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Materials as Systems: The case of advanced textiles as key actors in a systemic change

Format: Papers, RSD12, Topic: Methods & Methodology, Topic: Socioecological Design, Topic: Sociotechnical Systems

Tincuta Heinzel

In this paper, we explore how the materials way of thinking paradigm, which has defined the development of the materials sciences field since the 1980s, created the premises for a conception of materials as systems. This paradigm impacts the design approaches and processes, but as we try to demonstrate in this text, the communities involved and their ecosystem(s). To better understand what is at stake when it comes to materials-driven inquiries in design, we question the nature of functions. Embracing a philosophical stance in relation to design, we aim to show how the switch from an ontological indexation of materials towards a more functionalist perspective created the premises of a paradigmatical change that understands materials as systems. Using advanced textiles as a case study, we will show how materials could become key actors in the attempts of systemic change where design discipline and industrious enterprises could work together towards more ecological perspectives and economies.

KEYWORDS: systemic design, advanced textiles, nanotechnologies, functionalist ontologies, textiles ecosystem(s)

RSD TOPIC(S): Methods & Methodology, Socioecological Design, Sociotechnical Systems.

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Citation Data

Author(s): Tincuta Heinzel
Year: 2023
Title: Materials as Systems: The case of advanced textiles as key actors in a systemic change
Published in: Proceedings of Relating Systems Thinking and Design
Volume: RSD12
Article No.: pre-release
URL: https://rsdsymposium.org/advanced-textiles-as-key-actors-in-a-systemic-change
Host: Georgetown University
Location: Washington DC, USA
Symposium Dates: October 6–20, 2023
First published: 30 September 2023
Last update: no update
Publisher Identification: ISSN 2371-8404