This paper uses the legal framework of ‘State
of Exception’ as an entry point to explore how everyday materials can be militarised when contexts undergo dramatic socio-political changes. Using the analysis of materials deployed in recent protest events, with a
specific focus on the cases studies of Gezi Park, Istanbul 2013, Umbrella Movement uprising, Hong Kong 2014, and Paris Climate Summit, Paris 2015, I highlight an asymmetry – in terms of function and aesthetic effect – between the artifacts employed from the top down and from the bottom up. The thesis I support here is that emergencies bring out an unexpected way of looking at materiality, challenge proposed uses and adapt objects to very specific functions creating design solutions for immediate need.

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