My class, the Design Academy Eindhoven 2009 Masters graduate projects, are now online, where you can find some images of my furniture project, Objects for Atheists.
The design is one result from my thesis research:
Objects for Atheists…
…this research focuses on the the influence religion has on the aesthetics of design. This begins more than 20 thousand years ago in pre-history with the design of the Venus of Willendorf and the neolithic stone furniture of Skara Brae. It ends in the present day with 20th century Modernism and that which follows. But what could be the aesthetics of the comparitvely new movement of “no-religion”, that is atheism?
Atheists are not a group easily defined. As many atheists like to say, all they have in common is a lack of faith in god. Otherwise, they are a free, wide ranging and inclusive community, with members of many different beliefs and interpretations of life and aesthetics. In effect, the atheists represent an epitome, for this is what life in the 21st century has become.
The aesthetic solution to this is ambiguity. An object that can be freely interpreted, freely appreciated and adaptable to the viewer’s own subjective imagination.
Is it a chest of drawers, or is it a bookshelf? It appears modern yet expresses the feeling of an antique. The joinery is in a traditional, handworked style, yet manufactured by a programmed machine. Is the bookshelf at the back meant to be hidden up against a wall, a place to hide your bibles and pornography? Or is it meant to be free-standing, to show off your books and intellectualism, whilst you hide your secrets in drawers? Opposites in tension prevent a concise reading; the furniture does not a represent a finality or fundamentality, but flexibility, ambiguity, and conditionality.