There is a definitely a trend towards revealing some of the design and making process to help us connect with products. A shiny showroom is no longer enough – we want to see behind the scenes into the workshop too. The stories of where products come from, how they’re made and who made them are increasingly important in how we evaluate their worth.
To this end, Benjamin Hubert, the star of the show at this year’s Tramshed (located this year at designjunction), provided a tantalisingly tiny glimpse into this world. Aiming to “demonstrate Benjamin Hubert’s materials-driven, process-led industrial design approach – where the starting points for projects are the materials and construction themselves,” products were shown alongside their deconstructed parts or the raw materials they are made of.
The site-specific installation was enclosed with a divider into which 2050 cuts and 2050 folds had been made, and was entitled construction site.
My favourite product was the colourful and tactile Tenda lamp. ‘Tenda’ is Italian for ‘tent’ and the lamps are made from fibreglass kite rods, Lycra and a four-way stretch mesh from the underwear industry (aka tights!). The mesh is used in multiple layers to create differing levels of opacity, and is stretched into concave curves on the inside and convex curves in the outside to create dynamic shapes – both of which change depending on your viewpoint.
The constituent parts laid out underneath tempted me to get making myself – and I’m still not sure my tights are safe. If only I had a kite…
Definitely my top pick from the top stand at Tramshed.