Abstract

This paper aims to understand experiential knowledge in a community practice of making by expanding the definition of a designed-object, and design-authorship. It seeks to do so through an enquiry into the making of an object-tool used and made by a community of manual load-bearers in Delhi's vegetable and fruit markets. Tool- making requires an understanding of the task and body’s capability. These load- bearers, over decades, have devised two distinct object-tools from understanding contextual differences in material-forms of load being carried, their bodily limitations and available material constraints. The repeated sensorial, kinaesthetic and embodied experience of carrying loads gives raise to a collective body of experiential knowing from individual knowing. It is a form of an open-authorship knowing. Any user-maker can try new iterations, if it eases the task of carrying loads; the adaptation becomes a standard and permeates through the community. Design iterations are made with availability of new raw-materials, change in task of loads to be lifted, thus, the experiential knowledge in object-tool is ever changing.

Keywords:

open authorship, materiality, tool-making, experiential knowledge

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License

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Jun 25th, 12:00 AM

Embodied Knowledge in a Community Adaptive Practice

This paper aims to understand experiential knowledge in a community practice of making by expanding the definition of a designed-object, and design-authorship. It seeks to do so through an enquiry into the making of an object-tool used and made by a community of manual load-bearers in Delhi's vegetable and fruit markets. Tool- making requires an understanding of the task and body’s capability. These load- bearers, over decades, have devised two distinct object-tools from understanding contextual differences in material-forms of load being carried, their bodily limitations and available material constraints. The repeated sensorial, kinaesthetic and embodied experience of carrying loads gives raise to a collective body of experiential knowing from individual knowing. It is a form of an open-authorship knowing. Any user-maker can try new iterations, if it eases the task of carrying loads; the adaptation becomes a standard and permeates through the community. Design iterations are made with availability of new raw-materials, change in task of loads to be lifted, thus, the experiential knowledge in object-tool is ever changing.

 

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