Repositioning Craft and Design in the Anthropocene: Applying a More-Than-Human approach to textiles
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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Original versionExchanges: The Interdisciplinary Research Journal. 2023, 10 (2), 26-49. 10.31273/eirj.v10i2.973
As a part of industrial mass production, the field of design has been deeply involved in the exploitation of natural resources. In design, better ways to approach the nonhuman-human relation are needed. In this article, we contribute by exploring how more-than-human perspectives can be used to engage with this relationship, and more specifically, by focusing on how the fields of design and craft relate to more-than-human worlds. Crafts are relevant as they are practices of making that preceded and exist beyond mass production. In design studies, more-than-human notions and posthumanist frameworks are still new. Although recent studies mention design in the context of more-than-human, they do not thoroughly integrate it within relationships between craft and design. Through positioning a more-than-human approach within the craft-design relationship, the design field can learn from and shift to a more equal understanding between humans and nonhumans. The article addresses this by describing emerging craft and design practices, and by providing textile examples. Non-western textiles and their motifs are given as example artefacts that consider traditional and Indigenous knowledge in more-than-human worlds. By looking at these motifs from more-than-human perspectives, we suggest that design and craft can deliver a new approach for addressing nonhumans in human-made things.