Qianyi Zhao / University of Tasmania
Do not ignore
Do not ignore
I love the white table/shelf. It is so awkward and strange looking. It begs to be interacted with. I like how the objects are shown to rest on the periphery of the space, rather than front and center, as if you might come across them and have to figure out what they are for and their use. – Zoë Ryan
I liked the wit and humor of these pieces. I like the way the designer’s personality comes through. – Chris Force
Do not ignore
My project investigates the way in which furniture can operate within the wider concerns of ‘art’ and effect psychological thought and emotional expression. My goal is to explore the way that furniture can be endowed with ‘personality’ to evoke the users’ subconscious emotion and feeling. In my work, I am attempting to deconstruct social relationships that develop between furniture and its users by breaking down stereotypical expectations of for example what a ‘chair’ should look like and how it might be used.2. The Brief: Summarize the problem you set out to solve. What was the context for the project, and what was the challenge posed to you?
I have a strong sense that the way we react to furniture is the way we react to people in contemporary life. Furniture is so common around people that their existence and effect on people are easily taken for granted. It is similar to the relations of people in modern society: People who related most closely to us turn out to be the easiest to be neglected. People prefer to interact with virtual characters rather than communicate with real people in their lives. I think it is time to focus on interaction of pure simple beauty around us in daily life.
The challenge is that ‘Message sent is not always message received’. With various cultural backgrounds and life experience, different reactions toward each piece of my work from viewers is anticipated.
People have different reactions and feelings toward one piece of furniture due to their various cultural backgrounds and life experience. Their personal responses can not be completely controlled by designer. We know that message sent is not always message received. My idea is to encourage them to start to think rather than giving them an existing answer. I want the viewers to define the work in my project with own perception, which reveals a process of questioning and pursuing.4. The Process: Describe the rigor that informed your project. (Research, ethnography, subject matter experts, materials exploration, technology, iteration, testing, etc., as applicable.) What stakeholder interests did you consider? (Audience, business, organization, labor, manufacturing, distribution, etc., as applicable)
When the project started, I was strongly interested in investigating the relationship between furniture and its users. I attempted to design a piece of furniture to influence people’s psychological feelings. My work is experimented with more traditional forms and use of material such as paper pulp. However, deep down, I was not satisfied with it for the first stage. I felt I was trapped by the obsession of pushing the project to a certain result. It narrowed the range of my thought.
I decided to use paper pulp as my main material, not only due to the malleability of paper pulp, but also because it has been used by several designers as a material to produce furniture or art work with organic form. My work started with transforming existing steel furniture frames, which allowed me to develop shapes with a stable structure. However, then I was concerned that the frame would set up a boundary and constrain the development of the shape. The idea of forming up a model without a frame appeared. Finally, I used a mixture of paper pulp and PVA glue to finish a stool with no frame inside.
When developing the second piece of furniture, I was depressed and anxious about some changes happening in my life. My agitation has been visualized in the second piece as unstable, slim and rugged. The form expresses a strong reluctance to communicate. It creates a sense of distance and rejection. I decided not to make the final piece until my mind is clear again. The shape of third piece is set between previous two pieces. It is light in volume but steady in structure. The slight extending of legs on the floor reveals its aspiration for development and change. It shows more engaging for responses. I feel that the two piece of furniture made of draft paper pulp indicate different emotional stages that reflect the diversity of my personality. I enjoy the whole design process, especially the part of reviewing my emotional changes. It also provokes a great interest of watching other people’s responses towards my work5. The Value: How does your project earn its keep in the world? What is its value? What is its impact? (Social, educational, economic, paradigm-shifting, sustainable, environmental, cultural, gladdening, etc.)
I believe the focus of my furniture is not solely its physical function. My project aims to explore the potential psychological influence caused by furniture whilst still maintaining basic elements of functionality. The definition of functionality of my furniture is expected to be finished by audiences themselves as well. I leave no specific indication of function in my furniture. Audiences can define the function of the furniture based on their way of using it.
In fact, my project does not end up with massive produced furniture that can be sell in market within a short time. it can be 100% recycled and totally environmental friendly.All the furniture is basically hand-made. My project intends to show a different form that furniture may present to people compared to daily-use furniture. For now, I am trying to turn my project into real product hopefully in the near future.