Jenna Witzleben

MFA Thesis Blog

This blog contains experiments, project and reading reflections, unanswered questions, and more relating to my year-long thesis as part of my Master's design program. From Sept. 2016 to May 2017, I explored rewilding human beings and the environments we inhabit at multiple scales including investigation around individual fears of nature, regional food production systems, and global overpopulation. The final works of this thesis can be found in my portfolio.

Survey of Product Production Methods

As I prepare to start work in a course called 3D Product Design II, led by Sinclair Smith, I have begun to consider product materials options. In particular this is important because this course focuses on speculative futures. The materials I select must help tell the story of the future I am designing within. 

It is possible that there will be some type of material transition as we move towards a rewilded state. This was something Pepin Gelardi and I discussed early last semester. Perhaps the first products with the purpose of rewilding are made in modern materials like injection-molded plastic, but as we humans evolves so too do these objects to be made in a "wilder" materiality.

Whether I demonstrate this transition, or just jump right into the wild materiality, I find it important to begin ideating what these materials and manufacturing techniques might be. From some initial research, it seems there are two primary categories: grown/foraged materials and recycled/hacked materials. Subcategories and examples are listed below:

GROWN/FORAGED

Shells and beads

Image:  Powerhouse Museum

Image:  Powerhouse Museum

Stone and Bone (chiseled)

Image: Blaxsand

Image: Blaxsand

Molded mycelium

Image: Ecovative

Image: Ecovative

Woven vine

Image: Rewild Portland

Image: Rewild Portland

Carved driftwood

Image: Kate Davies

Image: Kate Davies

Baked clay

Image: Copy and Tase

Image: Copy and Tase

 

RECYCLED/HACKED

Melting and reforming

 

Re-appropriation of forms

Image: Francesco Mugnai

Image: Francesco Mugnai

Image: Rural Originals

Image: Rural Originals

Re-use of object parts

Plastic/Cloth weaving

I look forward with experimenting with these methods later in this semester and will update this blog with my experiment findings.

 

Jenna Witzleben