|Adding value and desirability to a
worthless material - |
Upcycling Found material and enhancing the beauty
Design to Upcycle and recycle, and Design that looks like a model of history and nature are the two strategies in TED which have influenced my studio practice.
I am working with the backing cloth of block print (form the block-printers in Jaipur, India). When I was working in India and with the block printers I couldn’t help but notice the insignificance of the backing cloth to them (it’s destiny lies in getting thrown away), the cloth gradually and accidentally absorbs designs from the different blocks and different colours. This fabric to me looked fascinating; like it had some kind of value, an emotional appeal, the struggle of hand to print, varied pressures, the memories of the block printers and their mood on the particular day which affected the printing hence the blocking cloth, it showed the gradual increase in the richness of the fabric, it was earthy, and just so warm, perfectly imperfect in the way it existed and that was the beauty of it. It spoke for more than just a piece of fabric; it showed a journey.
Until I attend the talks and presentations of TED I did not exactly know how to articulate what I am doing and how can I improve keeping social issues in mind. It made me aware as a designer and I hope to take it further to the consumers. Designing for upcycling is what I am doing in my work. Upcycling is to add a little extra to the ordinary and transforming it into something of greater value. On the backing cloth I am adding a little desirability by printing, foiling and flocking mainly. I also laser cut the designs in a way that enhances the beauty of the upcycled cloth. I am not combining any other material or fabric in my practice; It is only the use of the discarded cloth which I got from India, so in a way it is ethical too. What I learnt from the TED presentations is that education and knowledge is the key. Today a designer can act as a liaison between the manufacturers (producing sustainable products) and consumers who are and should get involved and aware with the social side of the industry.