Variation within systems

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Abstract

Inspired by the organization and variation found in nature’s systems, my work aims to create an environment that is alive. I am fascinated by multiples, moving, stretching, tangling, growing, following the rules of the natural world, yet each in slightly different ways. I am equally intrigued by our human emotional response to nature and its role as a significant contributor to our wellbeing. 

Working within the repeating structure of the Jacquard loom, I aim to create upholstery fabric that mimics the movement, purposeful details, and organic regularities, and irregularities, found in nature. The collection as a whole lives and breathes together, yet each fabric represents a different interpretation of the rules set forth, creating countless variety within one fabric and among the collection.   

The work was developed with an urban home environment in mind. In a city, there is so much going on, but there is little access to the natural world. As a result, we tend to get caught up in our own lives as humans and as individuals, losing sight of the bigger world we inhabit.  

Our relationship with nature has changed over time, from one where we viewed ourselves as part of the natural world, to one where we dominate it. Much research has been done to track our relationship with nature and to examine how this relationship has affected us as individuals, as a society and as a planet. Recognizing the need for change, scholars and designers have made great strides in communicating the importance of viewing ourselves as one of many living things in the natural world and acting accordingly.

It is too often that we forget that there is life beyond human life. I hope that my work will help to reinstate an awareness of life beyond our own and offer a perspective that will help all of us, including other forms of life, to thrive. 

Those who dwell, as scientists or laymen, among the beauties and mysteries of the earth are never alone or weary of life. Whatever the vexations or concerns of their personal lives, their thoughts can find paths that lead to inner contentment and to renewed excitement in living. Those who contemplate the beauty of the earth find reserves of strength that will endure as long as life lasts.                                

      - Rachel Carson, biologist, ecologist, author[1]

The more we know of other forms of life, the more we enjoy and respect ourselves. Humanity is exalted not because we are so far above other living creatures, but because knowing them well elevates the very concept of life.

      - Edward O. Wilson,socio-biologist, Pulitzer Prize-winning author[2]

[1]Rachel Carson, The Sense of Wonder (New York, NY:  Harper and Row Publishers, 1956), 100.  

[2]-------  “News Stories:  Social ecologist examines human need for kinship with nature in new book,” Yale Bulletin and Calendar News Stories,Volume 26, Number 9(October 20 - October 27, 1997).  Online. Available from http://www.yale.edu/opa/ybc/v26.n9.news.08.html