For this weeks constellation lecture we were tasked with these two exercises.
The first exercise saw us writing a short statement about how Wabi-Sabi is different to our practise, mine being Product Design, of course.
Product Designers for the most part design for mass manufacturing or at least a series, Wabi-Sabi is described as a one of a kind artefact. Products are made to be perfect, for the product to be known and seen as perfect to the customer it must be functional to its intended design and it must not break or fail after a short life span as if or when it does the product loses its entire purpose and would then be thrown away. This is the complete opposite when you take a look at Wabi-Sabi, when something has an imperfection or has no longer a purpose it is not thrown away but kept. When I think about Product Design and Wabi-Sabi it can be difficult to think about what these two things have in common and on the surface I cannot really think of anything, it would be so much easier to relate to with another field like Fine Art or Ceramics these two fields revel in imperfection and obscurity whilst Product Design doesn’t always do so.
Another exercise we participated in was a group task, we were asked to ‘Find an object that sits within either category 1 (Functional) or category 3 (Inspirational/ Spiritual) of Stuart Walkers’ taxonomy and re-design it to include the other.’
In a group including fellow Product Designers Ed Pecherek and Thomas Gray we went away to think about what we could possibly come up with. After some brainstorming we landed on the idea of a bottle opener that would get handed down from generation to generation and whilst that happened the individuals would engrave a quote that could guide and inspire the following family member. This would in turn serve as Wabi-Sabi as over time the material would then age and imperfections would be added through the experiences of the fellow owner.
Whilst presenting this to the constellation group we only had a rough sketch of the design for the bottle opener, I created a quick CAD model to show the engraved quotes a little better.
Below will show the bottle opener: