We recently featured Claire Moyle’s work, pointing out that it blurs the boundaries between art and design. A few comments came our way, prompting us to want to ask her a few questions about her ideas. It is exciting when work promotes dialogue; even though some comments may be viewed as critical, it is precisely a differing point of view that forces one to re-examine initial thoughts and perspectives.
Moksha, repositionable podiums.
Claire, how do you define conceptual design?
Work that addresses a broader context than an initial intent to solve a problem. It is ambiguous and ephemeral. It hopes to be provocative, insightful, honest... In my experience, it is something to fill the white space.
We recently got a comment on your work that refers to a "dialogue between utilitarianism and conceptualism". What you do think of this point of view? Which, to your mind, is more important, or perhaps, more attractive to you, as far as creating goes?
There is generally an intention with designed objects. It seems that we are currently seeking more meaning from these intentions. The utility of my work is often compromised in trying to approach that meaning. By using it as a platform, I can exploit concepts of high design through intent (such as satire, empathy, nostalgia, etc.) and hope to create a residual or experiential meaning.
I think that conceptualism is more important to me, but probably for selfish reasons. Being taken with inspiration is easy. With that said, utility is more attractive because it’s so simple and difficult to master.
Nuclei, also designed by M Reed, K Hermes, S Mullanbach, C Ruhland.
You speak of the transitory nature of your objects, stating that nothing is permanent. "I often think about the future condition of the things I create. Addressing the death of the object is as important as experiencing the life it is given." One can't help but wonder if this approach can be frustrating at times. What do you think?
I embrace change. I was once interested in creating icons of pure minimal function, but the notion of their permanence left me cold and austere. There is an ephemeral space between a conceived idea and its final form. This space is where I design.
I’ve been told that I build “back doors” into my work as a method to maintain flexibility, but really I am just not interested in taking the most direct route to a realized idea. In fact, being asked to do so frustrates me! In my work, change is the only constant. It ensures a challenge as it does growth.