Chest of drawers
The vibrant, unexpected and surreal nature of the Mexican character inspired this piece of furniture reflecting iconic Mexican masks. The elements of the mask, their concepts and what they stand for were analysed in order to transfer them into furniture. Masked furniture was created, where the pieces become an exaggerated version of themselves. This collection challenges and then bridges perceptions of traditional extravagant Mexican cultures, with the contemporary reality of a modern country.
UNIQUE PROPERTIES / PROJECT DESCRIPTION:
The Doubleface is one of the five pieces of a collection inspired by Mexican masks, he is the fight between good and evil. The first face seems normal, with its feet properly on the ground, and its drawers facing the right way. The second face on the other hand, is upside down with its feet sticking dangerously up in the air. And its upside down drawer? Who knows what you will get when you open it…
OPERATION / FLOW / INTERACTION:
This chest of drawers was intended as a piece that would portray the unexpected nature of the Mexican character (I'm Mexican), therefore the piece had to be unexpected in aesthetics as well as in use. The "upside-down" drawer is the unexpected point of interaction, the user does not know what will happen when he opens it. Yet the "upside-down drawer" perfectly functional, revealing a flap door that opens into a space for keeping books or magazines.
PROJECT DURATION AND LOCATION:
The project was started in 2012 as part of a Masters degree and was finished in 2014. It was designed and made in England.
FITS BEST INTO CATEGORY:
Furniture, Decorative Items and Homeware Design
PRODUCTION / REALIZATION TECHNOLOGY:
Much of the designing of the piece was developed through model making. The models were made using a laser cutting machine. For the 1:1 piece, the front and the back as well as the drawers were CNC cut in birch ply in order to get a clean surface with no joint lines.
SPECIFICATIONS / TECHNICAL PROPERTIES:
Dimensions: 1670 x 600 x 1200 mm
Los Enmascarados, Mexican masks, Furniture, El Doblecara, The Doubleface
Primary: Spoke to a Mexican mask maker and applied his working methods to my design process.
Secondary: Books, magazines and online research. To understand each mask, its characteristics and their role in their cultural context.
Colour: Colour palettes where taken from Mexican scenery, paintings, architecture and the masks themselves.
Model making: Small scale models were made with laser cut pieces to experiment with form and cardboard 1:1 models were made to understand proportions.
The biggest challenge was finding the right way to build the unconventional complex shape of the piece. Getting the shape to be properly squared without it compromising the clean look of the piece was something that had to be well thought and properly designed.
TEAM MEMBERS (1) :
Photographer: Martine Pinnel