Summer stew

Around the time I started getting interested in cooking with my friends in high school, I used to make a cod stew with bacon, tomato, and cannellini beans. Food – smell, taste, the act of cooking and sharing a meal – can be a powerful nostalgia trigger, and the impression I got when I saw these sad little cod fillets and two slices of bacon serendipitously sitting side by side on the bottom discount shelf at the grocery store at the end of the day was so strong I had to make it again.

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Photography highlight: Shirley Baker

I came across the photographer Shirley Baker through my research into childrenswear of the 20th century. Her street photography in the working-class neighbourhoods of 1950s Manchester strikes at something essential in my exploration of nostalgia. Despite the vastly different landscape – the slum clearances, the visible poverty, the overcrowding – these photographs are instantly relatable. The attitudes and movements of the children at play, the way the mothers stand in relation to each other, the way the sunlight falls.
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Welcome to humbleknit

This project is born out of my Master’s work on the role of nostalgia in emotional design. Through an innovative design methodology that repurposes visual analysis techniques to explore principles of kansei design, I am creating a capsule collection of cross-generational knitwear that aims to spark connection through a heritage that is simultaneously personal and shared. By accessing both archival inspiration and family heritage through photographs and memories, I believe that a robust archive of craft can be perpetuated while also creating connection between practitioners and users.

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