06 July 2011
the "lean" chair/table was recently featured in core77. this object is supposed to "challenge the limitations of urban space" ... what a nice challenge, i thought. so the solution is a piece that is unstable by itself and completely dependent on the urban space it tries to challenge. if i need to sit on it, i need two walls to rest it against, leaving me confined to a corner. if i need a table i need to make sure that i add weight to one of the sides so that it doesn't tip over and i also need to watch out for those pointy corners... if i really need to challenge urban space, i don't need to come up with an overcomplicated design in order to succeed. take a simple box, for example... it can serve as a table, a chair, a bookshelf... it doesn't need walls or special surroundings.... and for aesthetics, it can be as clean and beautiful as i want it to be.
i recently bought a pair of shorts. i'm in love with them, mostly because they are so simple. I analyze their components and find no excess... no unnecessary details, decorations or components. they were very inexpensive, too. i can imagine the design brief: nice shorts under ten dollars. it's so nice to see the work of a designer that didn't turn inexpensive into cheap. just get rid of the unnecessary details that increase need for materials, production and complexity. in contrast to these clean, simple shorts, i just spent over an hour fixing a pair of pants. i bought them some time ago and even with their lightweight fabric they have become impossible to wear in the summer weather. after a closer inspection i realized the ridiculous amount of unnecessary elements that these pants have. i cut and trimmed layers and layers of fabric around the pockets, seams, etc. i ended up removing over half a pound of unnecessary fabric. as i was re-sewing the pants, i kept thinking about how could the designer of this pants got away with a design that is wasteful and makes users unhappy.