ELASTIC LIVES: A TEXTILE JOURNEY FROM PRODUCT TO PEOPLE, PLACE TO PLACE
WHO WERE THE ACTORS? WHAT WERE THEIR ROLES?
In the first stage: me, two design researchers, MA students, school children, students and staff. A transformational process occurred. This led to me being receptive for the magic moment when it occurred: in the second stage an anthropologist joined the project. She brought the words to the pictures we were making.
WHAT WERE THE MOTIVATIONS OF THE ENCOUNTERS?
To move from textile product to textile people as the focus of our research questions. We already have enough stuff. We need new ways to use it, beyond the industrial hierarchy. To create abundancy through systemic exchange, reuse, re-appropriation. For Lucy, as a materials anthropologist, it was to co-create the future, rather than analyse the past.
THE KEY PLACE WHERE THIS TOOK PLACE?
The Parade Ground was a really important space: the Market of Values; Collecting for Calais; first conversation with Lucy. It was a space that seemed to galvanize action, and indeed us as a community. In this outside space, we gained new levels of understanding; a vision of the potential to collaborate further.
WHAT SOCIAL TIES IS THIS ENCOUNTER GENERATING?
The moments of volunteering. The Kleiderkammer community, the migrant community at Templehof, Berlin, who are growing their own food – in discarded shoes – on urban land that has been protected via a public vote.
WHAT CAN WE LEARN? WHAT HAS THE ROLE OF THE ARTS AND DESIGN BEEN?
The failures in the system are our opportunities for design – for us this was realised through the interface with the givers – collecting for Calais or working at the Kleiderkammer. We want to redesign the systems now – we actually feel qualified now. And we want those systems to be about mobility and elasticity.