THEORISING THE EMBODIMENT OF MATERIALITY AND EXPERIENCE IN MAN-MADE OBJECTS FROM A DESIGN PERSPECTIVE
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This PhD dissertation begins with a gap prompted by design researcher, Boradkar (2010) that objects are under theorized in design research. Objects have become our entourage and companion since we are born. Man and object transaction has formed a salient and unobtrusive relationship and we have become oblivious of, which is the importance of the attachment that we have with objects. This dissertation aims to provide a new horizon in articulating our relationship with designed objects. The precedent literatures suggest that the components of materiality and experience are evident in man-object transaction, thus they act as theoretical background to support the formal findings. In the dissertation, the researcher proposes a new taxonomy of materiality and experience, besides those that available existing literatures have postulated. The dissertation is divided into two parts;(i) theoretical analysis of the role the materiality plays in design and experience components in designed objects and (ii) practice works that embody the notion of materiality and experience in designed objects. The theoretical analysis combines ethnomethodological approaches, autoethnography and interpretative phenomenological analysis (IPA) to unravel the components of materiality and experience and the findings postulates the workable design framework that potentially will assist novice designers, especially to better articulate their design outcomes. The framework aims to provide an assistive method to frame design criterion at the earliest stage of design activity in alleviating the uncertainties faced by designers. The creative practice elements comprise the understanding of objects (from the researcher’s own personal resonance/understanding of her own objects) in the form of sculpture, stool series, eating implements and found objects that portray the embodiment of the new topology of materiality and experience. The practice elements are the researcher’s (self) personal reflections, thus, the ideas and thoughts underpinning design thinking that are manifested in tangible form are critically articulated from a reflective practitioner standpoint. These objects are imbued with narrative, physicality of materiality and experience in the newly designed objects. The creative practice is a representation of the new locales of materiality and experience in the designer/researcher’s relationship with the newly designed objects. Contextualisation of the practice, and a critical analysis of what is inherent in the practice of design help to frame the formal characters of the designed object. The knowledge in practice revealed in this research offers a new perspective to understanding the essence of designed objects, and encourage further exploration of the possibilities of design in creating a more engaging and meaningful user-object relationship.