Auction design has occupied the attention of a number of game theorists, and many pages in the scholarly journals. I have been a major contributor to that literature. My principal niche has been building models that bridge some of the many gaps between theory and practice.
Designing appropriate auctions for practical situations is a complex business. The lessons of auction theory are ignored at your peril, but giving too much credence to what theory calls "optimal" may be an even bigger mistake.