Experimental Product Design
The Functional Forest workshop was hosted by renown Product Designer Philippe Malouin at the Domaine de Boisbuchet in Lessac, France. A playground of sorts, the domaine bodes a refurbished castle and grounds to host workshops curated by International artists and designers. This workshop in particular was about retrofitting our human designs to be blend into "one" with the forest - ultimately, blurring the line between man made and nature made. All of our materials were to be sourced directly from the land on the castle grounds.
I experienced a kind of raw nature, getting my hands dirty and being unafraid of exploring like a kid again. My time was spent enveloped in harvesting clay from the bottom of the pond, climbing trees to get a bird's eye view, laying and smelling all that lives in fields, to patiently waiting for spiders to come out of their funnel nests to observe their construction, and adapting to the sun's schedule to dry paints. This was a week fully immersed in the forest as well as an awakening to my bond to designing in, with and for nature in parallel to designing for humans. And as a result of this humbling experience, I thought it pivotal to continue to feed this nature connection by building and designing an outdoor swing as a literal invitation to return to this mode of playing and observing all that the outdoors has to offer.
Photo credit: Rachelle Bugeaud, Carlo Cialli