A standout at Dutch Design Week was design academy graduate, Louisa Zahareas who presented a set of screen mutation cermaics as an exhibition on interior design in the virtual world. The exhibition challenged the viewer perception of normal in the virtual world.
Zahara’s inspiration for the series began with the idea of communication and family.
“The idea originated from my personal experience with my family,” said Zahareas. “I now experience my family primarily through the prism of my computer screen rather than in real, physical space.”
Zahareas designed the ceramics to recreate the ritual of a family meal, as seen through a computer camera via internet communication apps such as Skype or FaceTime.
“I started with an image of a set table and then I distorted everything according to the perspective of how my webcam sees the world,” she told Dezeen.
“This led to this new kind of surrealistic, Salvador Dali-like meal, which is inspired by our relationship to our screens.”
The top half of a coffee pot appears dislocated from its base, while two teapots seem to be merged into one.
Cups slant backwards, while bowls are shallow and almost unusable. A set of six flat eating utensils come in contrasting sizes, appearing either dramatically stretched or shortened.
The designer collaborated with Dianne Hansford, an expert in computational geometry and with experience in 3D geometric anamorphosis – the creation of distorted imagery that must be seen from a particular perspective to appear correct.
Zahareas designed prototypes, using 3-D printing, while looking at them through her camera phone.
“I see these objects as props, rather than products that are meant to be used,” she said. “I imagine the space in front of our computer or smartphone cameras as a theatre stage, where we perform.”
In Zahareas words, the screen is no longer a window to someplace else, it is instead the here and now and our physical surroundings are slowly becoming the “other world”. Focusing on the family meal, as the archetypical representation of the united family, and taking a critical and sometimes anecdotal approach to how we now experience and enact family life through the screen, this research focuses on the redesign of the dining ritual to fit with our fragmented on/off self (where on represents the digital and off is the physical experience of our new mediated interactions).
The research explores how far we are willing to go in distorting our physical experience to fit with the aesthetics and peculiarities of the screen, as a medium.
Follow Zahareas Louisa and her project through Instagram and her website, see below;