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© Copyright 2013

CLAIRE HATCH

observing. imagining. mirroring. stretching. reducing.
shaping. bending. cutting. pulling.
remembering. making.

Makette presents the side projects of eight designer-makers focusing on why they make and what they make. The exhibition offers an all too rare opportunity to connect to the explorations, processes and objects of people who use making as a non-prescriptive means to imagine and reflect in practice. Writing words that talk about the act of making is a delicate business in which overly rational explanations linked to unpacking creative processes emerge all too readily. Aside to slipping into process-based thinking or fetishism of the object, it is pertinent to assert that making is a deeply social act. It is a way of relating to human technologies and a way of understanding each other.

Design has always been comfortable with the subjective and the generative. Framed as side projects these designer-makers explore ideas and materiality through to execution time and again. Their intentions, (spanning the formal to the unsystematic) ways of doing and resulting objects differ. Collectively, they powerfully remind that there is simply no singular way to approach the act of making, material or immaterial. The designer-makers varied paths of inquiry show us evidence of why observing, experiencing and participating in the world to acquire new knowledge is worthwhile. These designer-makers are curious, with minds and hands that seek, prod and pry at the edges and boundaries of their discipline area be it architecture, textiles or graphic design. These are not people who subscribe to rule-bound behaviour or conform to discipline stereotypes. Whilst they are familiar with the contexts of how we have come to live and define disciplines, they are more concerned with the path of inner nature. Their imaginings guide us towards how we might live in fulfilling
ways using our unique resources to give life to a particular passion.

The side project in this context emerges as a generative process that acts as a container for the chance moments, overflow ideas, playful traces and wild thoughts that emerge because they are integral with their discipline related activities, not despite them. Time and space are given to reverie and experimentation. Born from focused work in solitude, one influence appears to quietly seep and blend into the other. Some makers have seen their side project grow and move to the centre of
their focus, transforming into a larger daily concern.

This selection of designer-makers models to us how we might remain open to our environments, take notice of everyday objects and creatively tap into the obscured potential hidden in ordinary moments. Their projects act as evidence to their technical and observational skills and ability to transform their inspirations and ideas into form. In every instance the work is deeply personal and contextually social. Through purposeful experimentation, materiality, light, colour, form and space are
carefully remembered and uncovered by the eyes, skin and hand.

Stripped back, naked, raw guts making requires imagination, flexibility and an appreciation of the need for free-play and discovery. These makers dare to wonder and have a great deal of straight out self-authorised fun. However, making unequivocally demands creative risk-taking. Ideas and work necessarily requires time, iterative improvements and occasionally flat out rejection. Their making
environments reflect the exploratory spirit, providing some insight into different ways of thinking. Tell tale signs of thinking and work in progress include notes, sketches and diagrams, an array of equipment and tools, photos and material samples.

Importantly, makette presents the resonant traces of an experience that cannot be expressed any other way. Making is a way of knowing the world through the senses. It engages the whole person in ways that other activities do not and cannot. Perhaps this is a clue to the enduring allure of the act of making. Makers and their objects can also put us in touch with our own sensibilities. Their works offer up a temporal experience with an intensive quality. Our bodies absorb and mould to the qualities of the work, we soak in colour through our eyes, feel its tactility with our skin to appreciate form. From a certain perspective these designer-makers and their made objects offer an embodied connection to the array of small joys waiting to be found in everyday life.

adding. obscuring. rubbing. crinkling. forming.
splattering. talking. polishing. reflecting
discovering.

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