In the augmented age, we will have less possessions, but we will still own things. Shelve Your Things is a project that aims to bring our meaningful objects out of the shoebox and into our lives by imbedding them into the furniture.
Through online software, the user inputs the dimensions of the shelf and their possessions before arranging them on the screen, essentially ‘feeling like a designer’, as they work with the machine to visualises a design. The prototype here was developed in Processing in collaboration with Lina Pulgarin.
As Kevin Henry identified in an interview referring to the time it takes to manufacture products, “we don’t value things because we don’t value time” It may be possible that today, we value experience over products because experiences are consuming our own time. Shelve Your Things is an experience - We engage in the design process and this forces us to consider what objects are important to us before we silhouetting them into the furniture of their home. No possessions, no shelf. This develops relationships with each object - including the shelf.
Shelve Your Things is a custom shelving designer that is designed and built around the possessions of the user. Through online software the user inputs the dimensions of their possessions and arranges them on the screen as the software visualises a shelving design around them. The design of the shelf silhouettes the users possessions, imbedding them in the furniture of their home. Furniture design currently requires the user to fill the furniture with their possessions, Shelve Your Things reverses this process - designing the furniture around the users life. Designing the shelf forces the user to consider what objects are most important to them and what objects they want to imbed into the furniture of their lives - without any objects there is no shelf.
The design software enables individuals to ‘feel like a designer’ while they are envisioning their shelving on screen. While they are not given control over any specific aspects of the aesthetic design of the shelf, they are given control over specific aspects of the design that matter most to the thesis of the shelf, through the lens of their possessions. After inputting the dimensions of the shelf and their possessions the user can move their possessions around as the design of the shelf dynamically adapts to their preferred positioning.
As each shelf is unique, each shelf must be manufactured on demand. To achieve this the shelves are manufactured through CNC routing. This enables the shelves to be manufactured and assembled locally by any CNC bureau or manufacture contractor such as 100kgarages.com. In a discussion with Industrial Designer Kevin Henry, I asked where this furniture would fit in the current manufacture sphere - he identified that this next wave of product will fit in well with the IKEA 2.0.
Envisioning a system in which this furniture could exist I conceptualised a manufacture and distribution system inspired by cement trucks. Cement trucks load up with cement mix and water before dispatching, mixing and essentially manufacturing their product on route. I envision a boxtruck with CNC routing machine in the cargo area. Customers unique products are manufactured in the truck on route and assembled in their homes.
The first Shelve Your Things prototype (pictured) was manufactured in collaboration with Sowmya Iyer for the Products of Design Open House Exhibition. The shelf was designed around 4 sculptural works by other students and a computer monitor. The final prototype took 3 hours to CNC route, required minor hand alterations and cost US$108 in material usage.