Tools for future sustenance

Tools for future sustenance was a workshop held at the Design Star summer school 2017 at Emerson College in Sussex – a student-led event for fellow doctoral researchers in design, for which I was also part of the organising team.

This practical workshop explored the idea of the formation of an everyday design research practice through improvised making. The workshop involved making simple improvised objects/tools to act as prototypes for future object-interactions, using a reduced set of tools and found or “waste” materials. The resulting prototypes were to be tested out at the following evening meal. The workshop offered participants an opportunity to experience an experimental practice of informal education aimed at facilitating self-directed learning, towards the development of a practice of everyday design research.

The workshop sought to prompt reflection on…
• Tools – considering what makes a tool, how a tool is made, and what a tool makes
• Futures – negotiating proximity and distance in relation to futures
• Sustenance – considering basic needs and desires, how these are addressed by things and actions 
…and how these relate to practices of designing, researching, and everyday life.

The task set was based on the making of improvised tools, which were then put to use making strange utensils for the following evening meal.

A summary of the workshop produced by one of the participants can be found here.