Archive for January 2007

Henny’s brief

Brief 1.

Behind the geraniums.

Life is something with a start and an end. When people grow old the their age shows in their appearance, wrinkles, changing colour of the hair, etc. These are natural visible signs that go together with aging.

Many materials have the same characteristics. Many change in their appearance when they age, rust, fading colours, cracks etc. These are facts that many usually try to fight rather then except. I want to investigate in materials that change over time. Influenced by heat, light, water etc. Use these characteristics and emphasize them in products.

Goal is to come up with interior design pieces that question the perception of when a product is in the perfect state or condition (if there even is one). Is this when it’s brand new, or when it aged and shows decay?

Stage 1, material experiments and come up with product ideas. Till Tuesday 30th.

Stage 2, Turn material experiments into products.
One week.

Stage 3, develop a small series (3) pieces within this concept to working prototypes. Till the end of term 2.

Brief 2.

Personalization of products

Investigate in and create materials that can be changed by the consumer. With these produce products that do not stay in a fixed position. But design products that can be transformed by its user to their own needs.

Goal is to design objects that trigger a physical bond with the person(s) that use the object.

Investigate in materials and come up with strong products that express this idea of aging in products and are at the same time usable for consumption.

Stage 1, material experiments and sketches for interior products.

Stage 2, Turn material experiments into product ideas.

Stage 3, develop a small series (2/3) pieces within this concept to working prototypes.

Brief 3

Artemide tasklight

Finish second stage with a working model light. This light requires a physical interaction to direct the light. This physical interaction creates the shape of the object. This is brief 2.

Develop the fibre weaving experiments to a product that can be produce simply by weaving cloths of this material. Advantages are no direct exposure to a blinding lightbulb and no hot elements that you can touch.

Brief 4

Lago structure,

This is a modular seating/landscape object for interior use. I developed this during my workshop with Lago in Italy.

Find math expert that can help develop this modular system to working model. Then prototype and materialize this product. Points of consideration are; the connections, dimensions and the use of cushions.

Brief 5

Expand the magazine work into; animation, other products, different use of fashion magazines (medium)

Benjamin’s plans for this term

At the moment I’m working on two projects: the Yamaha project and the Indecisive Furniture project.

The Yamaha brief was to design an object or device to transform a music listener into a player. I am working on 2 products for this brief: the sound stick and music ball.

The sound stick is a tactile MIDI controller that uses the action of bending and hitting into the air to produce a note on an imaginary keyboard. The music ball is in a 2nd prototype stage and is a Bluetooth controller for computer based music production software. By using tilt switches, sounds can be played by rotating the ball around its central point. Manipulating the ball by hand can play sounds or rolling the ball in a straight line can create a repetitive beat. Adding ‘spin’ can warp this beat.

The aim of the Indecisive Furniture project is to design furniture whose aesthetic qualities can be changed through a simple reconfiguration. Current work has concentrated on the design of tables that fold completely flat and can be reversed. The consequence of achieving the latter is that a different style of tabletop can be displayed depending on which way the table is unfolded. Further development will look at designing chairs and stools and perhaps benches that work on the same principle.

Other projects for this term:

Concrete Furniture – May be an entry into the British Cement Association & The Concrete Centre Awards 2007. I have been experimenting with concrete composites and the possibilities of casting slender elements.

Honest products – Design and owners of designed objects have a complicated relationship. This project looks at whether objects can be designed to reflect the inherent imperfections in humans and therefore be a more truthful representation of ideals, hopes and dreams.

Alex’s way forward.

How I would like to use design.

To encourage sensitivity to objects.
And to bring to people’s attention subjects that are important to me.

Important Subjects

Trees have many qualities I admire which I feel can be applied to other subjects and objects themselves.
The Life span of a tree can be impressive but with that age come nobility and importance which we can see from the outside in its bark and in its shape; this time scale brings vulnerability as some trees do not produce seeds until they are over 30 years old, but it also brings strength and allows them to grow to become some of the largest living things on the planet.

Each bird, and family of birds, has different and specific characters that are extremely interesting to observe; again, these characters could be expressed in products to reflect the individuality and personalities of birds. A part of this character come from their movement and this is something that I will look at and develop in my work.

Projects that could come out of these two subjects;
I will continue with the Bird light by refining it for Artemide. I will go back and develop my interim show instillation which will become a project in it’s own right by creating a new aesthetic and form in which to show the work.
I am researching deeply into the subject of trees and will come up with a project that will highlight the grandeur, vulnerability and importance of them…

More of this sculpture

Sorry, but couldn’t figure out yet who the creator is.

Simones Plans


Sometimes what seem like the most trivial of tragedies are the most poignant. In Nicholas Barker’s television series, Signs of the Times (1992), television cameras entered ‘ordinary’ people’s living spaces and asked them to talk about their lives. One woman, married to an architect for whom white walls, minimal décor and Venetian blinds were de rigueur, explained how she sometimes went into the children’s bedroom- the only room in which curtains were ‘permitted’- and softly wept. A middle-class woman shedding tears for curtains in her domestic space may seem absurd in today’s society in which tragedies of enormous global and personal significance are beamed into out living-rooms. And yet it was a televisual moment which moved a considerable number of people, especially women. It hit a nerve.

“As Long As It’s Pink: The Sexual Politics of Taste” Penny Sparke

Sanctuary of The Architect’s Wife
Penny Sparke wrote of the desperate predicament of the architect’s wife in her book “As Long As It’s Pink” released in 1995. In the chapter entitled The Architect’s Wife, she outlined the position of the modern housewife and her freedom or lack of it to express her aesthetic desires through the ownership of objects that in the eyes of the modernised male surroundings would be considered unsuitable, due to there decorative, embellished, colourful un-functional qualities. The desire to own objects that cry to international style of design (in a similar way to how main stream land mark architecture now prescribes to the international style) has slowly moved to the norm, invading our final place of retirement, the home. The home, which would act as retreat, now has to fight off the demand to become the most dominant place of display.
Where does this leave the architect’s wife, a women who was driven to tears by her inability to own a set of figurines, decorative curtains, or embellished flatware?

Sanctuary of The Architect’s Wife is an installation that will look at how a home can begin to cope with the demands of being a multiple dwelling space for people with different demands, desires and tastes. Here the concept of environment, furniture and object aim to challenge the requirements of space in relation to the stagnant, stationary and standard expectation of the room.

Week1&2: Mobile Home, Living Out of the Suitcase.
Design and make a series of objects that enable me to live out of a suitcase for 7 days.Week3-Design a series of objects that seek to generate an environment for temporary habitation, using archetypal objects as a means to disguise the objects true intentions.


Spring term

I will continue my research (if approved by CHS tutors, this will be part of my dissertation as well) and developing objects that can interfere and create new eating habits:

First three weeks:

– Tablecloth-napkin

– Ceramic thimble-cutlery

4th and 5th week:

– Making and editing a film about “Eating” (this will be very experimental, put I hope it will be a good material for exploring new ideas)

This is going to be done during the all term:

– Plates (so far, 4 in ceramics and one in ceramic + epoxy resin)
– Coming up with new ideas (about other themes)

For the last two weeks of the term I would like to come up with ideas for the Milan and NY exhibitions. I think that coming up with an installation (or something similar) rather than exhibiting our projects could be a good idea… a way of promoting the platform as a group rather than promoting the individual – this probably makes more sense for the Milan exhibition in other to contrast with the furniture fair spirit.


This is just an amazing image!

Below my story. Its a start to sharpen my position and at this moment already is not accurate anymore but still represents the basics of my plan.

For the next six weeks I want to:
– Set the definitive shape of the catching foam.
– In the first two weeks make loads of experiments that lead to new stuf to work on.
– Desing, look at the things I’m working on and how to put t hem together, how do I creat my world in this show?!
– Keep sharpening my text.
– This doesn’t look like much of a planning but I think After the two or three first weeks there will be much more detaild description posible.

RCA Graduation 2007
Bas Kools, 07 January, 2007
Edit: 15 JAnuary, 2007

Tactile environment

Explanation and intent / concept en context

This project is all about the will to control, fear to be touched and the object. It will show a way of amazing environments that reminds to something forgotten.

In our contemporary human world is little room for emotion and spontaneity, it’s cold, sometimes harsh and most of all it’s a distant world. In my opinion there’s a large grey area, a world with little imagination. Not only the objects that surround us give little reason for inspiration, also the way we experience these things are far from inspiring. Everything is fixed, controlled, comes in a standard model, prefabricated and/or is secured and safe.

From my point of view the cause of this uninspiring world lies in the fact that we try to exclude ourselves from the real world by creating our own human world within. Nature, environment, life, these words are things people try to control; removing it usually does the job. Towards an anonymous clean world based on the economics of fear. I can’t live like this. I need to see life, diversity, surprises, excitement, etc. etc. I want to feel, smell, taste, experience authenticity and originality.

This Project is about my view on the world and design. I don’t like the static ness, amount of control and lack of imagination. I believe in people and their creativity, but in this situation everyone will just become numb and grey staring straight without looking at you. This project is creating an environment that simulates the jungle of my imagination.

Imagine this place where you have to watch your step, look around, pay attention. Where things are alive, and moving, and where you are a player instead of a ruler. It is a jungle where you have to survive. So better be aware of the things that grab, hold and touch you, but do not fear to touch. Don’t be afraid for what you see and feel, better enjoy every bit of it.

Products ?!
These are objects like e.g. chairs, curtains, and other things that have a motion, interactive or self-operating. Touch and interaction is my main interest. Products that perform on their own or when used. A tactile, interactive environment. Inside

The capturing foam will be in a different form. This is where I’m working on at the moment. Other stuff is experiments with other capturing furniture and at the moment starting experiments in other materials with foam and/or the vacuum technique. This involves at this moment paper, plastics and ceramics. Looking at structures textures change of shapes by vacuuming.


Artemide Pstr: 12 Febuary
Devleop it ready for stage 2 presentation
re take photos
re wire with copper tape and new leds
source compact switch mode power supply
explore production possibilities with moritz,

Ad Screens : 2 March
6 weeks to finish this,
starting from scratch,
proper research context
protytpes experiments
public prototyping documented, opinions inputted
deadline of something finalized which will be shown at new york

Website Weekends: 4 February
work only on weekends
28th Jan: rough draft sent to pierce for checking
_edit this,
finalize design
ready to publish by 4th feb
know how to update and ad projects and front page monthly

Open Projects: from 2nd March
_ecstatic chair, do rough prototype to see how it looks 8th march, decide whether to switch or develop

_ 13th april is Milan deadline, what to show, go with theme as example of ability to respond to brief? fire out quick one like ping pong poster?

again consider competitions as a way to practice answering tight briefs neatly and simply
eg wk comps

keep up to date with market/companies, media guardian on a monday, creative review etc..

_ sketch book; keep open mind for new projects based around themes, context, parameters discussed with interim examiners

Themes/ Agenda
I am not a product designer
I am interested in communications
i design objects and images of objects to communicate ideas

The themes i am examining are:
our environment and behavior, how they are conditioned by political and social forces,
In particular the way that these message are made visual in our environment
I want to draw attention to these conditions and to prompt the public to question the various infrastructures in which they operate

I find an effective way of communicating / questioning is to use objects to surprise the viewer , juxtapose unexpected meanings and functions, and using humor to challenge assumptions, illustrate alternative possibilities

Is this the work of a fine artist?

It could be but i am operating in the fields of graphic design, product design and advertising, the techniques i am using involve the creative application of these disciplines and i hope that an ability in this area could be of use to company’s looking to open up new channels of communication with the public (consumers).
While they may not share the socio political slant i think the communicative process itself is of value…

Comments and opinions are welcome, (dont hold back) i hope that i manage to translate this approach into legible successful body of work.

I want to do 5 projects this term.

Rolling wardrobes project
I want to build wardrobes for the exhibition. They will make a lot of noise when yo will move them. My goal is to pass quickly from the thinking to the making part.
Money project
I want to start a group that will do small objects that can sell easily.
Illustration project
Illustration for the oberon book illustration awards 2007
Illustration for arc 9
Research project
I am attracted to the performance idea, so I want to research this field in a project where I react to the information gained.



I have come to the realisation that I like designing furniture. I spent the last year undertaking projects that were as far removed from furniture as I could manage and learnt a lot in the process. The output however, in terms of actual physical artefacts worthy of exposure, was frustratingly minimal. This year I have decided to focus primarily on an area I feel passionate about and that satisfies my creative urges.

Having said that, I’m still keeping my mind open to alternative avenues of creative expression.


Polyprop Rope

Investigating the properties and potential of polypropylene rope as a material for the production of furniture. Sponsorship for rope secured from Cosalt.

ETA: 23 Feb 2007.

Concertina Chair

Part of a collaboration begun last year with a student from constructed textiles department. Still a lot of work to be done as regards design of the chair.


Other projects in the pipeline and will evolve as and when.



any takers…bahbek henny??

The imaginary sound that light makes when it hits a diamond.


Sometimes we just need a spotlight to perform

Access (2003) by Marie Sester. The concept was simple and powerful. Audience members are thrown on to central stage by this light, most run away, some are mini performers.
See also the project (2006).