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what / why

My current work is the result of the research and experimentation with CAD-CAM/RPT, that I have taken part in while working toward my Masters at Tyler. The specific body of work that makes up my thesis show, made with that technology, stems from my concerns regarding the changing role of the home in our society, the problems of neutral decor and a growing sameness in America.

These objects are alternatives to the default fixtures that quietly populate your home. They are the bits of hardware that cover the holes in your walls. From the ubiquitous outlet plate and the hidden hinge to the light fixtures mindlessly stamped from sheet metal that were on sale for $7.99 at Home Depot. These are the forgotten punctuation marks in the statement of your home. In the same way a mail carrier can walk invisibly through a neighborhood, the fixtures that you use throughout the day pass under your fingers and before your eyes without notice.

These objects have the potential to give the owner a moment of individuality - a fleeting, but recurring moment of realization or recognition with each use that this is their space. A personal, intimate place.

The possibilities of telecommuting and home-based businesses offer an exciting opportunity to many people. Such lifestyles can help encourage and justify the detailing and decorating of the living/working space. Rather than simply being the place for your bed and refrigerator, it gains a greater importance as you spend more of your day living in that place.

At the same time, many residences are ephemeral. Our American culture has become very mobile and modular. The frequency and ease with which we can change homes, jobs, and cities has engendered a sameness across the land. Malls, corporate franchises and housing developments with their oppressive, but resalable, neutral decor are installed in every town. An interesting term culled from the pages of Wired magazine, Generica (i.e. The United States of Generica), sums up this generic predicament well. In many ways, we can unplug our lives from one place and plug ourselves in somewhere else without missing a beat. What we plug in should define that anonymous space as our own, not only on a large, easily viewed scale, but also on an intimate level of detail that enriches the day to day experience. Creating an island of specificity in a sea of Generica.

Schema is a collection of objects, the designs of which are based upon schematic symbols or abstractions. Some symbols are from architectural blueprints. Some are icons determined by international standards committees. Others are abstractions of mathematical concepts. All of the schemata are generic, 2-dimensional marks. This show is a presentation of my translation of these schema into specific, 3-dimensional objects for the home.


plug in: The objects in this show are designed to be portable and modular, to be easily plugged in to the systems that already exist in a regular home. The ability to affect the living space without knocking down walls was an important part of their design. [return]

what / why