Work By Maartje van Deursen
Perhaps you need to get your hands dirty in life.
I am not suggesting you get up to shady business. But if you never handle materials, are you really going to experience life to its full extent? And as cutting edge as the makers of smart phones will have us believe they are, the glass-hard smoothness of a touch screen is perhaps the bluntest tool mankind has ever possessed.
Raw materials have distinct properties and learning about them through playing with them is part of our development. Designers and artists need to stay in touch with nature. As our world becomes increasingly focused on computer networks and urban living, there is a danger that our children and future generations will only be exposed to a synthetic world. Playing ball games on artificial grass or owning battery-operated hamsters instead of the real thing.
Things like computer modelling, virtual and augmented realities should never be allowed to be more than just exciting supplements to our lives or they are only going to create more distance.
Why, if our fingertips can detect mere hundredths of a millimetre in difference, do contemporary technologies ignore this? Textures and surfaces appeal to us as human beings. They enrich our lives.
Patina, what’s that?
So, with the real world rapidly disappearing under a shiny smooth surface and a lack of knowledge of the properties and feel of the natural world, how are future generations to know that everything that surrounds them are imitations and surrogates for real materials, produced in hard-wearing non-toxic finishes? How is anything going to develop a patina if everything is a wipe clean Nano coating that dirt can’t adhere too? Cause, let’s face it, a beautiful patina is really the accumulation of years of compacted dirt and oxidation. Shall we rough it up a little?
Patina. That’s the beauty of getting your hands dirty.