Empathetic Plasticity



June 2022

Exhibited at Upending | Mending, Belconnen Arts Centre, 2022

by Iain [Max] Maxwell, Sam Tomkins
Empathetic Plasticity explores creative design and bespoke making practices that address the ecological consequences of our contemporary fascination with disposal over repair. Drawing on traditional Japanese practices of Kintsugi, which employs precious metals such as gold to elevate the cultural value of objects via acts of repair, we instead harness a custom robotic 3D printing technique to reposition plastic waste as an intricate, articulate and reconfigurable resource capable of resurrecting and elaborating damaged objects otherwise destined for landfill. In doing so, everyday objects, once the outcome of mass industrial processes not only accrue novel characteristics but a chance at second life.

Empathetic Plasticity presents a triptych of transformed objects, each demonstrating a technological response to the gesture of repair.



Photography: Nick Burrows

Photography: Nick Burrows

Photography: Nick Burrows


In-situ at Belco Arts. Photography: Gemma Fischer





CANBERRA DESIGN LAB 


An interdisciplinary team of design based-researchers from the Faculty of Arts and Design at the University of Canberra.


An interdisciplinary team of design based-researchers from the Faculty of Arts and Design at the University of Canberra.