» Real You, Real Material

Real You, Real Material

For an academic design/craft institute in canada we developed a design class working with bachelor design/maker students. The program is focussed on learning to map out and research on personal, material and social context and define students personal position, work focus and co-design.

We work, wear and use material around us every day. Material has been given form and purpose by use of function, decoration, to inspire or to be helpful. Everything around us is made for a purpose but how do you define the purpose of your work? In these classes we define and create your own purpose and work identity through research.

We start with you, what drives you? A developing creator being inspired by material and form, how do you define where to go? What questions can you ask regarding the material and yourself?



These classes are about getting real with yourself and the material you work with. Through steps you learn to work with the material potential and a personal definition to challenge yourself to explore your ways of thinking and creating. Inform, inspire and generate ideas with the real side of material and yourself. Be driven by the character of things. Time to unfold your own perspectives.

The program was held on location in the academy as also additional on location research and exploring ecology of the real practice. We have formed this program with a high focus on co-design and local interventions to create new relations for the students to work with. A large source of design methods are being explored to question, counter reflect and analyze and process this into material based experiments that bring personal and material together in a representation that defines the natural quality of the material the personal positioning.


The course in which the concept or skill occur: 

  • Design / Applied Arts departments

Where in the curriculum this course appears: 

  • In the middle year where students have previous knowledge and experience on material & theory but also are in the time to process & develop this research into work futures.

The reason(s) for selecting this program strategy: 

  • To inspire ways of thinking and working that can enhance creative process and positioning and so the student can develop  exploring their future practice with new perceptions or connections

The critical learning outcome(s) of the course:

  • Determine position / identity the students work focus / drive
  • Creating awareness and reflection with use of personal skills and ambitions
  • Develop methods such as creative maps/databanks on personal & material research
  • Develop new material ideas/solutions through analytical experiments
  • Representing defined work position through personal & material databank
  • Being able to create the practice of the future by enabling themselves to develop this