Being weary of the rush of contemporary life we seek comfort in rituals and the celebration of everyday existence. We care about our bodies but also objects and space around us. Where do we look for inspiration?
Ancient Egyptians revered cleanliness, smell and skin care not only because they provided them with good health and made their bodies aesthetically beautiful, but also because they brought them closer to gods. Egyptian customs had everyday life intertwined with mysticism, which finds its reflection in the present day. Sara Linda-Forrer has drawn on the Egyptians’ fascination with their body to create her graduation work entitled Morphologies at Design Academy in Eindhoven. Fascinated with the idea that everyday facial skin care is a ritual, Sara created a collection of breathtakingly beautiful skin care tools for the ritual performance. She used natural materials the choice of which was preceded with a thorough analysis. The designed tools perfectly illustrate one of the more captivating trends in lifestyle, the trend in which spirituality enters everyday life with growing intensity.
The spiritual nature of human beings, considered by some as innate, makes it hardly possible for us to ignore the multidimensionality of life. Apart from a religious aspect being often ascribed to spirituality, people express willingness to deeply experience everyday activities such as running, communing with nature or preparing meals. All these activities transform into rituals the cultivation of which helps us concentrate, work on ourselves, fight tension or calm down. One example of a ritual which, if performed properly, restores inner balance is the process of preparing and drinking tea that originated in the Chinese culture. Yingyi Luo who graduated from Eindhoven Design Academy and was raised in China thought it crucial to translate Chinese heritage into the language of Western Culture. Through the creation of the Kung Fu Coffee project, she fused two societies cultivating two completely different drinks and values they stand for. Kung Fu means a complete devotion that is necessary during the drink making process. The designer shows that the moment of coffee preparation blends with the moment of meditation, giving people the possibility to focus on their inner selves and experience everyday reality even deeper. That’s something all human beings crave for, regardless of culture.
The moment of interaction between a user and a product is taken into account more and more often while designing; it challenges the custom of making objects mainly with regard to their functionality. The growing need to experience something more than just a functional side to an object has been shown in a graduation work of Jakub Pollág, a graduate from the Royal College of Art. Pollág created a personal tattoo machine because he’d noticed that a decision about a new tattoo is usually driven by personal experiences and emotions. The very process of making a tattoo on one’s own, even if it does not turn out perfect, may prove much more important that a tattoo’s perfect shape. Pollág believes that the appearance of such an object on the market will result in the democratization of the tattoo industry. The activity so far reserved for tattoo specialists will now be open to new users. A tattoo machine in the hands of enthusiasts and amateurs allows mimicking professional tattoo makers while underlining the fact that there is a group of people who do not care about an ideal outcome, but rather focus on experience, personalized effects and the possibility to create something on their own.
The celebration of everyday life that shapes contemporary lifestyle is not so much a story about the need to possess as it is about the need to experience. We seek uniqueness in the everyday hustle and bustle and give its rituals a spiritual character. Where will it take us? Will it be conscious consumerism, the deepening of interpersonal relations or creation of new rituals? One thing we can say for sure, the future is promising!
photo: courtesy of designers
*Text: Justyna Strociak
She has graduated from Industrial Design at the School of Form in Poznań. In August 2014, together with Magda Gąsiorowska, she became a finalist of Make Me! – a competition for young designers. Several months later, along with her four friends and at the invitation of Lidewij Edelkoort, a trendforecaster and observer, she went on a few days’ stay to the Trend Union’s department in Paris where she broadened her knowledge of current trends and ways to analyze them. In March 2015, together with Ewelina Rytel, Magda Gasiorowska i Aleksandra Kalinowska, she finished a Trendbook with design inspirations for 2016. The work on the book was supervised by Zuzanna Skalska.
As a designer I feel a constant need to observe events connected with the sphere of design. Thanks to it, I have a better understanding of people’s needs and I am able to more appropriately plan final versions of my projects. The knowledge of our everyday reality enables us to discover the so far unknown situations requiring innovative solutions, especially important in the world of business. Besides, information about trends may be of valuable significance for those who want to be more conscious of changes occurring all around us.
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