Gallery Talk: Maryssa Cook-Obregón
Maryssa Cook-Obregón talks about sustainability and the usefulness of speculative design thinking. is a design practitioner who works mostly within the realm of fashion and interior home fashion design with an eye towards sustainable and ethical practices. In particular, her design ethos considers material selection and typology as methods for developing products with more net-sustainable outcomes.
Maryssa earned her master’s in sustainable fashion design practice in 2018 and has since been working as a consultant for local and international fashion companies, generally working with their in-house design teams to assist them with product ideation, material selection, material sourcing, and production optimization.
Speculative design is an emerging design methodology that aims to catalyse the users and viewers of design to critically consider the social, cultural, environmental, and economic impacts of products and processes. While many speculative design approaches result in the creation of objects that may mostly serve to generate questions and considerations, which is one reason why some consider speculative design to be more along the lines of art and not design, Maryssa believes speculative design can be harnessed to be a very useful and practical tool for designers in all fields. The practice of holistically considering the impacts of work and imaging possible scenarios or futures that could tangibly emerge from work is something she feels should be part of all education, including design. Speculative design and its methodology have been useful for her as she works with companies and help them determine possible iterations of designs.