A Place For Presence | Augusta Lutynski

For this project, ‘place’ describes a personally relatable space. This project began by exploring the creation of place through citizen-driven interventions in public space. In my research, place is a reaction of a moving context; it is constantly evolving within shared space. Despite this, places are often designed as permanent physical infrastructures and are not responsive to evolving spatial conditions. I realized that there is an inherent separation between citizens and public space as they tend to passively rather than actively engage with shared environments. For this reason, the aim of my project was to explore methods of active participation that would foster a sense of place that is responsive, ephemeral, and personally relatable. My research process involved interventions, workshops, and activities that created a temporary experience of place. The pieces draw from my research; synthesizing the spatial explorations I did throughout this project. The final designs express the temporalities of place in public space through personal spatial relations and actions.

Prompt 1:

The picnic blanket is iconic in its facilitation for creating a place for gathering, sitting, and ‘being’ in public space. Its intrinsic ability to create a self-determined place became a tool for me to push the context of experiencing public space to areas typically not considered. The blanket represents a physical and visual site for people to situate themselves in a range of public environments. By slowing down and being present in public areas there is potential to sense existing physical and social characteristics that are otherwise not given much thought. Placing the blanket in a public space might draw attention to qualities such as the texture of the ground, new sounds and smells, or the sight of others nearby. The more time spent in a space, the more one’s awareness and sense of connection become heightened. Bringing this blanket outside the traditional environment of a park invites individuals to slow down and take in spaces that might normally feel transient or distanced. Prompt 1 asks individuals to rest, stay, and be’ in space, encouraging deeper sensory experiences and reflections within a variety of public landscapes.  

– Woven and felted wool

Prompt 2:

Throughout my spatial explorations, markings and tracings became a key mode for expressing movement and temporary happenings within an environment. The traces of car wheels on pavement, debris lines leading to drains, textures of shoes imprinted onto surfaces, and remnants of seeds spread from a cottonwood tree are all examples of expressions of movement and change within public space. While these say something about the context and narratives within a space since they are immediate expressions of life in a shared environment and time, they are also curiously ambiguous and sometimes unknown. This walking wheel leaves a path on the ground as it moves about an environment. As this prompt interacts with the ground it could trail water from a puddle, mud from soil, or indent a pattern in sand. Walking from one place to another, a path is left on various surfaces indicating one’s temporary presence and visually expressing one’s movement through space. Prompt 2 draws attention to the materiality within an environment; the way markings in public space indicate presence and narrate the many paths of movement within that place. 

– Steel and carved elm

Prompt 3:

The sieve facilitates acts of gathering and uncovering materials within public space. The shallow bowl has the relief of various weave textures that naturally guide larger and smaller material particles to separate and sort into the indents and crevices of the sieve. Collecting and sorting is a practice of careful observation; a common activity for individuals to do in nature. One is often drawn to collect and sort materials that personally resonate with them or seem special, such as shells on a beach, rocks from a riverbed, wild flowers from a meadow, or unique sticks and leaves. These practices recognize patterns and processes within nature that produce a specific material quality within an environment. Collected objects like sea glass, leaves, or stones are a reaction of a place, a time, and the unique circumstances that made a material come to be the way it is. In the public realm, the sieve asks engagers to look closer, perhaps to uncover the contents from the bottom of a puddle or from within a sandbox. So often the material occurrences within urban space are not sought or given time; the sieve encourages the practice of finding and reflecting in urban areas. Prompt 3 aims to bring one closer, to question and narrate the unique material processes within a public space. 

– Slip-cast porcelain

Prompt 4:

This prompt came out of a long time practice of public sketching or sketching en plein air, which inspired my use of water to sketch on concrete. When sketching in public space, one is forced to respond to present conditions within a moving environment. For example, decisions must be made such as whether or not to include a biker who is only in the frame for a second or a person sitting who might get up and leave. Sketching with water on concrete removes the size limitations of a piece of paper, thus allowing a fuller embodiment of sketching. The expressions of space that are explored with these vessels allow participants to embody their environment, by gesturing and moving the body with the physicalities of public space. The vessels have various spouts and holes that spill water, leaving lines and markings as the body gestures the movement, angles, curves, and depths of space. Left behind on the ground is an interpretation of a moment that disappears as the water dries. The image left on the ground is not as relevant as the attention to public space that this activity demands. Presence is key in guiding the body to interpret and move in relation to an environment. Prompt 4 focuses on the body, using gesture as a means to embody and mark a moment within space. 

– Slip-cast porcelain

Prompt 5:

This brick press engages thoughts surrounding cycles of existence, permanence, and relevance within public space. A brick is a sturdy, functional, and long-lasting object that traditionally facilitates the building of something permanent and set. In the creation of public space, most representations of place are permanent infrastructures that do not have the capability of changing or responding to an evolving environment. By asking individuals to collect materials that are decomposing, one is prompted to think about the inanimate and animate life cycles around them. Observing the ways an environment is interconnected through constant cycles of life and death, creation and corrosion. Collecting decomposing matter within public space and pressing it into a brick form introduces temporary physical infrastructure that responds to its environment. The brick will degrade in time, and the physicality of a built place will be gone. Public space is in constant change and movement and is therefore never truly still; a place of death for one is a source of life for another. Engaging with materials and thinking about cycles of existence for leaves, beer cans, or sand all say something unique about spatial histories, and possible futures. Prompt 5 draws attention to these physical cycles and addresses the potential for the temporality of place within built space. 

– Steel

Neighbourhood Stroll

everyday spatial relations within a public landscape

Daily observations and experiences from my neighbourhood walk

For ten days I walked the same route in my neighbourhood, noting my experiences along the way. By walking the same path every day, I was able to note changes and similarities within those public spaces. The more I walked my path, the better I came to know the spaces that I moved through; I was able to expect or predict certain occurrences on my route. I came to know which areas were prone to having lots of people, where people might gather, or areas that were high in traffic. I also came to know the areas that were quiet and perhaps off people’s radar, in these spaces I mostly interacted with local people and domestic pets. The walk also presented the rhythms and schedules of my neighbours.

I would often see the same occurrences at the same time and place but on a different day. People using this neighbourhood space had picked routes and areas that they would consistently situate themselves in as I had on these walks. It made me think about the vast range of spaces people relate to based on their activities, routines, location, and needs within public space. People using public space consider their unique needs and choose places that work for them. The social and built constructs within public environments dictate the way an individual will choose to navigate and situate themselves in shared space.

Om for Home | Moni El Batrik

Currently, Moni is further developing the Om for home product and a community sculpture version.

Your curiosity and connection is always welcome.


Biolux | Shraeyas Massey + Ferj David

Biolux is a system of bioluminescent plants to create a sense of responsibility and attachment.

How might we encourage a more fulfilling life on Mars in the year 2100 through rituals of attachment and responsibility to plants?

The goal is to provoke thought about co-existence with plants as well as speculations about the near future and what life could look like on another planet. In doing so, we would also like to re-frame our perceptions around disposability, building materials and food. By bringing plants to the everyday life on Mars, citizens can have a greater sense of purpose and care for life.

Living on Mars poses great challenges for humanity. We must take advantage of upcoming innovations in technology and design such as CRISPR, as well as the human nature of attachment to plants and values around sharing to find new paradigms in designing a fulfilling and comfortable life in an isolated, confined and extreme environment. Ultimately as designers, we are constantly in search for new paradigms in technology and design; to speculate on different possibilities and offer people a glimpse of the future.

(re)valued | Ash S Logan

This project approaches the wicked problem associated with the clothing and textile industry by exploring a generative material practice using regional fibres and multiple textile production techniques. Each artefact is a representation of their process, carrying an embedded vernacular. The series of artefacts are designed to provoke conversation around our values, the material economy, connection and to encourage a new urban mythology. 

The coat’s design is a representation of the process, every aspect carefully crafted from sketch to fibre processing, picking, cleaning, carding and felting, to pattern drafting and sewing. The transparency of it’s story is seen, smelled and felt through the materials that have been produced and designed.

Lined with silk and sewn using silk thread, the coat is designed to be composted for end of life. 

The form allows for an openness in accessibility. Aesthetically inspired by Japanese fashion with an androgynous approach.

The tote-back is a versatile bag designed for daily use. Using regional fibres, the bag communicates a deep connection to the land while maintaining a polished look with ease in its functionality. The bag can be worn off the shoulder as well as a backpack. 

The bag is designed for end of life using linen fabric for the lining and handles, fastening the ends of the handles with leather and sewn together using silk thread. 

It’s clean, simple aesthetic allows it to be used in any scenario. 

The pouf is home seating furniture, quality made for comfort. The woven and felted fabric offers a unique yet subtle aesthetic. The regional wool creates a soft and comforting experience. 

Sewn together using yarn made from the same fibre and stuffed with straw, the pouf is designed for end of life.

The story of textiles told by fast fashion, has become reduced to a disposable commodity. Over the last century we have lost our traditions, our connection, and our stories associated with our most intimate artefacts, textiles.

We no longer know where our textiles are grown or the farmers that produced them. We don’t know who cleaned the fibres and spun the yarn. We don’t know where or how the yarn was knit or woven. We don’t know where that fabric was sent to be dyed or what the dyes are made of. We don’t know who cut the fabric, tracing the designer’s pattern. We don’t know in what country, in what factory, by what person our clothes have been constructed and sewn.    

The work is vast to create textile products. And it’s done all over the world, touched by many hands. This disconnection created from the current growth logic economy has allowed for exploitation and environmental destruction to control the textile industry.

From a local context there’s an opportunity to change the story. By scaling down and using regenerative farming practices and regional fibres we can start to build healthy soil and holistic ecosystems that can mitigate the effects of the climate crisis by sequestering carbon to put back into the soil.

By knowing the community of people that make textiles possible, we can start to form relationships to help our local industry thrive. A local industry can make a healthy local economy with meaningful work opportunities, building community resilience.

The material used in the series of objects has an embedded vernacular. It speaks of the land from which it grew and the hands that have touched it. The wool’s connection to the land can be felt, seen and smelled. The material has a long life to live but will some day return to the land from which it came, becoming a part of nature once more.

The sheep’s wool speaks of nature’s capacity to give generously and also it’s need for protection and care. This material urges us to live within the bounds of natural cycles and in return offers warmth, comfort and abundance.

The material is asking us to think of textiles in a new way, to gain a deeper understanding and respect for a resource that is often taken for granted. By understanding the work that goes into creating textiles the more likely we will value this precious resource.

Ash S Logan Bio

Ash Logan is situated on the unceded land of the Coast Salish peoples–Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish), Stó:lō and Səl̓ílwətaʔ/Selilwitulh (Tsleil-Waututh) and xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam) Nations, as a multidisciplinary artist and designer. Her work tackles issues regarding environmental sustainability and social responsibility, using tools such as storytelling and localization to create sentiment and explore solutions to complex problems.
Her design practice consists of multiple material interventions using textiles, woodworking, digital technology, and CAD. She demonstrates strong abilities in design research, ideation, iteration, refined prototypes and technical specifications. She recently graduated with a Bachelor of Design from Emily Carr University of Art & Design focused in Industrial Design.

Link to online portfolio: ashsdesign.webflow.io/

found! | Sofia Pickstone

found! is a performative practice of re-framing discarded artifacts. it celebrates the potential in unwanted and forgotten things, and challenges our notions of disposability.

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by Sofia Pickstone