Ugly and its interpretations in craft

Ana Nuutinen, Päivi Fernström, Riikka Räisänen

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperScientific

Abstract

Futures studies argue that future cannot be predicted, but rather alternative futures can be explored and preferred futures can be imagined. Furthermore, our images of the futures can be a resource that informs our decision making. Understanding and imagining futures needs transdisciplinary inquiry, it calls for
creativeness and freedom from prejudice.

In this study we present a design experiment accomplished in the Textile teacher education at the University of Helsinki. Our aim was to explore and strengthen skills that students will need in their future work. The creative basis of our experiment applies David Kolb’s experimental learning theory where
learning process forms an expanding and progressive spiral.

Expression, design and technology are characterized by open-ended and complex design problems. When solving them student internalizes, that there are no right or wrong solutions to all problems, that the path of the design process cannot be precisely defined in advance, and that the same starting point can produce very different solutions.

Experiment familiarizes students with the interrelation of materials and their manipulation techniques and guides them to understand the possibilities of manual experimentation, spontaneous invention and discovery. Carrying out these experiments entails the free, unusual or absurd manipulation of the mate-
rials. Ugly is especially selected viewpoint to discuss possible new futures.

Data was collected from students’ portfolios and analyzed using qualitative content analysis. The study shows that making something intentionally ugly raises emotional debate. Ugly was understood and defined in numerous ways. Ugly experiments impacted on motivation to invent and discover, for example
by empowering or discouraging.

Key words: Craft, Design, Ugly, Experiment, Empower
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 2 Jun 2017

Field of science

  • Visual arts and design

Citation for this output