Embodying betweenness: Designing artefacts through imperfection, impermanence and incompleteness

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Imagine a fruit bowl, overflowing with fruits. Removing an apple reconfigures the bowl, as if bowl and fruits are in dialogue, co-shaping one another and the surrounding environment. How might a maker approach materiality akin to this bowl, and bring forward the interactive relationship between materials and environment? What might be the value of this approach? Approaching artefacts with a heightened sense of their relationality, Embodying Betweenness investigates the interactive field encompassing material, environment and maker. Artefacts like the fruit bowl bring forward the qualities which arise from an interactive relationship between materials and environment. Rather than blocking sunlight, the Liquid Sky sunshade is incomplete without it. 10 Kinds of Fog reveals the ever-changing character of fog with subtle shifts and constantly impermanent assemblages with air. These interactions between textile, sunlight, fog and air are not necessary controllable, thus the imperfections of the interaction is embraced. Imperfection, impermanence and incompleteness are qualities of betweenness between materials, environment and maker. Reflecting on the making processes of two design projects, the author (maker) delves into the concept of the interactive field and tendencies of in-between space, and elucidates the qualities in artefacts that embody this.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages15
Issue number13
Publication statusPublished - 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • product design
  • aliveness
  • making
  • materiality
  • betweenness

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