Mending by Design: Making Bags to Ideate Mending Excess Waste in the Ecological Environment Through the Aesthetic Lens in Design

Mowatt, Una
Jowsey, Sue
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Master of Art and Design
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Auckland University of Technology

Using a design-based ideation process, I have paid attention to how sensory aesthetics can communicate ecological narratives. This research project considers ways design can creatively raise awareness of product and material excess. Applying a mending-drawing philosophy, I have explored how felted wool can be used to make bespoke shopping bags. The ideation process employed to create these works is personal and evolving. Through ideating, I have been able to think, reflect and make thoughtful products. ‘Mending’ as an ethos has also guided my decision-making and provoked me to experiment with new tools and materials. The notion of aesthetics, when applied to design, is often interpreted as referring to ‘surface’ or ‘superficial’ attributes. I have questioned these assumptions, contemplating how aesthetics-in-design contribute to an understanding of the value and worth of a product. Set within an environmental conversation, the bags I have designed, speak to my ecological concerns and are part of a broader strategy to instigate change. These products draw attention to my understanding of our need to repair, restore and aid the recovery of planet Earth.

Mending in Design , Sensory Aesthetics , Material Drawing , Washing machine felting
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