Kegan Fisher and Liz Kinnmark of Design Glut curated the Uncomfortable Conversations show as part of this year's ICFF off-site events. 15 participating designers were challenged "to create something which provokes an uncomfortable yet important conversation." Watch above as the duo explain the origins of the idea and demonstrate one of their favorite pieces at the show: Dominc Wilcox's Pre-Handshake Handshake.
Mind the Gap, a set of gloves by Andrew Haarsager, probably deters conversation of any kind, comfortable or not. The subway gloves "protect against unwanted landings," adding bird spikes to the hand.
The Kevin Carpet Bench, by Will Robison, brings a fetishist into the room. A human carpet, Julio, is rolled up in a carpet and placed on a specially built armature to become a bench (much to his enjoyment). Will gives the backstory in the video above, and, according to the NY Times, the story is no joke.
A shredded is embedded into a briefcase in In Case, Materious' comment on the all-time low level of public trust in corportations. They ask, "how does a society that is founded upon, and so reliant upon, the corrporation reconcile its lapses of morality?"
For even more uncomfortable conversations, click through the jump.
MSLK's Uncomfortable Typographic Situations doesn't really do anything, but make you look twice. Signs that say "Click Here," "Final Exam," "Therapist's Office," and "My Pen Is Here" look different depending on where you're standing in the room and (maybe) what you expect they will say.
Craighton Berman has combined a trash can and a lamp, "illuminating life's embarrassing little details by bringing one's garbaget out in the open."
Deterrent is a bag created by Vincent Lai of Skinny Vinny, transforming a bag into an expression of defense and a weapon. Note: it's reversible. Good for hiding your spikes in friendlier environments, but how would you put your stuff in it?
Finally, maybe most uncomfortable of all was Nooka owner Matthew Waldman's project, entitled Body Function which is why it comes at the end. The project gets right to the heart of what most of us wouldn't dare talk about—accidents that happen below the belt. He explains in the video below, but just warning you, it's slightly NSFW.
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.