Functional design for a better home
In modern society, the majority of efforts are centered around delivering concrete answers to concrete questions. The only data that matters is data that is reproducible, something that can be quantified and taken as fact so that the next generation of results can be based on the previous round. Much of humanity, or civilization, has functioned in this capacity as well, stacking building blocks of problem solving higher and higher as we progress as a species and write the books of history. This systematic thinking has helped progress civilizations in many ways, but also comes at a price. The problem with history, as it rolls on, is that things slowly precipitate out of the swirling reality of existence and solidify into fact. As thesis meets antithesis, where initially both parts of the whole were considered equal, only one will prevail, leaving the other to be etched out of historical relevance. Of course, this is helpful in some instances, where we need not accrue useless knowledge of every variety, but at the same time it is reprehensible to reduce the fantastical, indescribable nature of existence to objectivity. Life is chaos, and to hammer history into a flat, easily digestible, well defined parcel of information is to lose all the excitement and passion that comes with it, which for many individuals is the most enjoyable part of it all.
Through this dialectic, once something has been figured out, it dies and becomes buried in the graveyard of truth. Comparing a more modern city scape to one of the 1800s (that is to say, a city that has been built exclusively of new buildings to a city that has existed for hundreds of years), the architectural homogeneity immediately becomes apparent. This is mirrored in furniture design. Certain aspects of industrial designs became objectified through monetary, structural, aerodynamical, or any other set of restrains that goes into the manufacturing of these goods, making it so that when I am walking around in a modern city, I am suffocated by averageness. As history builds on itself, the dialectic continues to devour that anything that questions its awesome truth, and if rationality and synthesis are what we seek as a species, we will doom ourselves into an existence of the most fantastical mediocrity. I find this rather ironic, being that if humans do truly exist only as problem solvers, once all of the problems we face have been eradicated, we will have worked ourselves out of relevance and have no point in existence at all, all that hard work for nothing!
It is for this reason that I believe art is one of the fundamental purposes of life. The critical thinking capacity of humans to progress history is a gift that has allowed us to blossom technologically, but our ability to realize new paths and create answers to questions we did not even know we had, to create something out of nothing, is equally important as our quest to create nothing out of something. The destruction of variables around us allows for an increase in quality of life for many and the ability to relate to those around us through common principles, but we are also capable of creating art, of actualizing passions and bringing more variables into the same equation which can help us relate to one another on a more intrinsic level, which is equally productive in our goal to happily coexist. For me, I find myself practicing this through furniture design. Of course, there need not be another chair or side table that should be designed or brought into existence logically. Functionality wise, furniture will likely never change, but our ability to interact with it, to coexist with our living spaces and enjoy our state of being, can change. In my opinion it is not how the furniture functions, but how you function with the furniture that is a more powerful metric of design. I see myself as a designer who tries to maintain function in form, but also create beauty out of simplicity.