Mapping Design – across all times and everything

Workshop, Department of Design, Goldsmiths, University of London, 6 February 2013

Mathilda facilitated a workshop with the BA Design first year students, as part of their contextual course Ecology and Design. In the workshop we explored how objects of design are influenced by, and influence difference aspects of society and over time  – a really big scale outlook on design, based in the materiality of and our relationships with everyday objects. We used Stewart Brand’s model of civilization, with six layers from the very slow, ‘nature’, through ‘culture’, ‘governance’, ‘infrastructure’, ‘commerce’ to the very fast, ‘fashion’ as a starting point, adding a continuum from ‘positive’ to ‘negative’ impact. We plotted the model on the floor of the big workshop space, placing objects we had brought in where we thought they best fit. Then we used string to explore links between different objects and layers. This was a process of negotiation and provoked challenging discussions. Did the clock origin from culture or governance? What is its contribution to our lifestyles today? And what about sneakers?

Brand, S. 1999. The Clock of the Long Now: Time and Responsibility. London: Weidenfeld and Nicolson.


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