Contextual research and understanding


(being edited but shared verbally in class)


Our identity is our unheard voice. It is where our inner self meets the real world and it is through this meeting that we communicate every inner part of our being through how we look, sound and smell. As a species that now has almost a symbiotic relationship with technology, we are simply not happy enough with the function of these technologies alone. These items are now worn with pride and used to adorn, our bodies and our egos. We, as both creators and consumers, have created a subsidiarily yet ever-more important ‘technological identity’ that coincides with our own sense of self. Our Identity is our bridge to the real world, built upon our inner most feelings and values using the tools made available by the material world. In product design, identity is used as a powerful marketing tool. A long-held debate between Apple and Android mobile phone users gives us a perfect example of these identities; Apple has a strong and recognisable identity which calls to those who want a ‘luxury’ brand with ease of use. Android however calls to those who prefer functionality and fair pricing over a gold but fragile and known to be less technologically sound phone that is also an icon which states, ‘I’m part of this club’. Although both platforms have their own individual technological benefits, individuals are sold on the message that they themselves can convey to the world, by picking; style or substance…


I have chosen this image, as it shows a great example of some provocative furniture that appeared on the scene in 2008. They are known as the Him and Her chairs, by Fabio Novembre. They are a great example of postmodern furniture, which emerged sometime between 1940-1960 in a post war world where artists began to reject the traditional ideas, styles and methods used, by a world that they no longer felt a connection to. The two world wars of the 20th century sparked a revolution in the design world and artists began to be more daring with design. They did not necessarily care who it may offend in the conservative society and products like these chairs are a perfect example of this. They are almost a big ‘screw you’ to the older generations that, quite frankly steered us towards an ever more violent, dangerous and oppressed world. Fabio Novembre did not design these chairs to offend, however he must have been aware of the reactions that they would . They are a celebration of both the male and female bodies. As we move into an ever more liberal world, these chairs could actually cause a further level of provocation/offence. Not accounting for non binary and trans people, although I’m sure this was not his intention, they only feature ‘perfect forms’ of an almost outdated model of binary sex categorisation.