Transparency stands for the clarity, transluscence and assumed invisibility of a subject on a literal and a metaphorical layer.
At this point the mind play begins, for transparency is the same feature that blurs and distorts reality, claiming nothing to be there and hiding an object within itself.
This paradox of an object trying to contradict it”s own existence through the state of transparency was analyzed and extended upon several aspects of human perception.
The result is a philosophical and poetic discussion, which is manifested in a series of ten tables, each referencing one aspect of perceiving reality and playing with the idea of “to be” and “pretending not to be”.
Core piece of this discussion is the table “transparency-contradiction”.
The table exhibits the constant dualism of our perception; it takes the absence of a subject to comprehend its true meaning and value.
For example you can truly understand the value of health in times of sickness and the value of wealth in times of poverty.
Our conscious mind create transparent and vacuume spaces for things we cannot immediately comprehend, but know what the opposite state is.
The table consists of undefined, flowing and opaque clouds which sprawl freely across a strict geometrical, yet transparent matrix. They symbolize knowledge and ignorance; the conflict of existence and disguise.
This contrast provokes a constant question of existence within the dimensions of the table itself.
Transparency-contradiction represents the differences in perception that run through our personal and culturally inherited understanding.
Pictures by Michael Wong
As an project assistant at relvaokellermann we developed a bookshelf for L&Z, aiming to create an office essential.
The iconic and geometric shape is the result of a modular, multidirectional and multipurpose approach, while maintaining the high stability of the shelf.
Shadowplay ist constructed of 1mm powdercoated sheet metal and available in several sizes.
Pictures by Gerhardt Kellermann
Work takes more and more importance in our everyday life and the limits between work and personal life appear to blend continuously. This results in an increase of work related psychological impairments like burnout, growing concentration difficulties or the loss of balance between work and life, commonly known as the workaholic.
Iko is an electronic device for the PC following an experimental approach for tracking and improving self-organization at work and at home. Instead of being incorporated into a digital interface, the device is purposely built into a haptic object and separated from the digital devices that commonly surround us.
The main idea is to counter the abstraction of our workspace caused by digitalization and constant presence of distracting programs and data by conscious and physical actions.
Each icosahedron comes equipped with an internal NFC-chip that can be programmed to specific modes like “work_3Dmodelling” or “free time_gaming “.
Once the Iko”s terms and restrictions are set, they get activated by the physical and analogue act of being thrown into the ceramic bowl, containing an NFC-reader.
For example you can set a “work_concentration” Iko to supress messenger-app-related pop ups or block communication-apps alltogether, for as long as the Iko lies in the bowl. You can freely add features to your settings, for example starting a work-related playlist that helps you concentrate.
A “free time_movies” Iko on the other hand may be used to block access to work-related data and contacts.
Of course these functions can be bypassed easily by removing the Iko from the ceramic bowl, but by doing so you must physically take the Iko out of the bowl, making the action more conscious than a simple click or touch on your phone or computer.
The Iko promotes a more aware use of electronic interfaces and seperation of work and leisure time.
Collaboration with Christopher Carlo Schwarz. Pictures by Michael Wong
Seymoure is a glasses manufacturer from Germany, celebrating sunglasses aswell as prescription glasses as lifestyle and fashion objects.
The launch of the ‘18 edition was accompanied by the opening of the munich store.
In order to highlight the eye-catching glasses, relvaokellermann and Jan Heinzelmann developed reduced and self-contained wooden pedestals. Painted in the same discreet light-green colour as the floor and walls of the store, the presentation’s construction blends in with the rest of the room, making the colourful glasses stand out even more.
When trying on glasses, you can use the reflecting property of the dichroic glass panels to catch a quick look. If you have found something that you like and want to check yourself out in detail, you can find a proper mirror at the end of the room.
The interior is completed by a constantly changing light installation, creating a striking picture, visible even from the outside.
Pictures by Gerhardt Kellermann
The Onan Doff Lamp is a playfull approach towards the fact that lamps exist in either an “on” or an “off” state.
Switched on, a lamp follows it”s regular function of lighting a room. Switched off though, they most often become functionless objects filling the surrounding.
The idea is to create an object playfully discussing the “on” and “off”– states and thus creating a bridge in between them.
With it”s gradient from black to white, the lamp therefore has the same sculptural meaning while being switched on for a dark environment as it has for a bright one, while being switched off.
In order to create the fine, yet opaque gradient, thin copperdust was blended into epoxy resin and cast between two acrylic sheet glasses. Exposed to sulfur, causing it to oxidize, a natural yet rich blackness was created on the lower part of the lamp, fading towards the top.
The lamp is activated and deactivated by touching the black gradient itself.
In the context to its surroundings the Onan Doff Lamp becomes a playfull scultpure between light and darkness.
Pictures by Michael Wong
The idea behind window/lamp is defined by the reduction of a lightsource towards its abstract origin.
Window/lamp refers to windows, doors and everything that lies beyond it.
By engraving light guiding acrylic glass algorhytmically, the light coming from the LEDs hidden within the frame is refracted evenly and softened even more by a layer of frosted glas in front.
Through the shere softness and size of the light the eyes are unable to focus on any specific point looking at the lamp and a new, infinte room seems to appear behind the frame.
This window to the virtual space can be moved around freely in it’s actual space. It can be leaned against a wall, hung from the ceiling or stand in the middle of the room, and therefore allows for interesting and playfull constellations.
Pictures by Michael Wong
A key quality of the critical designer is viewing things from a different perspective. This ability becomes increasingly important in times of rapid technological development on the industrial and consumer market.
With nearly infinite possibilities in production, the designer’s mission is to not blindly follow innovation but to explore exisitng values and feelings and ecorporate them into products.
Therefore design must create a balance between rationality, emotions and personal experience.
By skillfully mixing the familiar and the new, a good designer can generate curiosity and tension that addresses the user/viewer on a personal level, as well as a practical one.
Design can therefore be understood as storytelling in the book of a man-made world, creating reciprocal stories that respectively influence people.
To me, a successful design always triggers a sense of comprehension and accomplishment, comparable to the satisfaction of a freshly cleaned home or a completed puzzle.
It acknowledges the known and presents new perspectives.
For inspiration i like to turn to natural phenomena, something I have been fascinated with since my early childhood.
I find optical illusions intriguing, as well as the fascination of the unknown, yet i strongly identify with industrial and technically skilled manual production.
My designs are a composition of clear and comprehendable shapes, featuring unexpected and challenging elements, creating curiosity.
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