VARIATIONS UPON AN ELECTRIC KETTLE / ONE-OFFS / 2010
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Permanent collection of Centre Pompidou, Paris.
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If industrial objects benefit from the efficiency of mass production, they are often soulless as they are standardized. In opposition to the industrial ideal, an object for all, is a more human and sustainable production: something for everyone.
Taking the electric kettle as a testing ground, this project proposes to introduce variations on a purely industrial product. To achieve this, it tries to make serial production and hand-made production coexist within one same object.
The kettle is a common kitchen appliance that could benefit of a different aesthetic as a way to alter it’s status: passing from a mere tool for boiling water, to taking part in the art of the table setting.
Apparently simple, the kettle proves to be quite complicated due to numerous constraints: heating elements, and safty legislations .
Some of it’s components must be invariant to meet these standards.Standard industrial elements therefore define a common technical basis for each kettle.These elements are then assembled around containers made by several independent craftsmens. They could also be produced through rapid prototyping which may be recognized as a new crafting practice.
These «variations on a kettle» lead to hybrid objects that are somewhere between mass production and one-off, industry and handicrafts, technical aesthetics and organic forms.
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Photo Véronique Huyghe
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