Bilge Merve Aktas Entangled Fibres
An examination of human-material interaction


Material's role in making has been previously tackled to understand practices, objects, and society from multiple angles. Recent research on materials challenges prioritising human perception, experiences and needs while proposing that materials actively participate in everyday interactions and experiences through their embedded agencies. This research examines the active role of material within the context of design and craft-making. The main research question is: how does human-material interaction occur, and how does material actively affect the making processes? This examination is carried out through the case of felt making via four studies. The first study was conducted at expert craftspeople's studios and examined how through negotiation the material and the body become united during making processes. The second study examined the material in its own environment and at the design studio and focused on how material interactions affect ideation while making an artefact through a practice-led study on my own making process. The third study tackled how the early material engagements of novice makers might challenge their understanding of being with the world. By utilising first-hand experiences, this study challenged established human values to discuss coexisting with other entities in more responsible ways. The fourth study examined the field of felting and its material connections to reveal how material agency shapes the fluidity of the practice within the field.

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