Industrial Design Ecologies
Thursday 11:30am-2:30pm
Giorgia Pisano

How can things go from trash to treasure? Can waste be beautiful? Why do we feel attracted to old things, second-hand products or discarded objects? How can we create or increase the emotional or economic values of waste?

This course invites you to explore answers for these questions and engage in creative practices to make waste beautiful.

Historically, artists, archaeologists, anthropologists and poets have found beauty in ancient ruins, relics and antiques, or the rubbish or discarded materials of previous civilizations. Nowadays, when the world is going through a ‘waste crisis’, it is worth exploring how we, designers, can beautify contemporary waste. 

Initially, we will use discard studies frameworks to explore the meaning of beauty in everyday objects and the emotional attachment to broken and discarded things. Then, we will draw inspiration from critical design to explore how can we create fictional functions for what is considered as waste, and how to create beautifulness for what is known as the discarded.

You will engage with design research methods including documentation, written and visual representations, and argumentation around the notion of “wastification”. You will participate in hands-on workshops where we will use e-waste and discarded objects in creative processes to reinvent their narratives, shapes, aesthetics and functions.