Home-Active: Furniture Design Beyond Social Media Complacency

In today’s algorithmically determined digital environments, interiors have become pinterested images of themselves, standardized compositions in predictable declinations. Whether luxurious or affordable, interiors are globally homogenized and many of them are actually not designed anymore but composed by decorators or style editors. The results are ready-to-post ambiances, each one targeting specific consumer communities.

In such scenarios we as inhabitants, are not considered as active beings capable of cultivating a dynamic relationship with our domestic environment. Just like the furniture, we are meant to blend in with curated settings that offer little or no space for diversity. Ubiquitous personalization turned us into props of our own homes and we experience these generic spaces with a comforting and yet uncanny feeling of indifference.

Based on the premise that our homes have the potential to be fantastic playgrounds that provide a place not only to unwind, but also to experiment with our very personal ideas of how to live. Despite the various difficulties and constraints due to the pandemic, the lockdowns have been priveledged moments for gaining consciousness of our domestic environment. We were able to evaluate what works and what doesn’t and also to come up with creative ideas of what to change and how. Today, rather than back to business as usual, the idea of ‘Home-Active‘ is to continue this path of openess to the new.

The scope of the ‘Home-Active‘ seminar is to produce furniture for a contemporary interior where our relationship to things is unbiased, curious, and utterly creative.

Students should have experience in elaborating furniture- or product design projects; notions in drawing, model-making and 3D programs (Rhino or other). Students with only theory design background, interested in participating in the seminar, please send an email explaining your motivations to robert_stadler@gsd.harvard.edu. Teamwork is possible and shall allow the participation of students with different backgrounds and skills.

This course has an irregular schedule. Please see the course syllabus for details.