“surfs” the shape
With a 3d printer soon to be on every desktop equipped with re-usable material, an object’s continuous existence is a digital one, realized for an instance in the physical realm, then de-materialized. This future calls for personally contextualized objects, designed with a future to be determined by their user – a new design experience. Designing for such scenarios requires a new approach, one that asks the designer what parameters could be left open for a user’s choice. In some types of objects, this choices could be of function, in other’s of sizes. But in purely formal objects, like vases, the key parameter is that of an experience, of the process of choices a user makes to arrive at an outcome, and the price he pays for these choices. The more personal the process is, the more personal the product becomes. It is as if the user surfs the form, the physical realm as he would online.
Each fragment of the vase holds a new formal possibility with the exact same mass, with each vase the form becomes increasingly more complex. By re-using the material the user “surfs” the shape itself, until he must make a choice: between the digital possibilities and the physical existence.
* Presented at “Mass – 10 designers on method, material and manufacturing”, Dutch Design Week 2011