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School of Arts, Design and Architecture | Master's thesis
Ask about the availability of the thesis by sending email to the Aalto University Learning Centre oppimiskeskus@aalto.fi
Degree programme
Fashion, Clothing and Textile Design
This thesis speculates that misuse is a creative strategy. It implies that we become aware of hidden mean- ings associated with objects. Here I’ve nominated the term “misuse” to signify this act of finding new and speculative user-object relationships. My focus is on creative misuse; which ignores the filter of wrong or right and celebrates the elasticity of mind. Misuse can be encountered everywhere around us: in ordinary everyday life situations, in art, and in design thinking. It is an attitude that allows us to see objects in a sur- prising way, from a different angle, or out of their context. The foundation for this concept lays in my own artistic process. I have come to understand that storytelling is a key element of my work. I seek to express personal meanings in things, related to the emotional way I approach objects. This has led me to investigate scenarios where we deconstruct and rebuild relationships with objects. I’m motivated by the desire to understand how we form our material experience with the world, in particular via objects that populate our daily lives. How we associate objects with emotions, how do we share the experience of being human in this world? How much of object-relations is unconscious to us? What is functionality? What is beyond the function? Is story-telling a function? I attempt to elucidate these questions by observing the different aspects that link my work to misuse. In the first part of this thesis, I tackle some theoretical framework. In the 1st chapter, I explain my approach to the subject of misuse and give examples of how objects communicate about their function, in relation to their context, and through their materiality. The 2nd chapter unravels how we perceive objects, by briefly studying philosophy of perception. I also attempt to observe how the different contexts of art and design affect our perception, and relation, to objects. Later in the second part, I expose my personal approach; the third chapter is a collection of “ingredients” that I have identified as been the active components of my concept of misuse. Followed by a focus on the role of textile in my practice, I unfold the different elements that I consider important in my working process. Finally, a selection of my works proposes material reflexions that initially lead me to formulate this thesis.
Salolainen, Maarit
Thesis advisor
Peltonen, Elina
misuse, storytelling, perception, functionality, everyday object, usage
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