Material Language

Chiara Schmitt

Photo credit by Alison Boullier.

The thesis Material Language: An Approach to Acquire Literacy of the Inarticulable frames analogies of language acquisition as a lens to examine materiality and explore how to make and find meaning with and through material. By means to conceptualize a so-called ‘material language,’ following a practice-led and place-based methodology, this work showcases two main case studies that investigate how we can become active agents in our relationship with the material world. 

material poetry

We interpret or read into poetry, drama, fiction, lyrics, or even conversations, actions, and gestures consciously and unconsciously. To do so, we draw from our experience, upbringing, and even education by looking for symbols and indicators that help us reveal the multilayered meanings within. The breadth of this thesis research includes four separate investigations regarding the engagement with abstract, non-literal emotions through material poetry as the installation of meaning into material.

material vernacular

Vernaculars relate to a commonality in a particular time, geography, or group of people. They evolve as a common language of ordinary speech that is collectively understood and defined by its surroundings. Material Vernaculars are treated as place-specific creation of meaning with material.

Chiara Schmitt

is a designer, maker and design researcher focussing on material-driven explorations in craft and design. Chiara has an educational background in Industrial Design and has recently completed her Masters of Design at Emily Carr University where she has had the opportunity to act as teaching assistant for the university’s Industrial Design Core Studio, as well as research assistant on Shumka x Material Matters Lab projects. She was honoured to have received the Master’s Scholarship through the Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst of Germany (DAAD).

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