ELLEN ADAMS

MATERIAL DESIGN

 

About

My material practice explores themes of participation and materiality, looking at the varying factors of how adults engage in play. My study explores how context impacts adults use of objects, is it that when a person is presented with a creative tool or task, they test an element of themselves that they would not have experienced in their day to day?

 

By analysing the way children play compared to adults, I’ve become inspired by children’s’ explorative nature towards objects and how they imagine new possibilities for these. This exploration of objects is partly due to the lack of prior knowledge of what it is or does and their capability to imagine objects in new settings. This is why I have chosen to devise a game that develops this line of inquiry towards objects for adults.

Made out of glass the objects explore a varied range of aesthetics, investigating how we respond to surface, colour, weight and fragility whilst playing with objects. Is it that when we know of glass to be a fragile material, are we less likely to push its capabilities and add risk to its use? Or do these objects become more ‘adult’ due to the precious nature of the glass?

 

My glassware set includes a series of units that range in shape and material qualities. The client is then asked to select from the range presented to them and ‘stack’ the objects in whichever combination they like. Due to their specific interests towards the objects, it suggests that each interaction and form of play is personal. My work includes the client in the design process, allowing them to choose the combination in which the objects are stacked. As a result, my game encourages the user to engage in the object’s properties along with me, as if they were part of the making process as well. This develops their connection to the object, as well as reflecting themselves and their own creative choices.

 

Through the use of material qualities, I now imagine my designs to encourage spontaneous and unplanned play in adults. My product investigates the term spontaneous free play, using the verb stack as an instruction. By asking participants to engage with the objects through the influence of a verb, does it make the viewer respond differently to the shapes than first thought? By adding this parameter, the audience is then framed into a new interaction with their chosen objects than they initially would have chosen to do. The task then guides the audience to look at objects in a new light, developing their investigation of the materials presented.

 

Stack

 

 

 

Workshops for Businesses 

 

 

Need a creative boost, want to support employee mental health in the workplace or simply have a day to reconnect with your colleagues?

  

I offer a series of creative ‘play dates’ that encourage people to become spontaneous in their day to day tasks, take risks and experience their own personal skill set in a new light.

 

The workshop will use a series of material shapes to provoke a new line of conversation between the participants. The shapes allow members to question how we respond to materials dependant on the object’s physical properties and what benefits and challenges does this present to us?

 

The members are then asked to creatively solve problems through their interactions with various waste materials. Using verbs as the games instruction, the members have to follow a simple parameter in order to complete the task presented to them. This challenges their ability to take risks and work as a team.

 

Model 1:

 

The scheme will be aimed at companies, helping them to improve the support of their employee’s mental health in the workplace. The activity will embrace creative play as a mode of building relationships and communication amongst the work staff, interacting with one another in a completely new setting.

 

2-hour workshop: employees will have a set of creative tasks to complete, competing against each other in teams. The set of activities will be documented so that the company can promote this day on their website, social media etc.

 

Half/ full day workshop: employees will make something that is lasting and reminds them of that day’s experience, a chance to produce something that they can take away, put on their desks or possibly display in the reception space.

 

Model 2:

 

The scheme will challenge the way companies look at their recruitment process, looking at the way interviewees respond to given tasks that are out of their comfort zone. This process will test their ability to take risks and work with others, alongside highlighting their personal skill set.

 

Is the person one of four different types of people; an analytical, driver, expressive or amiable? And how is that appropriate for the role they are applying for?

 
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ellenadamsdesign@gmail.com

3D Design

Manchester School of Art 

Verb Workshop

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