Composition No. IV

 

Can objects in our environment affect our thinking and behavior? Can design influence our society's values? What is good design for consciousness?

 

This project took special interest in the stories and values found in objects of ordinary life. Could simple objects such as a table tell complex meaningful stories? Within the context of a rapidly changing society, the project investigated whether these stories could help suggest a way of life that can help us become psychologically resilient to nihilism, change and trauma.


The final furniture concept considers its expression as part of the table’s function. It expresses the process of breaking and mending as an attractive and positive transformation. The aesthetic of the concept contains several different cultural references that contain elements of acceptance and similar transformative philosophies. One of the defining aesthetics are expressed by the marble cracks decorated with gold. It is derived from Kintsugi, the Japanese art of mending broken pottery with gold lacquer in a way that incorporates the item’s breakage and repair as part of its valued history. 
The concept table was recommended to be provided unbroken, so that the marble could be broken and transformed personally. It was important for the user experience to be an active role so that the process could be a form of personalization, but also as a memorable experience that could be useful in processing experiences of change and trauma.


The prototyping process took 4 months to manufacture over 100 parts, producing 3 tables, each representing a different stage. The first table represents the initial stage, before the marble is broken. The second table represents the intermediate stage, right after the marble is broken. The third table represents the final stage where the table is mended and decorated with gold. It was important to produce 3 prototypes as they represented the entire process as a narrative involving the intended product experience.

The concept was displayed at Made In Brunel at the Bargehouse, Oxo Tower Wharf in Southbank, London June 2017. Click here to read the Official Press Release