Tuesday, 6 March 2012

Fables of Design

Back in the late 1990s when living in Japan I toyed with several ideas. One of these was with furniture design. I wrote one short essay on the topic for i3 a Swedish based online interior design journal headed by utopian architects. The idea which I had in mind inspired me to think and design several pieces of furniture. I got the idea “fables in design” from a school prize book, a copy of Aesop’s Fables illustrated by Fritz Kredel (originally published in 1947). Basically in a fable, and this struck me as a child, heterogeneous things are brought together into a situation, whether it be; “The Lion and the Mouse”, “The Oak and the Reed”, “The Goat and the Vine”. At the end of the situation a moral is derived from the fable. Here I thought was an excellent approach to think of innovative and creative designs. On top of this I had been schooled in lateral thinking (Edward de Bono’s theories) and used this as a starting point for the “characters” in the fable. I have always been fond of the cantilever chair especially those from its inception in the 1920s and 1930s. So I chose as one of the characters the cantilever chair. The other character and I here thought that it would be best that each of the characters exist in their own right as complete designs – so I sought out another product – this time the Venetian blind I had in the bathroom. This I liked but decided it would be better to go for a spring-loaded blind. Since in this fable the chair was privileged over the blind, I looked to see how I could incorporate or rather integrate the blind into a chair. I examined the components and the functions of both “characters” and realized that if the blind were situated within the rest of the chair it could be pulled down so as to serve as the back and seat. This provided me with another dimension which I envisaged in the design. If the blind comprised of slats, then it could be locked into a position best for the posture of the sitter – therefore serving an aesthetic function. In addition to this I thought that the frame of the chair sans the blind suggested a picture frame – perhaps the chair and blind could be hung up as art and pulled down whenever there was need for a chair. Since the blinds could be decorated, then this opened up the possibility of a range of designs for all kinds of places and occasions. The design was innovative, ergonomic, and cheap. It remained a concept. Nevertheless it has served a template for other ideas of mine regarding Fables of Design.

Monday, 11 April 2011

Friday, 21 January 2011

Tuesday, 18 January 2011