chaos & capability

Danika Oystrek

See it On Campus: Level 2

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chaos & capability is a material-based exploration of self-care and ritualistic practices with the Earth. Through a set of prompt cards, the user is invited to an intuitive dialogue with their surroundings while reflecting and mitigating their feelings on observed ecological changes.

This project investigates the intersection of ecofeminism and dualistic monism by asking the question “How can we build a greater appreciation for feminine ways of being in order to benefit nature?

Through a set of 14 prompts that cannot logically be processed, the user navigates a natural space using intuitive means, reflecting in collaboration with the elements that surround them. chaos & capability aids in de-prioritizing ego-based thinking, encouraging deep trust in self, and approaching human-nature interactions from a place of humility.

[the 14 prompts]

write a letter to mother.

seal it with moss

growth makes noise;

weave the sound of the Earth.

your body is nature;

how do the elements shape you?

reflect upon a dream.

lay it to rest with a rock;

they will find resolution.

create a circle of dirt, establish roots within it.

follow water.

allow it to introduce you to its surroundings.

you are light.

seek that which grows towards you.

press your palm against moss.

describe the feeling.

loosen the cloak of nature until you are within it.

pull on the fibres of the Earth &

watch her unravel before you.

make amends with what resides in the marks your feet have made.

nurture that which has nurtured you.

walk until your feet reflect the breath of the Earth.

mark the origins of the wind.

[the ritual]

card is felt; chosen by chance.
mark your words; to be sacrificed to the elements.
to sacrifice is to offer; through earth, fire, water, air.
the found is woven; in commemoration.


The conceptualization of chaos & capability is based in ecofeminist principles- in the theory that the imposition of hierarchy subdues both women and nature. I approached this project as an antidote to these socially upheld conditions, concluding that a substantial difference between residing in a predominantly masculine versus feminine way of being is that the feminine encourages and accepts intuition as a fundamental navigational tool. 


chaos & capability is grounded in my place-based practice; the paper is made of Phormium Tenax, a fibrous plant from my garden which had not survived the winter frost. There are no additives in the processing of the Phornium Tenax paper and the prompts are printed using a water-based ink, rendering the final outcome biodegradable.

Each prompt is embedded with a plant that acts as medicine for both the self and the land. For example; the paper for the prompt walk until your feet reflect the breath of the Earth is embedded with Yarrow: a plant that allows you to be more perceptive and attentive and to surrender to your presence here on Earth. 

The textile (woven on the TC2 loom) has 14 sections of intentionally-placed floats in which plants found during the completion of the prompts are to be woven. When no prompts remain, the textile is complete and can be displayed as the user wishes. 


The website engages a larger audience and creates a sense of community around the prompts. It also functions as a submission platform, contains further project information and displays submitted prompts and photos.

[w/ thanks]

Danika Oystrek

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Danika is a multidisciplinary designer and maker whose practice focuses on fostering connection between humans and the land through a collaborative, intuitive, and organic process. Having been raised in a family of Ukrainian settlers who farm the prairies of Alberta, Danika understands the need to prioritize ancestral and embodied knowledge in design methodology as we navigate the current ecological crisis. They hold a Bachelor of Design (Industrial Design) from Emily Carr University of Art + Design and reside on the unceded territories of the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish), and Səlil̓ilw̓ətaʔɬ (Tsleil-Waututh) peoples.

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