The relationship between a product’s form and its function has been shifting through out the history of industrial design. ‘Form follows function’ or ‘form is the function’ has almost become clichés in the field. They are ultimately the truths because they really help the realization of user-friendly products. In a world of consumerism, a design that is ‘both beautiful and useful’ means almost anything. As a matter of fact, I have been living by these codes since I started my design career.
Products are essentially objects. And I believe the profound power of an object’s form. When you walk into a room and see an object on a table, you will make so many assumptions about it in a second just by looking at it. What does it do? How much does it weigh? How much is it? The object forms a subtle interaction between itself and the viewers instantly. They are the modern day sculptures, carrying tremendous amount of information solely. And I have been practicing delivering this kind of tactile information through my designs.
Sometimes I truly sense a feeling of hopelessness when creating an object. A perfect form after endless usability and manufacturing consideration usually lost its original aesthetic. These restrictions of reality interrupt the fluid conversation between an object’s form and a person. It is very irrational, but sometimes I really wish to design something that can live without any constrains. Maybe even without functions. In this fictional scenario, form is form, and it is more.
Solid-State Poems is an on-going project that explores objects’ form and materiality in an industrial design context. The works are products designed without any realistic limitations. They are free from the consumerism narrative or ergonomic restrictions. They are simply created to be impractical product-like ‘objects’ and they can hardly be prototyped in reality. They can be just treated like ‘interesting geometries’ or even sculptures that has vague or no functionalities. There are no users and certainly no manufacturing process. But because of the forms or certain details of these objects people will want to see them as products and assume their functions based on their own knowledge. It is always interesting to see how users put themselves in this kind of contexts. I enjoy this anxiety of perceiving as well as the ambiguity of physicality and affordance of the products. Not like judging art, people can still find the joy of criticizing what they are 'familiar' with. Every once in a while I will post a new piece in this collection. The works are very speculative and sometimes totally irrelevant. Personally I think this is a lot of fun.
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