As can be seen my current sketch work, I have been using big forms to depict cow shapes. I'm almost looking as if I want to work with upholstery but I'm not too sure if that is the way I want to go or to use less material to simplify the design.
Even though I had used online resources to find images and videos of cows, as a designer, I find most of the time a primary, 'real life' speaks to me more that a printed underlay on a lightbox. I found watching the group of cows for an our or so and capturing their natural movement and form that changes in relation to that movement. In Milan I kept an eye out for anything that could inspire either form or movement and interpret this into my piece.
I spotted this piece by a Dutch company called Werner Neumann that, at least I believe, is made to resemble the form of a cow. Neumann says he has 'a wealthy sense of form language' (Werner Neumann, 2017) and I think this can be seen within this leather model. A lot of his work does resemble this multiple draw, organic shape but I believe with the strategic choice of leather material, Neumann has tried to replicate the form of the cow or bull is this piece of work. Yet, I still see this to be too literal. I want my piece to be even more subtle than this and be furniture before cow.
I loved this 'chaise longue' looking chair by Tom Dixon as it was formed from to simplified solid shapes to create the form. This upholstery-like material use is one path I have considered going down however in some ways I wonder if it is subtle enough still. Although I love this design it is so large it could be viewed us intrusive if I was to interpret these methods into my own idea.
Another example of a chaise longue I loved was this one by Atelier Mendini called 'Alex'. The print is not all to my taste, yet the eco-material use is, I like the geometric form with less material but I want it to be soft, comfy and inviting as the Tom Dixon model is. I wonder therefore if I imitate the organic, comfortable shape with the use of less material. I saw examples of this both in Salone Milano and the Nendo collection:
Nendo created a beautiful selection tablets that had bowls or storage integrated into the with the aesthetic as if they were melting into the floor from the table. I appreciate the clean aesthetic Nendo is famous for in addition to the contrast between the straight-structured tables with the organic melted form. Looking back at some of my initial designs hollowing out the large stomach or even udder features of the cow would use less material and give the initial table a different use, for example a low sitting chair.
zemi / tauiro ishiko (japan)
Maybe subtly and less is more, material-wise, is a Japanese theme as I also found this cabinet that integrates the fruit bowl into the furniture with a geometric mesh a successful example of product design. Not only is it appealing to the visceral but has considered function too. This was created by a Japanese student at the Salone Milano show.
Form factor will be one of the most crucial elements to my piece, as it is the subconscious reminder of the life before the material for leather and showcasing the alternative material properties on a visceral piece of design.
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