Material Thinking is an intimate first-hand account of how ideas get turned into artworks (including dance performances, films, sound installations, sculptures and painting) and how the material thinking these artworks embody produces new understandings about ourselves, our histories and the culture we inhabit. Material Thinking is a ground-breaking work in the new field of Creative Research. It shows how 'invention' (which scientific research models view with suspicion) can be a key research technique. The capacity of artists to imagine our world differently produces 'local inventions' that enable us to participate actively in the histories, environments and society we want to make for ourselves. In this way the poetic is also highly political, and local invention is the pre-condition of a creative culture. Material Thinking is an intellectually wide-ranging, as well as anecdotally narrated, primer to thinking through the work of making. It will be essential reading to all active in the burgeoning field of Creative Research, including students, teachers and practitioners in the fields of performance, media, film, museum, painting, sculpture and cultural studies. Placing the 'local inventions' it discusses in the context of leading discussions about the philosophy of signs (images, texts and their interaction), the psychology of visual perception, and the overarching notion of mythopoeic place-making, Material Thinking will also have a broad international readership, both amongst motivated general readers and professionals (in practice and in Humanities faculties, art and design schools).