This installation is the first iteration of a new body of work in conceptual furniture that grapples with frustration in advertising, manufacturing, value of intellectual property, and the spiritual ramifications of owning things as an individual consumer. I have a passion for design and a deep belief that those of us in a developed nation like America should be able to have beautiful and soulful objects within our price range.
Modernism fetishised the minimal and suffocated any spirit in design. Charles and Ray Eames had a dream of using bent plywood as a means to make more cheaply produced organic forms, and therefore make beautiful furniture more affordable to the public. Unfortunately Herman Miller had other ideas, and now we see Eames chairs literally put on pedestals in museums, or more commonly used in very prestigious galleries and cafes.
Thanks to the liberation of the ‘maker movement’ and new technologies such as 3D printing and laser cutting, we can make these coveted objects for ourselves and then begin to develop new forms for a new era.
For my exhibition I will be addressing the first step to this revolution: appropriation. These objects will take on the form of their glorified predecessors, but will be honest about who they are; a slightly wrong knock-off made of medium grade plywood and salvaged steel. These objects will act as a reference to the past with a reality about what they are and optimist toward the future, toward the potential of their proliferated existence in many homes through accessible (DIY) manufacturing techniques. people should be able to easily make or repair the objects they live with as well as augment the design for their own needs
By taking this intellectual property for themselves, people can augment these designs to their needs through understanding of their construction. Changing angles for longer or shorter legs or allowing the back of a chair to accommodate your posture. With a shrinking middle class and growing economic disparity, there are immediate means with which to liberate our consumption habits through a technological revolution. Open source plans, pirated technical drawings, and 3D printed replications will bring a new age to what it means to own a product, design, and idea.
It is my hope in the next iteration to further my research into the history of the past century of design in order to discover where, when, and how we allowed corporations to tell us what we thought was comfortable and beautiful.It is also my hope to discover new aesthetics that have come about through new technologies, to find forms and materials that can be used cheaply and easily in the way the user sees fit.