Introducing MoCo Folio ... We often have the opportunity to take a look at the portfolios of designers at various points in their careers. Sometimes we will be intrigued by a body of work that we would like to share, enticed by the visuals. These pieces appear to be self-explanatory, but we know that there is more of a story beneath the surface. So we turn to the designers to take us on more of a guided tour of a few pieces in their portfolios, just past what meets the eye. We start this series with work by Minnesota designer Hallie Stevens.
"This casual seating environment is intended to leave the ultimate form and function up to the user. The cushions of various sizes can be arranged and rearranged depending on the users' spatial needs and desires for any given social situation. As a designer, this piece also acts as an exercise in giving up control of an object."
"This interactive bench reveals a bit about a person's character. The wood seating elements of this bench slide along the steel tube, giving the users the opportunity to claim whatever amount of surface area they feel they need to be comfortable. When completely pushed together, only one or two people may comfortably sit; however, when the pieces are spaced out, there is room for three or four. This piece gives the users the opportunity to choose whether or not they would like to share their space with their neighbor. This piece acts as a question posed by the designer; the answer reveals itself in how it is used."
"This chair shows off its material's properties and processes. Like its name suggests (Dansk = Danish), this chair was influenced by time spent in Denmark. This piece's form came from a desire to emphasize the properties and possibilities of working with veneer. The chair showcases its flexibility and curves, while not ignoring the simple, elegant beauty of the maple veneer that creates them. It is the physical manifestation of a designer's desire to completely understand and explore a specific material."
"This is a light-hearted jab at efficiency and functionality. This wall-mounted piece proposes to make life easier by making eight of your Q-tips more easily accessible. It does this, but not without pointing out the contradiction between the amount of space used to display these eight q-tips and the significantly smaller size of most store-bought packaging. It is a design that doesn't take its job too seriously."
Hallie in the studio, working with scale drawings and rough models to finalize her designs
"I don't know that I can say for sure where I feel this body of work is leading. As a designer, I tend to consider each piece as its own separate question or entity. While they may share some similarities, no single design problem has the exact same answer as another, which I think is why some of my work tends to be as varied as it is.
As of late, my interests have tended to lie in creating objects that pose a question to the user in addition to completing its function. I find a great deal of inspiration in social situations, and design objects that might make the user at least think twice about how and why they interact not only with the object, but with each other. I would love to have the opportunity to apply these ideas in very public venues; restaurants, waiting rooms, public parks, bus stops, etc. ...
Overall, I am most satisfied with objects that are at the same time useful and thought provoking."