'Face to Face: Searching for Authentic Experiences' by RISD's Department of Furniture Design

'Face to Face: Searching for Authentic Experiences' by RISD's Department of Furniture Design

2015 International Contemporary Furniture Fair

Rhode Island School of Design’s (RISD) Department of Furniture Design will present Face to Face: Searching for Authentic Experiences at the 2015 International Contemporary Furniture Fair (ICFF) from May 16–19, 2015.

RISD’s contribution to this year’s ICFF showcases objects that encourage direct communication in a world increasingly dominated by electronic devices. Some of these pieces work with technology to enrich experiences, while others form a peaceful oasis free from technological interference. Taken as a whole, they promote meaningful human interactions that attempt create, or perhaps manufacture, authentic experiences.

Humans inherently depend on one another both physically and psychologically, and the objects featured in the Face to Face exhibition explore concepts that relate to the proliferation of technology in our lives, said RISD Department of Furniture Design Associate Professor Lothar Windels, who led the studio by the same name. Through this work, students explore the contradictions of technology today – the way it enables humans to communicate over long distances, but can also create feelings of loneliness and disconnection.

Face to Face features six student pieces:

Emre Bagdatoglu MFA 2016 | Permalink

materials: quartersawn white oak, brass hardware, mechanical music box, Nexus 7 tablet screen

Permalink ties the video chat experience to a lasting object and reduces its interface to a simple, tactile gesture. The boxes are sold in pairs, with the buyer expected to keep one and give the other to a significant other. Permalink is activated when one of the users opens his or her box and alerts the other user to engage via the mechanical music box inside. The only requirements for the system are a shelf, electricity and WiFi.

Ross Kellogg BFA 2015 | Transit Folding Chair

materials: European beech, stainless steel

Inspired by small apartment living, the Transit Folding Chair provides a comfortable, attractive alternative to the standard folding chair. Stripped down to essentials, it focuses the user’s attention on simple details and connections.

Linus Kung BFA 2015 | Privacy/Curiosity

materials: powder-coated steel, acrylic cube, nylon rope

Privacy/Curiosity explores the longing for privacy in public spaces, playing on the paradoxical relationship between the urge to express one’s identity through social media and the desire for privacy. The piece allows the user to conceal his or her identity behind a tinted acrylic helmet while peeking out at others and the surroundings. At the same time, the user’s presence is exaggerated by a giant metal stand that leaves the body fully exposed.

Mayela Mujica MFA 2016 | Illume Table Light

materials: glass shade, nickel-plated brass, stainless steel, sinker cypress wooden base, electronic components
The Illume Table Light encourages two people to share a moment of direct interaction once they set their two phones on its wooden charging base, which turns on the light. While the phones are charging, a soft light facilitates uninterrupted conversation.

Sam Newman MFA 2016 | Shellfone

materials: printed stainless steel, soaped white oak

Shellfone replicates the calming auditory phenomenon produced by holding a seashell against one’s ear, offering a moment of quiet attention amid the noise and distractions of daily life.

Kevin Saxon BFA 2015 | +1 Chair

material: quartersawn maple

The +1 Chair finds balance via the weight of two people working together for a common cause, thus encouraging a relationship of trust. The minimal amount of interaction and communication needed to sit securely emphasizes the power and value of face-to-face versus social media exchanges.




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