Wrong Materials Constantin Boym 09.12.2005 - 13.12.2005
At the beginning of the 21st Century we continue to talk about materials as if we were at the beginning of the 20th. We still instinctively follow the lineage of Loos – Bauhaus – International Modernism, as we continue to emphasize appropriateness, honesty, and economy of materials’ use.
Meantime, a different paradigm has emerged a few years ago. In the work of many contemporary designers, conventional materials are reversed or substituted in an unexpected way. The designer deliberately uses a “wrong” material. The impact of a newly created design object results from this simple material subversion, rather than from a formal exercise. In my presentation at the beginning of the workshop, I will illustrate this with works of Jasper Morrison, Konstantin Grcic, Hella Jongerius, and many others, as well as with samples of my own work.
We would try to design a product based on this simple methodology. First, I will ask you to pick a conventional object, preferably made of a single material or a simple material combination (e.g. a pot, a glass, a hammer, a basket, etc). Alternatively, a sample of packaging or construction material could be selected (a brick, a roll of wire, a tin can, an egg container). At the workshop, you will need to re-interpret your selected item – to redesign it in a different material, at a different scale, and with a different functional use.
The resulting object will be evaluated on the basis of simplicity, usefulness, and originality of design idea.