FURNISHING UTOPIA - 2018
Design Within Reach presents Furnishing Utopia 3.0: Hands to Work, the third in a series of exhibitions exploring the design legacy of the Shakers.
This year, the collective is opening up a dialogue between designers and viewers intended to transcend Shaker aesthetics. Designers were asked to explore the virtues of focused work and cleanliness that the Shakers regarded as a path to enlightenment.
The theme of chores, conventionally understood as tedious, burdensome work to be avoided, reexamines our concepts of these activities and the tools related to them, proposing a renewed sense of engagement between humans, objects and their environment in the pursuit of a more virtuous way of living through ritualizing the mundane, with the potential for clearing one’s mind, connecting with one’s body and confronting the indifference of the natural world.
The one chore I do most frequently is tidying the apartment in the form of putting things back where they belong – laundry, dishes, sorting recycling into different bins, etc. Having the proper tools, like a dedicated paper bin in the office, makes these chores that much more enjoyable. I was drawn to the cork fabric material because of its natural look and its properties. To better control the shape of the paper bin, wooden splines were inserted in the top and bottom, giving it a perfectly round footprint, and while seen from the side it has a softer and more textile character. The handle is a reference to Shaker buckets and baskets.
HANDS TO WORK
Hands to Work is curated by Studio Gorm, Christopher Specce and Ladies & Gentlemen Studio, with overall creative direction by Ladies & Gentlemen Studio. Additional support is provided by the Norwegian Consulate General New York.
Furnishing Utopia is a design collective led by Studio Gorm, Christopher Specce and Ladies & Gentlemen Studio, as well as an ongoing investigation into how designed objects can engage with the pursuit of a more perfect way of life.
Exhibition: Furnishing Utopia
Photography: Charlie Schuck
Site: New York City