Medium mixed media | sculpture | textiles
Mandana is a designer, artist, and educator focusing on alternative, sustainable materials and the complex relationships we have with products. Her work has been exhibited widely, including at the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History from 1992-1994, the National Science Museum in London from 1996-2006 and installed as part of a permanent exhibit there in 2006. National Geographic, Vogue, Discovery, NPR, Tire Business and hundreds of other diverse media outlets have featured her company, Used Rubber USA, for its pioneering and fashionable use of waste rubber and other eco aware textiles. In 1994 Mirabella Magazine and Ford Motor Company named her 1 of 1000 most influential women in America. Mandana is a graduate of Brown University and received an MFA from Stanford University’s Joint Program in Design where she was the recipient of the Robert Mondavi Fellowship for Study in the Arts. She also co-created and taught the first sustainability class for the Design Division of Stanford’s Mechanical Engineering Department. Mandana has been on the faculty at Stanford, California College of the Arts, Haystack Mountain School of Crafts, and Academy of Art and has consulted for organizations such as the Natural Step, an international sustainability think tank. She currently lives in Maine and travels to San Francisco annually to teach.
As a professional artist and designer, I am interested in how art and design can enhance the existing links between individuals and the materials, objects and nature they encounter. I find inspiration in the natural environment, but also through the objects in our built environment, including the leftovers of these environments.
I am fascinated by how we learn, how we forget and how we disseminate knowledge. Materials and objects often initiate the tactile process suggesting interests and ideas. I ground my work in the present, yet enjoy embedding it with allusions to pasts and futures. I work with a wide variety of materials, but have also focused extensively on reclaimed inner tube rubber. This is reflective of a preoccupation of mine with what is left behind and making use.
Some of my work is physically interactive allowing the viewer or user to participate in the application of meaning with the intent of creating deeper relationships with objects and the larger world. I find the shared aesthetics that exist between adults and children as they encounter such works compelling. This type of interaction and play can celebrate one’s individuality while reflecting the pluralistic nature of culture.