A theoretical and illustrated guide on how mODPODS and associated works are taking shape and will be brought to fruition.
So what actually are they? Multi experiential, participatory, interactive devices for installation that assist in flexibility in perception and belief for purposes of healthier living. Installations will aim to be new multi disciplinary works combining techniques in architecture, 3d design, craft, art, theory and social sciences.
So what’s in the name? MYRIADS OF DEFENCE/ PODS and generally a play on words encompassing the unconventional attitude of the original 60’s style, anti establishment, the Ministry of Defence/ the war on convention highlighting the celebration of the oddment. This also ties in with associated venture SOS Design Forum, also a play on words denoting SYSTEMS OF SURVIVAL.
So why is this better design?
Aims within these works are to transcend boundaries and criticism. Aims to create climates conducive to the imaginary and for audiences to arrive at their self initiated interpretations and realities. Within Utopia Thomas More speaks of a ‘non place’ or emptiness as could otherwise be interpreted. My aims are to afford arrival at a state of meditation through interactive paraphernalia where viewers may deliberate in either accepting or rejecting their experiences thus hopefully finding the middle ground of experience- the void. This concept will also be brought into effect via the act of crafting where participants will be invited to partake in associated creative workshops geared toward the fabrication of modpod structures and themes. The emphasis here will be on mindfulness as well as encompassing elements of MINDS 5WAYS to healthy living:
Connect (artfully with people and your environment). Equally ‘Disconnect’ detach from delusions/ knowledge- via word games and puzzles for example.
Be Active (explore within your environment).. sourcing components of modpod themes- Found objects.
Take notice (as you interpret your environment and creative journey) Write, photograph, reclaim etc.
Keep Learning (via creative processes and experiential installations that make up modpod). Unlearn! Via thought provoking installation and theory.
Give (share with others in these activities in making art to be enjoyable and informative).. share, volunteer (Skillswap)..
The art of crafting is akin to mindfulness, being in the moment of our actions and choices.
In this we can be aware of our future choices both artfully and artlessly and be more aware of our actions and intentions within the wider social context.
As I have referenced previously, I tend to agree that art can serve to remind of a lack certainly in that it can speak of opposites that may serve to mirror positive projections. As example, modpods may include materials out of their usual associations so that a ‘useless’ old dishcloth for example may be transformed from its usual status (lack) as not being a high end material for furniture application say. The cloth could be electroplated in gold thus making it precious and taking it into new contexts thus we have mirrored its apparent lack into positive projection. Such processes in crafting can serve as utopian practice and in this sense we may be rejecting or questioning materialism with existentialistic vision. We can learn to transcend the everyday constraints of logic and the mundane and make each day, even our futures extraordinary. Better design can be informed by this process where as otherwise we may be bound to continual and literal regurgitations.
Such processes may serve to highlight a more holistic use of experience and potentially ensure greater flexibility in approach to design. That art can remind of our own ‘lack’ in perceptual flexibility and upon inspection of such lack we can potentially reflect the positive via imagination. We can thus begin to produce proactively not reactively.
With regards to artlessness, I believe that true innovation may well be more possible by way of detachment from ego where experimentation is carried out to its full without bias.
This theory informs my intentions and ethic regards how and why modpod installations function to serve as better ‘utopian’ design, to aim to transcend social norms.
In essence aims are to look toward a design that transcends the logic of passed systems and tradition. That history as dystopia can be utilised as catalyst to genuine evolution, constant change and modifications of narratives yet never to full conclusion. Knowledge and information can only serve as vehicle as means to ends and modpod installations aim to highlight the absurdity in such systems of understanding, that one can choose to return to a truer source of existence in emptiness where the imaginary creates reality. Again this can be achievable via the act of crafting.
Devised criteria that underpins my Utopian ethic will highlight further how this philosophy will materialise and manifest within the product and extend out to its audience.
Modpods will aim to disorientate for purpose of re-orientation:
The genius of Thomas More’s Utopia is that it de-stabilizes the senses into a certain state of shock or disbelief. It is from this stance the audience are invited to reflect. Reflection acts as catalyst to the imaginary, re-assessment and query of situations at hand. As I have referenced, Theodore Adorno similarly speaks of art as a lack and my aims are to utilise such theories from a different perspective. In this I give example of utilising material out of context to surprise, confuse and trigger intrigue and query. To offer up the lack by way of presenting social lacking regards discrimination, or the lack within the context of the mind- emptiness and the state of open mindedness where in honesty, one may find it difficult to either accept or reject experiences. Death of self (ego) through re-organisation and re-invention of the senses.
Modpods will aim for ‘no place’ via an open ended multi experiential journey that excites the imagination.
Modpod will speak of my own journey of utopia ongoing as integral to the process and ethic of its conception and future orchestration. In this sense it is a self sustaining and sustainable concept in itself, for myself and intentionally anyone involved.
Involving the public in activities that promote sustainability and economy of means, up-cycling, re-cycling inventing re-using (literally things and beliefs) and transforming the everyday by way of imagination: This is akin to Viktor Frankles Logo Therapy concept and is of Utopian ethic: Man must aim higher that that which he is capable to arrive at his full potential. These are just parts of the theory that will drive and inform my product and design ethic for design for better, more creative living. Life lived artfully and artlessly. In times of destitution these such ethics can come into play, mindsets of ‘making better and making do’ can be great starting points to social responsibility and better futures and thus better design for product and for living/ experiencing.
Modpod will be about choice.
So why is this important and what is my motive?:
My sales pitch is that of a re-assessment of how we are living in the west, in fact globally. As the east becomes evermore westernised by consumerism and globalisation and as information technology invades every facet of our existence serving generally to inform confusion then I argue as a necessary form of survival we may once again look to our primal sense of self in being. To return to a more natural mode of existence, or at least become flexible in allowing ourselves to do this at will and to resist becoming overly dominated by the limits of culture and consumerism. I am arguing within my ethic that where it is socially advancing to become accustomed to new technologies say for example, it is also important to human sustainability that one acquires and retains ability to draw upon traditional and personal resources of economy and invention.
Modpod will celebrate death and all which is perceived as useless or negative. As such this concept could be adapted to work with art therapists in assisting recovery from bereavement or personal tragedy.
Here are a select few design development sheets that will illustrate theory and workings of installation works. Please click each link and zoom for better view.