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MEET-UP 2 | Culture and Materials: the need to name and the stories we tell

A dive into the world of material research and the importance of the stories we create and tell.

What happens when we discover, grow and harvest dye-plants in the city and citizens experience the endless possibilities of the colors that we can extract? When we connect local stakeholders and create sustainable flows and production alternatives within the city? When we start growing plants together, stimulating a culture of care and collaboration? TextileLab’s Local Color project is on a journey to research and discover and invites all interested to join the exploration!

Meet-up #2: The need to name and the stories we tell

After the first meet-up Present Past, Possible Future, we will now dive into the world of material research and the importance of the stories we create and tell.

Although nature does not care where one species ends and another begins, humans have always categorised and named the natural world to make sense of it. The way research is defined and the way knowledge is shared, is strongly embedded in our culture and our beliefs and values concerning the natural world. Do we have a merely mechanical, reductionist and objective approach, or can we embrace and value a sense of wonder, intuition and care in our research?

Also in Local Color we research, categorise and name biochromes (colours coming from natural resources) that we can find in the city that might be part of the local value chain we are uncovering. This research is captured in taxonomies which helps us to understand possibilities, see the behavior of the living material, what it needs in order to thrive and how we can plan and organise while taking natural cycles as a starting point. These taxonomies created for Local Color are not scientific taxonomies, they are reinterpretations considering the values, concerns and vision of the project. By crafting specific categories, we can capture unexpected possibilities, see the unseen and shine our light in “dye-matter blindness” for example.

During this meet-up we will listen to four people that do research into plants and related topics with a strong emphasis on the culture context in which their research is embedded.

Plant enthusiast Maarten van Bodegraven starts with a presentation about the origin and function of botanical gardens in the city. Creative research and natural dyes specialist Cecilia Raspanti talks about the importance of creative taxonomies to understand the world of possibilities and about the needed attitude of a researcher. Plant philosopher Norbert Peeters speaks about our (changing) ideas concerning plants we consider weeds, native or exotic. Doctor and artist Marjolein Hessels shows how different ways of doing research merge in her work and stress the importance of care when working with the natural world.

Ista Boszhard hosts the evening and shares some insights on the importance of stories we tell when shaping our research and sharing the outcomes to cultivate a culture of care and wonder.

Programme

18.30 – 19.00 hrs – walk-in19.00 – 20.30 hrs – talks  20.30 – 21.00 hrs – drinks

Local Color meetups

This meet-up is the second of a series of five meet-ups. Each meet-up is shaped around one of the five lenses and gradually shares insights into the Local Color project and the TextileLab way of working, its principles and model. Spanning from the holistic approach, they explore the natural materials realm that surrounds us, the tools necessary to share and expand possibilities in local production; as well the processes and systems that exist or can be uncovered for systemic change – and finally the culture we foster to collectively bring change to the city we inhabit.