Raw 1 ‘Social Fabric’

Nicholas Gant, Ryan Woodard

Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference proceeding with ISSN or ISBNChapterpeer-review


In this chapter we rethink the relationship between people and place as mediated by waste materials and processes of physical and philosophical meaning making. As a studio of individuals from different localities we undertake a collective design process and articulate and illustrate a programme of exploration and reflection through material maps, images, illustrations and made objects related to the materiality of place. We consider the social value of materials (that would otherwise be waste) in our neighbourhoods and contemplate their role as arbiters between, and signifiers of, different cultural value systems. Using material as evidence we document a form anthropological archaeology a process that reveals, re-forms and re-presents the social, the sub-cultural and the material behaviours of people in their place. It (sometimes literally) casts new material narratives through the physical and meta-physical social fabric that surrounds us by engaging with waste as culturally loaded matter. This studio and chapter explores tried-and-tested, incremental and accumulative design processes that document socio-material systems and participatory processes. We map the environments in which our social-design ‘actors’ and participants live and the waste(d) opportunities that provide latent potential for social stories and opportunities that are afforded through more circular modes and methods of meaningful making. We chart a course through neighbourhoods using the prism of waste material and waste(d) opportunities identifying potential ‘spin-out’ benefits for social and cultural value and renewed potential for more ‘virtuous-circular-economies’ and enhanced ‘material literacy’ (Gant, 2017) [1]. The result is (more) meaningful-matter, material products that embody something of their place, in relation to its people.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Pedagogies of Re-Use
Subtitle of host publicationThe International School of Re-Construction
ISBN (Print)9781032650623, 9781032665511
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 1 Apr 2024

Bibliographical note

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  • Reuse
  • sustainable development


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