Danish textile designer Magnhild Disington has stepped into some dangerous territory with Furry Objects, combining two controversial product types: fur, for ethical reasons, and portable electronics, for the increasing amount of electronic waste produced each year. Strangely enough, she manages to turn two material excesses into something less so, creating a set of strange electronic objects that ask some interesting questions.
These phones and USB keys are made from the leftover fur material that would otherwise be discarded, minimizing waste. At the same time, covering a USB key in a pouf of fur adds instant longevity—it becomes practically non-disposable.This then suggests that a slower adoption of minute technological advances by consumer markets is a possibility. Fur is not a suitable material to apply in the mainstream, but what else could we use to engender the same effect?
Here, Disington discusses some of the implications of this work:
Portable electronics are often neutral in appearance and lack emotional appeal. They have become a more pervasive part of our lifestyle and are things we carry with us most of the time. People tend not to feel any connection with them and change them gladly as soon as something better and newer is on the market; there is an abnormal refreshment rate for these types of product. Do we really need a new phone every six months? It is my belief that the values within our digital interactions outweigh the value of the electronic devices we use to make them....For the collection of USB keys (flash drives) I have applied natural materials like wood, leather and fur. These materials provide unique character and sensory experiences which create emotional value within the physical product. This creates a more balanced connection between 'content of desire' (our files and interactions) and 'object of desire' (our electronic devices).
More pictures of highly photogenic, controversial objects after the jump.
Lisa is dedicated to promoting the American contemporary design scene. She keeps herself busy as the co-founder of the Object Design League, an association of independent designers in Chicago, and design practice Smith&Linder, both co-founded with Caroline Linder. She also teaches foundation research studios at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.