Studying the dogmas of product design

In order to innovate, it is crucial to be able to think out of the box. This study into product design questions the reigning dogmas about materials, proportions, usability, functionality and safety. Why do people have a problem with mole-fur slippers – with original legs and snout – while in agriculture they are seen as vermin and killed off in large numbers? Or what about a child seat that keeps children at the table, but at the same time is reminiscent of an electric chair? Does a furnace have to be made of a practical material like cast iron? Experiments with ceramic textiles prove the opposite: the quilted Soft Stove can easily bear temperatures of up to 1600 °C. And what about wearability? Quick Silver, a stunning necklace of poisonous balls of mercury, purposefully seeks out the boundary between wearable and appealing jewellery. The series of products that resulted from this study unleashed strong emotions at the exhibition in Milan. How far can you go as a designer to push people past their preconceptions and create something truly new?

Client: own work
Year: 2004
Production: Van Eijk & Van der Lubbe
Permanent collection: Stedelijk Museum ’s Hertogenbosch (Quick Silver necklace)
Project number: 04.004-012