AN INVESTIGATION INTO OUR RELATIONSHIPS WITH MATERIAL CULTURE
We shape objects and objects in their own way, shape us. Still, despite this reciprocal relationship we humans lack awareness of the way we make and interact with our contemporary human-made material culture. Arguably, through our modern fixation with technology and ever increasing techno-centric world, we have lost the poetic aspects of products which causes a separation between us and products and could be the reason for a lack of empathy we have for our objects. The consequence is short-lived products and a growing consumer culture. Shifting our understandings of our relationship with material culture may play a role in adjusting expectations of the future and provide alternative notions of a material world.
My project explores ways that design can help us experience a deeper engagement with objects. It does so by seeking ways that design enables us to value the objects around us through the creation of personal meaning. My research, based on actions that I conducted between May 2020 and March 2021 has been a means to consider and better understand the agency of objects, spirituality, ways to reinforce our human’s natural sensibility towards objects, and design for the creation of meaning. Objects can intervene in our life by making and changing our habits, behaviors, perceptions and emotions and this fact reveals the importance of considering the quality of our communication with the world of material things. In order to explore this communication, I took on an approach that embraced practice-based design processes as a way to imagine other possibilities of the design of material things. I actively used making in order to think, reflect on and investigate our connection with objects. Doing so allowed me to work in my own quiet introspective and poetic way. Throughout, my intent has not been to find solutions, but rather to ask questions and promote consideration about our perception of material culture.