As we go about our lives, seldom do we stop to think meaningfully about the materials that surround us. It is not often that we question the origins of our countertops or flooring, especially in a way that critically assesses how their production and consumption shape our broader lives, spaces, landscapes, politics and rituals. The origin stories of everyday domestic materiality are largely glossed over, receding into the background, hidden or consciously considered out of our purview. When we do pause to think about where or how something was made we are met with a complex web of actions, events, landscapes, people, and labour, that is difficult to untangle. How do we begin to grapple with this complex reality? How do we begin to connect this global obscure with our own domestic lives? In short how do we acquire a more critical material awareness of our everyday surroundings?
This project hopes to disrupt the often apolitical material domestic realm by speculating on the complex narratives embedded within its material makeup. Through the use of design fiction this thesis will argue for the adoption of a multidimensional relationship with materials that takes into account the social, political, and ecological imperatives shaping both our everyday lives and our global systems. At its heart this project is one of speculative visual storytelling that weaves together a collection of thoughts and observations meant to question our relationship with the domestic material.
Excerpt from Make New With New:
“In some distant but altogether familiar kitchen, a bustling party collects around the island. It is well into the night, conversation slurs, hands flap and a glass is tipped over onto the counter. Wine spills and drips down the polished marble. The stone begins to absorb the acidic drink. The host shrugs, and the guest isn’t the slightest bit embarrassed, proceeding without a pause to fill the glass up anew. Over night, after everyone has left, the wine will do its corrosive work, etching into the stone its winding path. But when the host awakens to a counter spotted with red rings and streams, they will only be slightly annoyed at their guests. This is because in this world a kitchen’s bones are infinitely dispensable.”
Thena Tak [CHAIR]
Thena Tak [CHAIR]