Lydia Cambron and Von Tundra
An alternative spirit that attracted us. A furniture that takes all its meaning in a hotel. A modern, deconstructed version of dressing?
99 is a multi-use dresser designed to support daily dressing and clothing storage needs. By combining three basic storage conditions of box, drawer and rack, it accommodates both organized and messy scenarios in one unit, allowing the user to fluctuate between the two, without completely prescribing to either. In addition to expanding the traditional role of the dresser, it’s components afford a variety of household storage solutions, ranging from personal to social use.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?
The challenge was self imposed; coming from my personal frustrations with what I saw as gap between clothing storage systems and the dressing scenario, in that the standard fixtures used, seldom support the reality of the dressing routine or fluctuations in storage needs. Within traditional fixtures there is a fine line between messy and tidy, that for many, is only maintained for special occasions or episodes of guilt. These fixtures do little to support the activity of actually dressing, or accommodate the gray area of storage for once worn items. They are instead, isolated units of function that do not account for shifts in storage needs or crossover in use. The problem at hand then being: to resolve the disconnect between standard fixtures as static objects and the active engagement of the dressing scenario and individuals’ storage habits.3. The Intent: What point of view did you bring to the project, and were there additional criteria that you added to the brief?
The intent was to support the subtleties of individual habit and as well as explore new opportunities of use, by engaging familiar functions in new arrangements. The fixture’s primary goal was to equally support all storage regimes without showing preference to either end of the spectrum, allowing the user to fluctuate between the poles without feeling the need to completely conform to either. I wanted the fixture’s components to work within a ‘standard’ set of familiar forms. By using these basic components and articulating each in a way that retains autonomy, they can be configured to create a system of greater adaptation, while still being seen for their separate parts. This desire stemmed from a further intent to explore storage use in the active context, rather than static. By breaking the functions down into clear roles and components, functional overlap and opportunity could be found within existing and rational structures. The end goal being to create a fixture that responds to obscure or minority functions, and by doing so, supplies greater opportunity for expansion and adaptation within the norm.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)
The initial research and development phase identified scenarios of use and points of divergence from the standard dresser; where the gaps lay in functionality, what opportunities these gaps presented, and what position this piece would take in response (items previously outlined). From there, the rigor and collaboration primarily surrounded making the appropriate formal distinctions, through form development, material selection, and final construction. Multiple iterations of full scale prototypes were tested for potential use, misuse, and expanded use of the fixture, ensuring proportions, weight, scale and relational cues were inline with the concept and accurately represented the intent. Another critical component of the piece was that it appear ‘basic’, in both form and material. This basic nature extended to the pieces’ believability as adaptable components. Their distinction within the set is casual, and thus open to further use within this context as well as others. Additionally, 99’s separation of units was intended for formal distinction as well as assembly. The components are highly conscious of how they perform as individuals as well as a collective. Construction, material use, hardware, finishes and packability were all developed with industrial processes in mind, and a gamut of construction details and material finishes were executed to ensure the most suited composition of elements was used.5. 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.)
This fixture accommodates the users needs and habits, not in a smothering of possibilities but rather, through a reduction of structure. The components are basic and understood ‘tools’ for storage. They have one clear function but little is dictated beyond that, allowing users to reach their own conclusions as to how that function can be utilized to meet their needs. 99 began as a clothing storage solution but because of the simplicity of its components and rationale of their orchestration, the fixture and it’s parts are adaptable to many more scenarios. This diversity speaks to the ability of even the most basic components/elements to excel when positioned correctly, and supports the idea that greater accommodation can actually be supplied through a reduction of means, if highly considered.