For our first workshop of the semester, Marantha Dawkins walked us through a lecture and demonstration on encoding environments. The main undercurrent of the lecture was inhabiting space and understanding or visualizing the invisible, and taking elements from the ergonomic to the invisible. In her own words ‘less human with a capital ‘H'”.
I was particularly drawn to a notion she discussed with us of blending the body with the environment, in relation to my own work that centers around touch. It made me question how can we respond to barriers on touch, especially during the pandemic as touch became increasingly taboo, but altogether still an essential part of the human experience?
For the work shop itself, the class had an instructional introduction to Rhino and Grasshopper in small groups where we translated a photograph into pattern variations that were in turn printed using a pen plotter. We then used the pattern as a stencil for hot gluing onto stretched elasticated polyester fabric. Once the fabric was freed of the staples keeping it in place, it contracted in areas that were glued creating a variation in surface, producing entire landscapes in the fabric. These variations were interesting from the front (very organic and glossy) as well as the back (very lunar and matte).
Additionally I had a one to one chat with Marantha about her experience with bioplastics and shared my intention to create thermachromic bioplastic samples to explore my previously mentioned question of how we can make barriers of touch more human to restore elements of intimacy?