Crisis Shop. Sold Out! by RCA Platform 10
by Harry / April 2, 2009

"What qualifies as a crisis? RCA Design Products students' sold-out-shop
will offer the stimulus to rethink what a crisis actually is..." 14 Royal College of Art postgraduate design students will stage a pop-up Crisis Shop at Milan Design Week where they will show a wide range of crisis products. The shop itself is inspired by crisis, "a canopy, attached by suction pads, hooks and grommets will stretch across the glass surfaces of the showroom. Under extreme tension, the canopy serves to communicate a sense of urgency, a material under stress and physical tension." Jamie Tunnard's glass Balance Lamp above is one of the many crisis products, more after the jump.

More on the Balance Lamp from the RCA:

We surround ourselves with objects that are designed to be safe, stable and secure. Their rational design reassures us in a world that often seems irrational, unstable, illogical and dangerous.
The Balance Lamp embodies the strength and fragility of glass. It acknowledges and accepts the ever-present possibility of its own damage and destruction and, as a domestic object, offers us a way to live with instability and the threat of crisis. The Balance Lamp invites us to take care whilst also taking pleasure from the knowledge that every object has a centre of gravity and the potential to return to a position of balance.

Also on display:

Krystian Kowalski's Something Out Of Nothing, "recalls times when Fathers would make and repair their children's toys by themselves with the materials they had readily available. S.O.O.N. is an attempt at reviving the creativity that lies in all of us." Some felt and an IKEA vika lilleby trestel were the starting points for the toys above.

Claire Ferreira's Rush Bag. "As a means of transportation for our belongings, a bag requires a security procedure. Rush Bag echoes our impulsive behaviour within the tiny daily crisis of looking for something in a bag: 'In case of emergency' use the security handle to turn it upside down & expose its contents."

Maciej Wojcicki's "Snooking" corner (snook - a gesture of derision or defiance).
"Partial snooker desk fixture is a project of merchandise, which initiates and represents the crisis of will in the workspace. It is occupying the space in an aggressive way which makes it very strong factor influencing ones equilibrium of work by the desk. On the other side using it can cause pricks of conscience which can be quite strong motivation to work. It represents the struggle between tendencies to work and leisure."

Nic Rysenbry's Flat Out. "Flat Out is a response to the crisis of mass-disposability." That single use objects don't have to be. Specifically disposable cups that, with the help of the flat pack Flat Out, "physically transforms an ordinary plastic disposable cup into a wine glass in the hope of encouraging consumers to see that these cups are re-usable."

More from RCA:

The Shop isn't about making a commodity out of a crisis but investing in the means to respond to crises at large. One man's crisis is another man's opportunity. All products in the Crisis Shop are examples of opportunities in disguise.
The collective response to this state of alert can be broken down into two clearly defined product categories: those that require an 'Immediate Response' and those that opt for 'Mutations'. The group have deliberately emphasised the 'closeness' in crisis and consequently closeness to the body. Subsequent incarnations frequently deal with this through solutions of wear-ability.
A crisis can also be used as a catalyst for change. Platform 10's intention is to use the disease signified in a crisis as a positive opportunity to create an alternative outcome and a fresh typology in design. The products on offer represent the distillation of the outcome of a long-term interrogation into innumerable crises and their inevitable fall-outs.
Crisis Shop will represent a transnational response to global problems, with the group of designers encompassing eight different nationalities. Crisis as the young designers argue, "represents the very foundation of design as we know it."


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