Monthly Archives: November 2014

IPoC Workshop (Nov 2014): Interactive Patina of Culture

A Patina is often understood as a trace of repeated use. The stem of a hammer acquires sheen, a polish of repeated use by a carpenter. This polish tells a story about how it was used. Connecting Patina with Culture changes the meaning. We posit that culture “rubs off” onto the artifacts in use. That is to say the artifacts in a culture are shaped by the values of that culture; they are part of the patina of culture. This is best elucidated by an example: during the previous workshop we felt intrigued by a particular rolling pin in the kitchen section of a local supermarket. A few days later one of the Chinese hosts asked us which variant of rolling pin we were so interested in, and explained that different varieties of rolling pins exist that have different thicknesses and lengths and these properties are instrumental in the type of dough that is created when using them. To us this told stories about how the way that food is enjoyed has influence on how it is made. The values of a culture are expressed in the artifacts that it produces.

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