Industrial Design

Design as an Extention of the Body

  • We are beginning to understand that, like the ancient people of non-Greek cultures, we should see humanity not in contrast to, but as an integral part of both, the natural and the man-made milieus. Man should not see himself as a separate entity, detached from nature, but should accept his existence as part of it. Similarly, the artifacts we create should not be proud aliens, but rather should be designed as carefully and intricately woven extensions of the larger natural and man-made domains surrounding us.
  • We should seek to develop a more holistic, unified vision. For a designer this means, designing products that are anthropomorphic, products that are understood in relation to the body - seemingly organic extensions of the body endowed with mechanical, sensorial, sensual and prosthetic qualities.
  • In the case of the Vertebra chair, I was concerned with creating an anthropo- morphic and anthropo-functional object that accompanies the movement of the body completely and unself-consciously, just as a glove moves with the hand that wears it. The chair as the name indicates, was conceived and designed as an extension of the body. The appearance that I gave to the chair 25 years ago would be different today, since my stylistic interests have changed, but the essential concept behind an articulated chair conceived as an extension of the vertebral column remains valid.
  • If we conceive a product as an extension of while at the same time a part of nature, and if we see ourselves as parts of it, we will therefore conceive a product, its component materials, and its life cycle as something we must examine in terms of the milieus into which we want it to be integrated – and from which it will someday be detached.

    - Emilio Ambasz