VARIATIONS UPON AN ELECTRIC KETTLE / ONE-OFFS / 2011
Permanent collection of Centre Pompidou, Paris.
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.
Photo Véronique Huyghe