DESIGN FOR UNMAKING

FACILITATING NEW LIFE FOR THE POST-LIFE OF THINGS
Author:
Theunis Snyman / Craig Badke
Company/School:
Emily Carr University of Art and Design

 

INTRODUCTION

“To unmake waste, we have to unmake the outlooks, values, and priorities that lead to waste.” Design for Life Stuart Walker, 2017, 95 We are quite good at discussing sustainability and social practice in their ideal, in visioning how things could be, sometimes framed narrowly as how things ‘should be’, but the really messy bits of change involve navigating complex systems, of shifting people and things to grow new social and cultural possibilities within, and out of, what currently exists. They require shifting our values and relationships with objects, both as designers and consumers, and anticipating the social and technical skills, as well as resources and infrastructure, we might need to evolve such new contexts. This paper presents ‘unmaking’ as a pedagogical methodology developed through a Master’s degree research study at Emily Carr University of Art and Design. Unmaking, as a method, evolved in two directions addressing two sides of the same coin, everyday citizens/consumers and designers. The first, using unmaking as an ethnographic research methodology for understanding the relationship between tacit skills, blackboxing, and agency in everyday citizenry. The second, utilizing unmaking as a pedagogical method for early design education aimed at exploring design’s role in facilitating post-life economies for things. The overarching research study explored these two paths to (...read more).

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