Featured Cultural Studies of Cowrie Accessory Design Traditions: Diversity and Current Design Practices in India View Digital Media
Paper Presentation in a Themed Session Nitin Hadap
Cowrie shell, has been very popular in Indian culture, from the times of the Indus valley civilization to the current fashion trends. In different regions and eras, Indians have used the cowrie shells for various purposes, like- as a currency, as a ritual object, as playing toys, and as an element to ornament the surfaces. This paper primarily deals with the lifestyle products embellished with cowrie shells. This research also covers the varied cultural aspects of the cowrie shell, the metaphors behind the object, and religious practices belonging to this natural element. The paper considers the cultural evolution of cowrie shells in different eras and regions in India. For data collection for this paper, the historical records and sources, research papers, visual references, and genuine accessories from different museums have been collected. There is scope to review the artisans' practices and application of cowrie in lifestyle products and accessories. After covering the historical perspective and facts, cover how contemporary accessories, brands and designers use this natural object in their LPA designs in different products. This paper also looks at cowrie shell traditional products from design point of view.
Activating Gender De-biasing Processes for Future Designers: Practices of Inclusion from the Educational Field View Digital Media
Paper Presentation in a Themed Session Francesca Casnati
The androcentric and sexist cultural heritage that still marks western societies contributes to the embedding of gender biases that run the risk of being translated by communication designers within the project, thus entering a loop in which the stereotype is used and further consolidated by the media system. Although design university courses are adopting good practices to tackle gender-biases and spread a gender-sensitive approach, the proposed solutions in many cases are optional activities involving students who are already interested in gender issues, and thus excluding a large part of subjects. Is it possible to find a flexible formula that can be proposed at different levels of education, engaging students who are less familiar with the topic but, not for this reason, immune to gender stereotypes? This contribution focuses on experiments and practices conducted in the educational field aimed at responding to the need to activate debiasing processes based on self-reflection, which put at the core the design practice itself in a gender-sensitive perspective. If procedural knowledge is a central and extremely effective component of design learning, it is also the place where the designer unconsciously acts gender biases. If, according to the feminist perspective, feminist epistemology concerns with the dis-mantling of existing ontological warrants, by shifting the concept to the field of communication design, it emerges the need to work towards the dis-mantling of cognitive schemes and mental habitus embodied in the designer and consequently in his design practice, contributing to the definition of new agendas for design.
Paper Presentation in a Themed Session John Dixon
Our aim is to refine a contemporary design language, kit of tools, and suite of skills afforded to the masses by ways of the Big Box home improvement center. (Lowes, Home Depot, Canadian Tire, etc.) The days of vernacular furniture existing outside of niche craft circles were largely ended by the beginning of the 20th century, however the last 120 years have seen an array of designers, makers, and now content creators, creating and sharing designs centered around putting the make of furniture back into its user’s hands. In most all of these instances, these creators rely heavily on materials and tools which can be easily purchased at large hardware stores, and as such I have dubbed this category of design, “Big Box Vernacular.” Under COVID quarantine in early 2021, Eric Loucks and I were able to put the ideals of Big Box Vernacular to the test, teaching a 5 week online course at RISD to students with little to no furniture design or making experience. By using, categorizing, and analyzing a wide list of examples, we compiled a list of somewhat easy to use materials, tools, and techniques that would be available to our students scattered across the globe. Online demonstrations and exercises coupled with a handful of prerecorded videos empowered the students to explore and develop both explicit and tacit knowledge. In this short time each student designed and made their own collection of furniture, further contributing to the category of Big Box Vernacular.
Design for Symbiocene: Hybrid Materials and Symbiotic Objects - in Between the Grown and Made View Digital Media
This research is a part of an ongoing experimental design project that looks into the circumstances in which biological materials can be mixed with synthetic ones to form hybrid materials and symbiotic artifacts. The demand for materials has increased as a result of quick technology advancements and a "materialistic" culture. The materiality of plastic represents an anthropocentric society in which biological habitats, such as the human body, are hybridized with manufactured materials (i.e. hybrid materials). We might collaborate with different bacteria, fungi or algae to create a novel chapter and to create opportunities for symbiotic design, which could eventually aid in the transition from the Anthropocene, in which human activity dominates the climate and environment, to the Symbiocene, in which human action is exemplified by mutual interdependence and benefit for all living things, species, and ecosystem health. Design experiments are conducted using three different types of living materials—wheatgrass, mycelium, and bacteria. The following materials are examined under two different types of growth conditions: 1) growing mediums - learning from natural sciences and adopting scientific methods for an artistic research practice and 2) designed structures - attempting to broaden the scientific research on growing particular living materials by searching for different application methods in a design environment and observing how different surfaces and structures influence living materials to grow into symbiotic objects. Developing more circular products and public places may be impacted by the research's insights on the enabling and limiting factors for producing hybrid materials and symbiotic objects.
Paper Presentation in a Themed Session Fei Yeh Lee
In the past two decades, the government has been promoting cultural and creative industries, and Taiwan’s cultural and creative products are based on traditional culture, with new elements, new forms, and various appearances, developing a blend of traditional and contemporary craft styles, and becoming practical household items. The purpose of this study is to analyze the visual imagery and cultural expression of Taiwan’s cultural and creative products. Regarding the research method, first, focus on Taiwan’s material culture through documentary analysis, second, use the case study method to study well-known and specific brand products in Taiwan. From the product visual design analysis, discuss the style and performance, product characteristics and cultural significance. The main significance of this study is to analyze how material culture it transforms into design, some by using graphics and some by using artifacts, and how the cultural characteristics of the products are expressed through design. The three brands under study have the core cultural characteristics of Chinese culture, Taiwanese culture, and indigenous culture, respectively. From the cultural characteristics of the brands, we can see the representation of Taiwan’s history and culture, which tells the historical memory, ethnic culture and colonial culture. Through the visual imagery design, the local cultural characteristics of Taiwan are further shaped.