Design As Poetry

Tenaya J. Fogelman

See it On Campus: Level 2

Visitor Info

Rennie Hall

What If There Was No Border Between Poem And Artifact?

With themes of poetics and gesture
With patterns of line, pleat, and text
Emerging through/at obscurity, intersection,
Translucency, and translation
The artifacts are composed
Of clay, cloth, paper, and metal
Through machine and hand


Allowing for
An embrace
Of material agency
This project serves as an invitation
To imagine poetry and design as
Synonymous acts,
Synonymous beings,
And symbiotic practices.


“to make” “to create”
“Poiesis is etymologically derived from the ancient Greek
term ποιεῖν, which means “to make”. The word Poetry is
derived from the Greek term poiesis.”


Clay, Cloth, Metal, Paper, and Text.


Line, Pleat, Light, Shadow, Texture, Agency of material.


Pattern, Repetition, Rhythm, Gesture, Boundaries, Disciplines, Translucency, Obscurity, Code, Language, Intersection, Hands, Machines, Needles, Extruder, Poetry.

The ceramic work was created with extruder dies I designed and had cut on the CNC, then extruded and assembled in the studio. Fabric was fed through a felt loom to texture, transform, and pleat, then handstitched to impose structural and pattern. Metal appears as spot welded steel or sculpted armature and chicken wire. Lamps were made through/being poetry, while meeting hands, machines, words, and materials.


Mesh muslin, Cotton thread, Steel frame


Extruded Porcelain


Extruded M370

“Design As Poetry Sleeve”

Extruded M370

“Clay Has A Memory”

Extruded M370, Hand carved text


Extruded M370, Hand Carved Text

“Line 1”

Felted + Pleated muslin

“Line 2”

Felted + Pleated muslin

“Clay has a memory”
Will it remember all the times I
said fuck and almost cried?

“Clay has a memory”
Will it spin stories about how I
can’t throw shit on the wheel?

“Clay has a memory”
As it burns at 2,000 degrees

“Clay has a memory”
And imprints of my eager, strangling hands

“Clay has a memory”
But can it speak to tattle?

“Clay has a memory”
What happens to tears at 2000

“Clay has a memory”
But will it apologize?

“Clay has a memory”
Is a punk fucking threat

Clay is a memory,
Till death do us part.

Borders are fiction much like fairy tales
Borders are enforced
Borders are human-made
Borders make boundaries where connections were
Borders draw lines
Borders create cracks in unity
Borders were founded
Borders were drawn atop, not made within

So I ask you,
What is a border?
What do we make of these borders?
If we’re left with these borders
Can we change them?
Re-contextualize them?

What if
A border was a meeting place
A decipherable line
Where disciplines kiss?

A border then, is not a boundary,
That separates bodies,
But a point of ambiguity
And a place that connects them.

There is no border between poem and artifact.

Layered cotton on a light box
Feeding fabric through a mouth of needles
Incessant humming, bright white bulb
I felt this cloth till its layers fuse
Felting cloth
Felting cloth
Felting cloth

Felting cloth

Tracing and reinforcing its form
Pricking the needle through
Picking the single thread
to weave between

Hyper-focus hypnotic state
Moving the thread for hours
Drawing cloths form
Gestures as guides

Gliding the needle along delicate folds
Pulling the thread
Faint feel of friction
Numbing my thumb
Pricking its body

To lift and to shift into place
Controlling thread with thread
By needle in my hand
To allow cloth to rest

I’m watching the wheel spin.
I’m hallucinating versions of myself
To the rhythmic thumping of wheel thrown clay

I feel the collision of grit
Against my palms
As I press my tongue to
My teeth
I feel like it’s going to snag
And be jolted aside.

I feel the spinning like a
Humming in my body
I keep thinking about clay
I keep thinking about choices
Who I could’ve made of this body

Bags of clay
Bodies tuning sand into stone
Thinking on a future
Thinking through making
Making through movement
Moving through meditation
Making something,
Of this 60 dollar bag of clay
Of this body
With this body
Bodies of clay

Turning bodies of clay
Bodies of clay

A sincere thank you to all who have helped shape
my work and made this project possible by being
interminably supportive: guiding faculty Louise,
Hélène, and Sophie; special thanks to Brendan, Sara,
and Heather, and all of the ceramic technicians.
Thank you to my friends: Eden, Connor, and Michelle,
and my loving partner Matthew. And of course, all of
my peers.

Tenaya J. Fogelman

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Tenaya (she/her) is a designer, artist, and writer based in Vancouver on the unceded traditional territories of the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish), and səlilwətaɬ (Tsleil-Waututh) Nations. She majores in Industrial Design at Emily Carr University with a focus in speculative design and research methods, as well as building an intuitive making and material-based practice. Her material practices are mixed-medium with a focus in ceramics and lighting. She has worked at the Emily Carr Writing Centre as a Peertutor, co-facilliatator of the Design Writing Group, and as the event assistant of the On Edge Reading Series. Her poetry was published in the 2019 Emily Carr Foundation Anthology, and she was the image description writer for Henry Tsangs ebook ‘White Riot: The 1907 Anti-Asian Riots in Vancouver’.

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