Exploring Cherishability as a model.
Background & Studio Practice
Area of research for the past 20 years has been focused around sustainability. Exploring through theory and practice the question of how to work as a commercial textile designer in a sustainable manner?
SK Mclauchlan's current design philosophy involves designing 'pieces' that act as modern family heirlooms that can be passed from one generation to another using only materials that have already had a first life (namely Ayrshire wool blankets) which have been collected over the past 20 years. All materials used in the design process are either 100% wool or 100%cotton. These materials increase the longevity of the product. The materials encourage repair and allow the consumer to add further details to the work thus encouraging circular thinking.
Since 1999 several design commissions were under taken for a variety of clients. Each piece of work was designed and hand stitched in consultation to develop bespoke content for the design pieces which ranged from cushions / Christmas stockings to wall hangings to bed spreads. The pieces were either designed for the actual client or designed for another person to be gifted by the client.
Practice Led Research
This case study references pieces made specifically for a particular client who contributed to an inclusive design process and together we developed a piece that incorporated emotional durability and explored cherish-ability (Chapman, 2006). This longitudinal study evolved over an extended period of time (1999-2017) and took place through physical and digital consultations and visual exchanges until the content and composition was agreed upon.
This research will apply an ethnographic approach to reflect back upon the designed artefacts to examine if the bespoke items are still in circulation, have they been kept and treasured. Have they been passed onto another generation as intended or have they been discarded? The findings from this enquiry will form the basis of this proposed paper /case study or workshop.
This Research will also be a comparative analysis between my' cherishablity' model and a commercial model.