I spend a lot of time thinking about objects, trying to understand how they shape our lives and what we can learn about the people that made, use or want them. I often catch myself trying to imagine why and how they were invented, produced, modified or hacked. These are some of the objects I’m thinking about these days.
Children’s scooter: Micro
The idea of technology as an extension of the body is never truer than when you’re moving about with a four year old. I can’t imagine getting through cities or airports without this gliding accessory. That was, until after a recent flight transfer through Rome, bullying Italian airport security men confiscated “Scooty” and binned it in front of our disbelieving eyes.
credit Floris Schoonderbeek with Weltvree
The Dutchtub: Floris Schoonderbeek
I love fireplaces and campfires but this beats them all: a portable wood-burning spa with a barbecue and an ingenious heat control. I’ve wanted to jump in one since I first saw it at the Milan Furniture Fair in 2002.
K-Block: El Ultimo Grito
I don’t usually believe “multipurpose” claims but it’s true with the K-block. We have some in almost every room in the house – as side tables, foot stools, bath steps, worktables, chairs and magazine holders. They serve adults and children alike, and sometimes are joined together to become a train, a totem or a castle wall.
credit Tim Anderson, Make Magazine
Chainsaw-powered sago grinder: Bre Pettis, Adam Mayer and Zach “Hoeken” Smith
I do enjoy ingenious kitchen utensils, though I’m finding it very hard to get hold of one of these. For many months now I’ve been trying to get this modified beauty to be a key exhibit in the Power of Making exhibition for the V&A and the Crafts Council.
credit Douglas Sonders
Bio-Suit spacesuit: Man Vehicle Laboratory, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Great tailoring goes hand in hand with thinking ahead about the situations one may encounter. Textiles and technology around the body are an exciting frontier and this suit looks like a good piece to have in the wardrobe for extravehicular activities.
Power of Making is at the Victoria & Albert Museum until 1 January 2012.