Parsons

Student Work

  • Design Studies (MA)

    Claudia Marina

    Finding Design in Everyday Life Practices: The Role of Ephemeral Materiality in Subverting Object-Centered Discourse

    What we design in the imaginative spaces of the home often gets lumped under craft, if it's considered design at all. But between craft and design with a capital D lies a range of practices that have been largely left out of the discourse. Although scholars concerned with design's role in the everyday have championed an expanded definition of design, the current thinking that links design and the everyday has yet to escape the paradigm of producer and consumer. My master's thesis questions what design would look like if it were separated from these expectations. By looking at practices taking place primarily in the home, especially the practices of applying makeup and cooking a dish, I describe design as a sensorial and intellectual engagement with materiality that is present in the everyday as well as in the studio or workshop. The materials we make do with become ephemeral only in practice. A lipstick is a designed product at the moment of purchase, but it becomes something else when tactically applied as blush. This secondary level of production is the practice of designing something new entirelya face that for some reason makes you feel more like you. These things escape the boundary of neat objectification because they are washed off at the end of the day, making it important to look at design from a different angleone that incorporates the realm of the everyday and advances study of how the deeply personal can contribute to design knowledge. See more on issuu.
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