Functionality Kills the Fun by Lennart Van Uffelen is a series of broken furniture that go by one principle: Functionality is overrated! Products become more interesting when they perform their task partly or even poorly. Most of the time the image or the emotional value that the object generates is what makes it so fascinating. In cases where the functionality is subject to the image you see that the pieces are more open for added value from the individual user. Playing with the limits of functionality leads to questioning yourself as a designer and as an owner. It’s important to create a strong relation between consumer and object where humor and image are equally as important as the function. Much more important then say, holding your books upright.
A first try at finding the limits of function, this chair has been stripped from its function. Not by brute force as most of the collection but by careful calculation. It has been given a new purpose and that is to present an exciting image: the illusion to sink in the surface behind, or rise from it. The chair, made from redwood, is equipped to hang from your wall or ceiling. Put in to separate rooms it can connect those rooms together.
The start of the FKF collection was this enlightened bookcase put together by brute force. Kast.01 was developed for Les Petits Riens an organization that fights against poverty and exclusion in Belgium by selling second hand clothing and objects. Along side famous Belgian designers my work was chosen to help raise money for its cause. This first unique piece embodies the FKF philosophy completely and held its own amongst other great pieces made from second hand furniture. The bookcase itself is made from metal while the chandelier is solid wooden oak painted black to enhance the silhouette of its destruction. Both objects succeed slightly less in executing there original task, but each one of them gains a new task. A further added value is of course the image that makes it humorous and notable.
Spiegel.01 might be one of the more functional pieces of the FKF-collection. It exists of a series of mirrors that seem to be hung by force. The nail, from which it is mounted to the wall, creates cracks in the glass. The image is hardly distorted with a linear view, while looking at it from a different angle it becomes more than just an every day object. No one mirror is the same as they are all smashed by hand. The mirrors are easily mountable with the included nails and plugs.
This table continues on the same path as Spiegel.01, it uses two items that have a certain link to create a humorous image. In this case it involves wood and an axe. The table is made from the same ash wood as one frequently finds in an axe handle. To create a pure image there is nothing more than two materials the ash wood and the stainless steel of the blade. The full table is made first according to woodworking tradition after which an axe smashes one of the legs and replaces it. Fully functional, just mind the sharp edges.
Kast.02 is a more sculptural piece. An old, small chest of drawers was used as starting ground. The inspiration comes forth from the second hand furniture. By splitting it in two at first it becomes nonfunctional but by adding a threaded rod and bolts the chest is made into 2 functional chests. The drawers don’t work but why should they? [Photos and information provided via e-mail by Lennart Van Uffelen]