As "an artist and designer who encourages us to reconsider our ideas of beauty and aesthetic value," Sander Wassink is more concerned with concepts than saleable products. Thus, his statement reads like that of an artist than a designer:How can we reconsider what is important and what is desirable to include notions of history, memory and the preservation of a past which is slipping away. Amid new construction, new production, and constant proliferation of new forms and facades, Wassink turns his attention to the discarded, the abandoned, the left over and attempts to reimagine what can be done with the already partially formed. What new possibilities exist in the surfaces and materials that are half-built or half-destroyed. Whether his object is the partly demolished façade of an abandoned building, or the everyday detritus from our over productive culture, Wassink asks what new forms and new visions of beauty already exist to be discovered and appreciated.
Yet there is a distinctly designerly quality to "State of Transience," a series of large-scale photographs of hypothetical chairs that the Wassink has created in a semi-arbitrary iterative sequence. The chairs themselves are compellingly vibrant yet somewhat grotesque, mutants whose existence is justified by duly non-teleological process of evolution:The ongoing project, State of Transience, is a responsive design process, which is continuously shifting over time. Using the relatively simple design archetype of a chair, Wassink repurposes materials, making additions, subtractions and mutations, to suggest the impossibility of a final or fixed form. Each new version of this chair, documented in incremental stages, shows evidence of it's past constructions and glimpses into it's future potential. Every new state is a testament to ingenuity of human production and the fragility of supposedly rigid constructions. In this way the project maintains a lineage of its arrangements, preserving both it's past iterations and suggesting future possible developments simultaneously. The goal is not a finished product, but instead a material history of combinations and constructions.
If the Eindhoven grad's "design projects attempt to reflect the mutating shape of use value and inhabitation," these prints serve as both a documentary project and a body of visual work in itself... neither of which functions as an article of furniture, which is precisely the point.
Check out Wassink's Coroflot portfolio or his website to see some of his other, equally heady projects.