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Week#8- Material and New Materialism: The Demise of material

Cultural meanings associated with the material will change over time. Looking at the material plastic as an example, it went from grace to inauthentic, to “bad taste”, to cheap and nasty. Now plastic had become one of the representatives of notorious materials that persist long after their initial use value is exhausted. It’s becoming a massive issue and the public that had been educated in basic ecology can be anxious and hostile toward plastic. 

Mark Miodownik, whose a material engineer was encouraging people to “think less about hating plastic and making them work for us” and “focus less on the negative and become more inventive and look to design, to reimagine the possibilities of recycled plastics.”

And below are some magazine pages I found talking about “Designers and makers are turning the litter that blights our planet into furniture and sculptures, giving a handmade touch to a

material synonymous with homogeneity.” Just as how Mark Miodownik had encouraged.

However, it seems to me that all these mindset rebuilds and vision shifting were at most remedial measures to stop further damage but needless to say that they won’t be the ultimate solution. Just as how we had discussed over product’s life cycle with example objects: shipping container and jeans during the circular design workshop a few weeks back. The product (e.g. monstrous hybrid) with non-biodegradable material may be reused in all kinds of creative way, but may never actually goes back to the primal cradle of the product life cycle.

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