DISCUSSION WITH THREE JACKETS: MAKING A MATERIAL ECOLOGY

Tania Splawa-Neyman

Abstract


It is common today for objects and the materials of their making to be swiftly obtained and then inattentively divested, with little regard for the
part that they play within living ecologies of artifice. As expressed by Anne-Marie Willis when ruminating over our ontological change imparted via design, “we no longer know how to dwell among things” (Willis 2006, under ‘From Worlding to Thinging’) Through a series of experiments that anthropomorphise and open discussions with materials, connections are cultivated that are not usual within our everyday experiences of our material world. These material conversations are founded within the creative acts of making with
particular materials. Matter is personalised, given a persona and is found to possess distinct personality, telling of the life it has had and the potential life it might still lead. This attentiveness to materials and
objects offers insight regarding the part they play in both sharing and making our designed ecologies, in turn heightening our regard for the potential of this material matter. An expanded approach towards sustainability is proposed that considers the life of materials, as being worthy of being sustained.

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