My work explores the relationship between functionality, aesthetics, and emotional design to create ceramic objects that will support positive social interactions within communities of care. The inherent qualities of clay with its fragility and imperfection allow the object to simultaneously communicate effort and vulnerability. My project centers on a set of ceramic cups and carrier that build emotional and physical connections with the user through their form, texture, and message.
Community members enter a shared space and select a ceramic cup from the carrier. Each cup is engraved with a unique act of kindness, such as “Listen to learn, not to respond” or “Engage in an intentional practice of honesty”. When a cup is claimed by a community member, they are committing to complete this act on an ongoing basis and may bring the cup home with them. Ownership of the cup encourages a sense of intrinsic motivation to complete the act of kindness.
The cup serves as a reminder of this experience and can be passed on from person-to-person to take on the responsibility of performing the simple task. By connecting users with a shared object and responsibility-to-care, this project will help users develop a stronger, more compassionate community.