The Cycle of Vitality

Useful information

Team members
Pauline Alt
circularity vitality of matter dualistic worldview materiality

Short Description

The project is about our interaction with materials and our unbalanced relationship with nature.

Detailed Description

Vitality of matter describes the materials' constant process of becoming, their ability to trigger actions and to tell stories. If we start to give matter a voice and ascribe it with vitality, we consequently will care better for it.
The Cycle of Vitality represents the vitality and qualities of the material loam. As a collection of collectively created mudballs, so-called Dorodangos, it displays the material in its entirety and allows each participant to experience it. The project aims to re-approach, encounter, and understand the world around us.
During the process of creation, the makers interact with all stages of the material's becoming. They dive into a meditative flow where they are disconnected from everything else, solely concentrating on the material.
The project highlights loam's ability to transform infinitely, as makers are encouraged to inhabit this creative process over and over again. Loam's circularity makes its vitality and should not be neglected.

Project Details

Does your design take social and cultural challenges and human wellbeing into consideration?

Climate crisis, depletion of resources, or the tremendous amount of waste are a consequence of our unbalanced relationship with nature. We, humans, control others for our benefit intended to achieve the best living conditions for us. This project helps us to encounter our surroundings in a new, fairer manner. While engaging with a material, we start to reflect on our habits and way of treating them. We will start to view them as equal actors in our environment. And this is a first step towards a healthier environment, for us humans and the other beings.

Does your design support sustainable production, embodying circular or regenerative design practices?

It is a matter-centered design approach focusing on sensing and exploring materials holistically. Starting to think of materials as active entities in our system, rather then seeing them as servants for production purposes or as carriers of technical attributes, will create new modes of production, or rather, new modes of interaction with resources - focusing on regeneration.
The project displays the circularity of clay in offering the possibility to re-experience the forming process again and again.

Does your design use principles of distribution and open source?

Yes. It exists a website, where all steps of forming a Dorodango are explained (Link: https://thecycleofvitality.com/). Likewise, on Instagram, the forming process of every maker is documented (Link: @thecycleofvitality).

Does your design promote awareness of responsible design and consumption?

Yes. It makes us reflect on our role in the ecosystem we are part of.