August 17 2014
While design and its role in human society are immense, its general discourse has for far too long been two-sided and too narrow. Nowhere has this been more evident than in the assortment of titles that are ostensibly authorities on design. On the one hand, we have those that lionize and fetishize the culture of designers by washing it with celebrity and exclusivity—and reducing what constitutes design to clever baubles, pretty forms, and seasonality (think Wallpaper*, Surface, Dwell and most fashion magazines). On the other hand, there are those that intellectualize design and mire themselves in speculation to the point of general irrelevance (think Harvard Design Review and nearly every architecture magazine).
While each has its place—and we have a place in our designer-filled studio for each—we are nevertheless of the mind that design is larger (and more immediately relevant) than compositional novelty, recognizable names and sci-fi speculation. Smart departures from that norm then, are most welcome.
Dirty Furniture, a new publication by some very bright friends of ours in London, is just such a departure. It will explore murky and complex narratives of what happens “when design leaves the showroom.” It eschews gratuitously retouched photography, cross-branding exercises and celebrity happenings in favour of authentic and heady discussions on what designed objects really do, are and mean in the world.
The title will be limited to 6 issues, and the first—Couch—is well on its way to production. Inside the issue are pieces by novelist Will Wiles and historian Penny Sparke among others, and subsequent issues will zero in on Table, Closet, Toilet, Telephone and Bed.
With 16 days to go on its Kickstarter campaign, we’d love to help make Dirty Furniture a reality. We’d bet your couch will even have some change to spare…