Think backwards through the design and deterioration of functionality with Heidi Schwegler, award-winning artist and Chair of MFA in Applied Craft and Design (OCAC/PNCA).
Join us for the August installation of Design Museum Mornings!
Effective design means functionality, and functionality means use—and lots of it! Paradoxically, for many objects repeated use also means the gradual deterioration of functionality. With each instance of use, the aspects of design that enable the object to fulfill its purpose are progressively worn down and used up, until eventually it becomes useless altogether . No longer able to perform its intended function, the object is thrown away and promptly forgotten.
Heidi Schwegler presents these discarded, post-functional objects—normally so commonplace they are virtually invisible— as brilliantly crafted works of art, challenging her audience to consider the typically overlooked product design. By creating representations that not only exclude but emphasize the absence of these objects’ most essential functional elements, Schwegler deconstructs the usual fusion of identity and function. Her work calls attention to the design of functionality and presents the viewer a unique opportunity to contemplate a mode of design that often goes unseen.
“When an object or place is no longer useful… it has become waste. Because of this, it has also been rendered invisible: out of sight, out of mind. Out of mind, out of sight. Empty of purpose, I can now consider its formal qualities as raw material, but a very particular raw material that is both new and an indicator of past use, past value and past purpose.” – Heidi Schwegler
Taking place at Bullseye Projects the morning of August 18th, this speaker will explore the design of functionality through dysfunctional representations. Complete with breakfast and coffee, this Design Museum Mornings is not to be missed!
Doors open at 8:30 am; Presentation begins at 9:00 am.
Design Museum Mornings is a monthly event series brought to you by Design Museum Portland. These events are meant to inspire you before your day begins and bring you closer to the Design Museum Portland community. Each event will include a short presentation by a local thought-leader, free breakfast, and great people to wake up with. These events are hosted and sponsored by various generous businesses of the Greater Portland area. If you are interested in hosting one of these events, please check out our host page here for more information.