Taylor Downard

Sticky Correspondence: An animist design encounter

In her project Sticky Correspondence, Taylor Downard asks how adopting a neo-animistic worldview might enrich our experience of interconnectedness and material agency.

Through conversations with materials, we can open the imaginary to an interconnected world where the boundary between object and subject becomes obscured, and the animated qualities of materials reveal themselves.

This research project explores the sticky cosmos of the Greek Orthodox Wedding Ceremony, where the wedding ring’s material animacy performs and subject/object relations manifest. Downard seeks to understand how the elemental narratives of materials materialise through ritualised making and the design of sensory spatial encounters (devised in ritualised installations and spatialised artefacts). She explores how attentive material understandings (immersive and sensory conversations with sugar, wax and metal) are conceived by listening to the whispers of materials;  and how attending to material vibrations unearths a sensory crescendo. This allows her to begin to understand the sticky interrelatedness of all things.


Centre for Design Research
Te Kura Toi a Hoahoa
School of Art and Design

Te Wānanga Aronui o Tāmaki Makau Rau,
Auckland University of Technology


Susan Hedges susan.hedges@aut.ac.nz
Mandy Smith mandy.smith@aut.ac.nz

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© Centre for Design Research, AUT University 2021