As designers we don’t always have a given problem to solve. Without a problem to solve we are required to choose a direction before we know where it will take us, and we don’t always know what outcomes are possible. As we explore and make discoveries, the problem becomes clearer and possible outcomes appear. Each designer has their own process for working through this unknown territory and it can sometimes be difficult to understand, even for the designer them self. By reflecting on our actions we can gain an understanding of our processes. With that knowledge we can build upon that which we learn every time we meet a new problem and become better decision makers and more effective explorers.
The intention with this project was to gain a deeper understanding of my own exploratory design process. Starting from nothing I designed a chair and throughout the process reflected on everything I did. The documentation of those reflections, the test materials and models and the chair itself represent the countless interactions with materials, shapes, tools, emotions and constraints.Although the world doesn’t need another chair, a chair can be a powerful and effective way to explore a wide array of materiels, functions and forms packaged in a common object that can be broadly communicated. My hope is that with the experience of this project and the things I learned about myself, I will be better equipped to face uncharted design territory in the future.
The finished chair, which is foldable and made of aluminum and paper cord, was named Kilapsmos; a combination of the words collapse and Klismos, an ancient Greek nobleman’s chair by which I was inspired.