Materiology 1.0: What Happens When Tomorrow Becomes Today?
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Materiology 1.0: What Happens When Tomorrow Becomes Today?

STIR predicts the future by bringing together 9 designers to work with 9 different materials to create 9 unique installations in a one-of-its-kind exhibition, Materiology 1.0.

by Zohra Khan May 31, 2019

The future seems to always remain at an unsettling end in our lives. Confusing, alienating and uncanny. However, what is often forgotten is the potential of the time that is now. Imagine if one could see through the uncharted waters of tomorrow while being anchored to the shore of today. What if design could let you time travel?

Packed with a storm of ideas to manifest an extraordinary reality, STIR presented 'Materiology 1.0' where nine creative minds were asked to pick a material of their choice (the selection ranged from concrete, wood, plastic, ceramic, steel, bamboo, leather, fabric and technology), using which, they created nine unique installations, the experience of which, foretold the future.

Hosted at the STIR Gallery in New Delhi, as one traversed the exhibition, their engagement with design, space, materials and perspectives allowed them to thread together their own story of what may lie ahead and deliberate on ‘What Happens When Tomorrow Becomes Today?’.

Materiology 1.0 Image Credit: Courtesy of STIR
Materiology – The Concept

Rewind to late October…a meeting over a Kejriwal Toast at The Willingdon Club in Mumbai, between Amit Gupta (Founder, Curator, Content Director | STIR) and Pramiti Madhavji (Founder, The Blue Pencil Design Company / Content Advisor, STIR), where they get chatting about STIR-ring up the design scene with, "Let's do something different at the helm of the New Year…”

The timing here was just right…it was nearly the end of the year, and like us, there are many who want to know the stories we tell. Excited one thinks, “What is 2019 going to be like for me?” Pessimistic or optimistic, the curiosity angle always gets the better of us in these matters. With this at the top of the mind, the conversation took a design route on the future and morphed into what we call today ‘Materiology’ – where a series of designers use variegated materials to define their abstract of what the future holds.

Creating unique installations, the designers tell their stories through their selected materials, connecting the dots of the nuances of its applied nature and what it can predict in coming times. Using fibre, texture, grains, coarseness, malleability, tactility etc, the creatives weave and narrate an expression that they, ‘the stars' (our selected group of designers) foretell about what the future means to them and how others could relate to it.

These artworks convey a narrative influenced by -

• Changing ecological ecosystems
• Shifting human behaviour
• Psychological/physiological adaption of the built environment
• Socio-political environments
• Intervention of technologies like AI

'Materiology' intends to captivate the audience with a unique theme that transcends the boundaries of current trends and takes them to a new dimension!

The future to us is...seeing things in a different light.

What is it to you?

What happens when tomorrow becomes today?

A peek into the nine installations and what led to their making -

01. PREAMBLE-2 WAYS

Designers: Apoorva Shroff, Ekta Parekh, Maithili Raut, Rajiv Parekh | reD (research & enquiry into DESIGN)

  • Preamble-2 Ways, 'Materiology 1.0'Image Credit: Courtesy of STIR
  • Preamble-2 Ways, 'Materiology 1.0' Image Credit: Courtesy of STIR
  • Preamble-2 Ways, 'Materiology 1.0' Image Credit: Courtesy of STIR

(Excerpt taken from the concept note)
The best way to have something etched in your memory is through repetition. Sometimes the menial act of physically writing (as seldom as it may happen) something over and over again ingrains it into our conscience and sub-conscience. Hence, the preamble if written repeatedly, we hope might help us learn and imbibe its values.

See video

02. OK COMPUTER

Designers: Madhav Raman | Anagram Architects x Experiential Design Lab

  • OK Computer, 'Materiology 1.0' Image Credit: Courtesy of STIR
  • OK Computer, Materiology 1.0 Image Credit: Courtesy of STIR
  • OK Computer, Materiology 1.0 Image Credit: Courtesy of STIR

(Excerpt taken from the concept note)
Technology has always materialised as objects: tools, devices and gadgets. More and more, its materiality, like that of these objects, is defined by minimal forms, hardened plastics, cold screens and shiny metallics. Its methods have become increasingly inscrutable, icily analytical and callously calculative. Its manner seems intrusive, apathetic and simulated. 'OK COMPUTER' is our speculation on the materiality, method and manner of technology in a cyber-physical future of blurred, tenuous, soft edges between the physical, digital and human. It is a space where light, sound and movement communicate more than object, form, image and text…

See video

03. ROOM OF ILLUSIONS

Designers: Manish Gulati, Anuj Mittal | M:OFA Studios
Material partner: Intersekt

  • Room of Illusions, Materiology 1.0 Image Credit: Courtesy of STIR
  • Room of Illusions, Materiology 1.0 Image Credit: Courtesy of STIR
  • Room of Illusions, Materiology 1.0 Image Credit: Courtesy of STIR

(Excerpt taken from the concept note)
What is real? What’s an illusion? Can one predict the future? Your future is your mental projection overlaid on existing reality and your past memories. It has the ability to twist and turn that reality, to write a new narrative every moment. What you fear, what you desire, what you fantasise, what you lust after; it all presents itself as moments triggered as markers over your timeline, the path you choose, becomes your future.

See video

04. THE TIME BOX

Designer: Anjali Mody | Josmo
Material partner: MCM Unfired Clay Cladding

  • The Time Box, Materiology 1.0 Image Credit: Courtesy of STIR
  • The Time Box, Materiology 1.0 Image Credit: Courtesy of STIR
  • The Time Box, Materiology 1.0 Image Credit: Courtesy of STIR

(Excerpt taken from the concept note)
Step into the Time Box and the future is anywhere. The cylindrical column placed at the centre of the box creates a kinetic energy to catapult a passenger to whatever period they imagine – wherever they desire. Fashioned out of wood and mirror, the dual materials of the Time Box represent the past and the future. Wood, nature’s bounty, embodies the earthy now – warm and memorable; Mirror, impermanent and adaptive, signifies the endless possibilities of the future – always changing, yet always reflecting.

See video

05. AUGUR

Designer: Parminder Pal Singh | LOCO Design
Material partner: Cuir Inde

  • AUGUR, Materiology 1.0 Image Credit: Courtesy of STIR
  • AUGUR, Materiology 1.0 Image Credit: Courtesy of STIR

(Excerpt taken from the concept note)
Life is about taking chances… Every crossroad throwing up choices… Deciding your future the AUGUR, a medium revealing where those choices may lead you… A journey… A destination… An end or the beginning…find out

See video

06. ARMOUR OF WEAKNESSES

Designer: Swarup Dutta, Scenographer

  • Armour of Weaknesses, Materiology 1.0 Image Credit: Courtesy of STIR
  • Armour of Weaknesses, Materiology 1.0 Image Credit: Courtesy of STIR
  • Armour of Weaknesses,Materiology 1.0 Image Credit: Courtesy of STIR

(Excerpt taken from the concept note)
Armour of Weaknesses’ shows bodies forcing themselves painfully in and out of expertly crafted bamboo structures almost like slipping in and out of real and assumed realities and identities. The bodies are androgynous and never sexually obvious; they are various and non-conformist to type, shape and size. Delicately poised on high heels, the dancing body contorts to accommodate various parts of his/her body. The artist-photographer is relentless and rapidly captures this struggle on camera.

See video

07. TEXTILE WASTE

Designer: Arrti Mansinghka | Blue Bicycle Design
Material partner: Sarita Handa

  • Textile Waste, Materiology 1.0 Image Credit: Courtesy of STIR
  • Textile Waste, Materiology 1.0Image Credit: Courtesy of STIR
  • Textile Waste, Materiology 1.0Image Credit: Courtesy of STIR

(Excerpt taken from the concept note)
Textile waste is an aspect of the global waste crisis that is rarely discussed. This presents an opportunity to rethink how we can reduce and reuse this waste more intelligently than ever by creating value. This work is an attempt to use textile waste meaningfully and re-embrace it back into the circle of creativity; to look at things with a new perspective and find sustainable solutions through creativity and invention.

See video

08. TORNADO

Designers: Amrish Patel, Darshan Soni | Apical Reform
Material partner: Arttd’inox

  • Tornado, Materiology 1.0 Image Credit: Courtesy of STIR
  • Tornado, Materiology 1.0 Image Credit: Courtesy of STIR
  • Tornado, Materiology 1.0 Image Credit: Courtesy of STIR

(Excerpt taken from the concept note)
The ‘Tornado’ kinetic sculpture has a distinct and impactful movement created through the geometric positioning of circular metal rings. Mimicking the power and rhythmic rise and fall of one of nature’s most beautiful natural phenomena, the fluidity of a whirlpool is brought to life through precise design and engineering, where axially linked discs are set into action, creating a seemingly endless current.

See video

09. PHOENIX

Designer: Tony Joseph | STAPATI
Material partner: Chintan Environmental Research and Action Group

  • Phoenix, Materiology 1.0 Image Credit: Courtesy of STIR
  • Phoenix, Materiology 1.0 Image Credit: Courtesy of STIR

(Excerpt taken from the concept note)
Plastic waste is clogging up the earth at an unprecedented scale. The possibility of a sustainable solution is inevitable. It is only a matter of time before human ingenuity comes up with ways in which plastic can be effectively accumulated through efficient collection mechanisms, legal frameworks and protocols, to open up endless possibilities of reusing in a positive manner. This installation is thus an ode to the future, to a time when plastic emerges from the polluted morass it finds itself in, like the prodigal son, to revive itself as a sustainable material with infinite possibilities, which will form a positive part of our future.

See video

-
'Materiology 1.0' was lauded by the design community for its thoughtful initiative, an intriguing thematic and fascinating presentation of unique concepts. Visited by a large number of designers, architects, artists, students, professionals and enthusiasts alike while gaining an exclusive identity all along, the event concluded with a tremendous success. STIR looks forward to putting together the next edition very soon.

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About Author

Zohra Khan

Zohra Khan

A formal education in architecture combined with an avid interest in architecture journalism and design criticism led Khan to professionally venture into writing and research. She has worked in design communication for more than two years, generating content for mondo*arc india journal. When not writing, she kicks back by dabbling on social media for STIR.

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