RTD2015 18 Seeing the light – finding the poetic content of design objects
This paper presents the process and initial results of a research through design project attempting to understand the poetic qualities of design objects. This exploration forms part of a PhD study addressing design artefacts as poetic objects- objects that both embed and conjure memory, association and imagination. The research examines the ways in which design objects can be poetic and how designers actively and knowingly use objects to poetic effect.
It is proposed that the poetic content of design artefacts can be located on a continuum ranging from the experiential - relating to how we perceive things - to the reflective and cultural. What unites these levels is the capacity of design objects to reveal and change our way of looking at things.
The practice uses the design of lighting as a vehicle for exploring the poetic meaning of designed objects more generally. Starting with the notion that lights do more than provide light, the current phase of practice examines the ways in which luminaires can mediate how we perceive and experience light and explores, in particular, the more nuanced and ephemeral qualities of light that escapes conscious attention.