In this talk, a thermodynamic approach will be presented for modeling a class of material responses that has as its basis the notion that during a process the material is subject to, the "natural configuration" from which the response of the body is described can change, the evolution of the "natural configurations" being determined by certain thermodynamical criteria. These materials can be described by a family of elastic responses (characterized by an apopropriate set of stored energy functions) parameterized by an evolving set of "natural configurations". The evolution of the "natural configurations" is accompanied by dissipation and entropy production. The way in which the "natural configurations" changes is determined by the maximization of "entropy production". By choosing different forms for the stored energy, rate of dissipation, etc., we can capture different types of dissipative responses as evidenced in: classical plasticity, twinning, solid to solid phase transition, multi-network polymers, viscoelasticity, crystallization in polymers, flows of liquid crystals, the flow of geological material, biological growth,etc. Here, I will discuss the basic framework and consider traditional plasticity within the framework.