Monday, December 1, 2008

Use/ Re-Use

I recently came across another designer doing some extremely fascinating work, Jo Meesters from the Netherlands.

First some furniture, this is "Reshaping Wood":

He used water jets to cut the wood in a pattern inspired by traditional woodwork.  It has a strange relationship with its use, and certainly it would be perfectly easy to cover this with a glass tabletop.  But I think that misses the point.  What I find really interesting about this is how the form of the table guides and dictates the way it will be used.  There's no reason this can't be a showcase for floral arrangements or a place to put your mail.  But where and how it can be used like a normal table is decidedly uncommon.

He's also doing some interesting things with reclaimed materials.  This is "Odds & Ends, Bits & Pieces," the stool:

All of the pieces are made from reclaimed wood and overstocked blankets, cut into strips and rewoven.  The discarded blankets are beautiful reinterpreted as upholstery, but where it becomes really interesting is in a piece like the shelves:

So it's an item with one traditional use, a blanket, reinvented to become something else, upholstery, but applied to a piece of furniture that one wouldn't normally expect to be upholstered.  Very interesting.

Similarly, "My Secret Garden" is made from discarded wool blankets and also incorporates needlepoint work:

The floral patterns would also come off as being particularly traditional, but at the same time, it's a very unusual design.  He calls it a "carpet," but it appears to have almost more negative space than positive.  It's a complete reinvention of the idea of a carpet, and it becomes more a sort of adornment, accessory for the floor, rather than a floor covering.

There's even more reinvention in "My Home is My Wardrobe."  Here shirts become curtains:

And the rug becomes a robe:
I'm especially reminded of some of Martin Margiela's revolutionary Deconstructivism from the 1980s (Margiela's website is freaking brilliant, by the way).

Onto some housewares, here are a few vases that use rapid prototyping technologies, which I've discussed before.  Here's "Botanical Ceramics":
And "Redefining Genetics":

I was really impressed by "Ornamental Inheritance," though:
They look like more or less traditional vases with some kind of ornamental pattern in blue glaze.  But if you look more closely, the designs are actually executed with very modern imagery, airplanes, architecture, and so on:

That's extremely smart, and they're quite beautiful, on top of it.

©2008, Ryan Witte

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