Loading Events

« All Events

  • This event has passed.

Curl Lecture – Graeme Were

October 3 2011 @ 12:00 am


will be given by

Dr Graeme Were, University of Queensland

“On the Materials of Mats: thinking through design in a Pacific society”

Monday 3 October 2011, at 5pm in the Stevenson Theatre, Clore Education Centre, the British Museum, Great Russell Street, London WC1B 3DG.

All welcome. Admission free without ticket. Refreshments afterwards.

The lecture will be preceded by the RAI’s AGM. All are welcome to the AGM; only RAI Fellows may vote.

Enquiries to: RAI, 50 Fitzroy St, London W1T 5 BT; tel 020 7387 0455; email


This paper examines the selective use of plant materials in design in the Pacific. It explores – through an analysis of pandanus leaf mats in New Ireland, Papua New Guinea – how makers select fibres on the basis of their capacity to articulate social relations to varying temporalities before their natural decay. J. J. Gibson’s theory of affordance and Donald Norman’s concept of mapping are critically applied for this purpose. This approach emphasizes how social and temporal relations are condensed into objects, refocusing anthropological attention towards the design process as the dynamic locus of agency [entangled in both cultural and natural processes], rather than on objects as stable entities.


October 3 2011
12:00 am
Event Category: