The Beauty of Distortion
As a designer I was always interested in materials: their physicality, characteristics, and most importantly, their meaning. This drove me to develop a way of working which I call: an all-making process. It all started with a trip to a glass factory in Czech Republic, where I assisted a glass designer.
Looking at the craftsmen employing their knowledge onto this ever changing material struck me. At that moment I understood the admiration that glass sometimes evokes. Understanding the closeness of these craftsman to their matter, knowing the techniques used can change the way we perceive our surroundings.
The negative connotation of plastic is a widespread today. This material has permeated all uses, and with its ubiquitous proliferation it finally ended up having a disgraceful reputation. Today, it is shaped in smooth and disposable ways, an anonymous material. We never think of a human behind most of our plastic objects.
Generally considered to be the material that ruined our century, is there a way we can look at plastic beyond its current industrial uses ?
Is it possible to shift perspectives towards a new understanding of what this material could evoke?
Looking at the renewed interest in craft in the seventies and how it pushed for a reconnection of human with skills, for a better appreciation of various materials, I tried here to confront our ideas of plastic with a much more hands-on hand-made approach, in hope of creating new ones.
To blow plastic as glass, to melt plastic as glass, to see plastic as if we see glass.
At first glance, the assemblage of objects seems to evoke peculiar glass shapes. At closer inspection, the material’s true identity is revealed, generating a battle between the negative perceptions we have of it and the poetic appreciation of such carefully crafted objects.
The Beauty of Distortion is a study on how our preconceived thoughts towards materials can be altered through subversive use of crafting techniques. Melt, blow, stretch and bend what we think about materials, into a new elegant distortion that makes us see it differently : a new notion of beauty, one that is alluringly twisted, warped and bent instead of being industrially morose.
With a library of possibilities, the project shows how these distortions could be embedded at multiple scales. It hopes to move away from the deceptively simple, industrial, sanitized and organized towards a transformation of built environments into spaces that embrace a certain complexity.