Sunday, March 16, 2008

Post-Optimal Objects (POO) 2

As already indicated, this semester at University of Michigan School of Art & Design I am teaching an elective studio course: (ArtDes 300.015) Post-Optimal Objects (POO). This course focuses on designed objects and their cultural contexts. The current project is a Chindogu Challenge:

“Chindogu is the Japanese art of inventing ingenious everyday gadgets that, on the face of it, seem like an ideal solution to a particular problem. However, Chindogu has a distinctive feature: anyone actually attempting to use one of these inventions, would find that it causes so many new problems, or such significant social embarrassment, that effectively it has no utility whatsoever. Thus, Chindogu are sometimes described as 'unuseless' – that is, they cannot be regarded as 'useless' in an absolute sense, since they do actually solve a problem; however, in practical terms, they cannot positively be called 'useful'.” (From Wikipedia).

This project has an additional parameter that participants should make one component part of their Chindogu object that starts out digital and becomes physical (i.e. make use of laser cutting, cnc milling or rapid prototyping).

Lilienne Chan's pant hem saving system.

Andy Sell's laser cut, totally biodegradable collar for urban environments with heirloom seeds embedded in it.

Isaac Krauss's food spill saving device.

Devon Russell's anti booger freeze device.

Ronen Goldstein's Open Source beardguard.

A spin off of this project is Alex Sobolev's (pictured above with his toilet seat for public restrooms) new blog 'Chindogu or Not?' that is a placeholder for a future site


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I am exploring a hybrid form of art and design practice through the use of computer-based design and fabrication tools. I am interested in experimental objects and spaces that are dynamic and responsive and seek to challenge perceptions, expectations and established behavior.

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