Accepted Paper:

A Material Intervention: MANIFEST  


Gina Leith (Edinburgh College of Art, Edinburgh University)

Paper short abstract:

An interactive display of material understanding, made manifest, through a collection of individually constructed material portraits, which represent distinct yet interwoven voices: material as metaphor - material as action, to be layered over a host - seen as a marked canvas.

Paper long abstract:

This research attempts to define a dialogue around the material landscape of Interior Design, questioning the process and understanding of material specification, representation and use.

As a creator of our built environment our selection process relies on an innate understanding of the products and materials we choose, alongside an intuitive response to the fabric of existing buildings.

This exhibit will represent the complex layering of materials within Interior construction; articulating definitions conceived to demonstrate our material understanding and use. How we use materials is in part, based on how we perceive them, and the choices we make are based on not only the physical properties and capabilities, but also their symbolic meanings and social dimensions.

Each set of linguistic samples acts as a portrait of a given material to analyse and critique the obvious, perceived, and coincidental properties of each individual (construction) material.

These samples are positioned upon a base layer. Our 'marked canvas' as the host, itself, a multi-layered material reality, can be a representation of an existing place or space

A set of new materials, are 'installed' onto the canvas. Split into two groups - Material as Action / Material as Metaphor, each chosen material is represented by two sets of eight samples. The first set describes aspects of the physical properties, and pragmatic considerations such as aesthetics, costs, construction, and durability.

The second metaphorical set, articulates our perception and beliefs, speaking of folklore, history, origin, harvest, life and afterlife.

Together they construct a visual analysis of material understanding.

Panel P086
A Museum of Architecture: Challenging Representation(s)