Mind map on steel – material research.

Steel is an alloy of iron and carbon. The smaller the amount of carbon the better. Apart from other links to steel that can be found on the mind map, the one that interested me the most and is really relevant to my research so far is the information that Iron has a magical meaning (at least in medieval Poland) to protect from evil and witches. Iron being a part of steel makes steel a material with special “powers” too. This makes it for me even more fascinating – a “Witch” by Jean Tinguely made from steel. A complete juxtaposition of it. This element of protection from evil also makes me think of pollution – a protection from pollution, a protection from what has a bad impact on our health and bodies. The only question now is how can I connect it with the body in a design?

I need to find a way of visualizing the idea of steel being a protection against air pollution. It is somehow ironic that in the middle ages it was used as an amulet (people in medieval Poland used to carry a piece of steel with them in order to keep the devil away) and now it’s usage in steel mills generates pollution, which is harmfull to humans.

I also went to see the "Material World" at Selfridges - it was not helpfull in terms of very direct visual inspiration, but it made me realize that there are designers, such as Le Kilt that use local products to preserve communities and craft. This made me realize that this is also the direction I was thinking of going - the idea of soviet type of work, mass production and consumerism against traditional approach to craft. Craftmanship causes no pollution or soever. It is entierly ecological and is a great juxtaposition of machine made garments that cause pollution (like in Edward Burtynski "Manufactured Landscapes"). Also the element of craftmanship is something that occured earlier in my work too, so taking it further into this project would make it even more enjoyable.

How can I move from now?

Think about how does this magical aspect of protection can be aplied to the body. Think about new techniques of knitting that can be used and relevant for this project.

What went well?

The idea that steel has those elements of magic are really relevant. It guides me to the idea of protecting agains air pollution.

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