Our furniture design was relatively simple, but left a huge amount of freedom for personalization/innovation. Touching a bit on a few of Dieter Rams’s Design Principles that we believe are most applicable to this product:
Good Design is Innovative: We believe the interchangeability of the shelving for our nightstand gives it a flexibility that is usually reserved for technology products; this feature is one of our most valuable because it allows the furniture to be constantly relevant to the user’s life and constantly updated and fresh.
Good Design is Honest: This product is very bare-bones, and does not force the user to make any certain design decision, it is very flexible to what the user wants to use it for.
Good Design is Long-Lasting: The physical structure itself is very sturdy and appears strong and long-lasting, so materials-wise, the product is dependable. In a more theoretical perspective, this piece of furniture is long-lasting because it can be updated and revived as the user’s vision for the piece evolves.
Good Design is As Little Design as Possible: One thing we really appreciate about this furniture piece is that there has only been a very small bit of design created by us, the rest is up to the user. The main design element that we created was flexibility — we created an open space that the user can do with what they wish, it is incredibly open-ended and reliant on an open space being an invitation for design and personalization by the user.
In terms of the process, we definitely learned to appreciate and do our best to manage the strength of the concrete — what is certainly a positive for the finished product was a challenge during the process, as the heavy concrete put a lot of pressure on our styrofoam mold. I think we learned to think of the building/construction process as an active one, and really think about how the materials will move and affect each other; the concrete will not just sit in the mold, it will push out with force, and the styrofoam will bend, and the process will be active.