Material wear and tear

Banff, UAAC Congres

octobre 2013

Material wear and tear as a key to better understand the contradictions of sustainable design practices

Over the past fifty years, the interest in sustainability has moved towards the social, cultural, anthropological beyond the influence of market and industry criteria. The recognition of artifact’s agency in philosophy of technology demonstrates the political dimension of material aesthetics, but the hegemony of technology still reduces the acceptance of this conception of sustainability in design. In this context, the author focuses on researching material wear and tear, a recurring element of urban plasticity. The wear and tear means the loss of the initial state and change of materiality over time by weathering as well as by the use of millions of users. Mainly, it represents a failure for public equipments sustainability. In the context of the ecological-efficiency contradiction, the author examines how material wear and tear has been treated in public equipment design literature. This conceptual object between artifacts and subjects aims at better understanding sustainable practices in design.

Keywords : Design studies, aesthetics, material cultures, materials, urban design.


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