburgh University, UK.
Vassie, K. (2011) What mechanism ensures consistent outcomes at past time travel destinations? (Unpublished research paper). Edinburgh University, UK.