Defense Date


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Fine Arts


Craft/Material Studies

First Advisor

Heath Matysek-Snyder

Second Advisor

Sonya Clark

Third Advisor

Susan Ganch


The notion of “you are what you buy” is an updated adage from “you are what you eat”. It makes a connection between our everyday objects and their effect on our lived experience. Looking at our relationships with our things as a type of contract, we must be intentional to shape these object contracts for our own good and health. Instead of our society’s design talents being put toward a consumerist agenda, designers must direct research and development which addresses the effects of our products holistically.

Various concepts have emerged in my creative practice which demand a deeper research and development. These are concepts of little interest to the corporate product developer, as they appeal to agendas beyond profit. Just as the slow food movement responds to fast food and “Big Ag”, the concepts of time, gifts, ritual emerge as virtues which demand development in our products. These concepts are not an answer to consumerism. However, they are tastes that have fallen off of our product diet. I point to various works works of art and design, of my own and others, which seek to renew the vastness of our potential experience with everyday objects. Instead of choosing from the corporate offering, we may take a more critical view of design which looks at our holistic experience with our products.


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