– standard vs. custom, plastic vs. porcelain, designer vs. user,
Construct-a-Cup is an experiment in mass-customization on a micro-scale.
One of my favorite things about design is the way it opens up possibilities for positive changes in our everyday lives - possibilities that are much broader than what is readily available for purchase and consumption. I feel that if more people were exposed to way things are designed (and ultimately made), they might see the world as less pre-determined and more open to invention and customization.
Colliding precious hand thrown porcelain and pervasive laser-cut plastic (with an intuitive zip-tie construction system), I prepared the raw components and then set-up shop on a busy street corner.
Although I was keen on each user constructing their own cup, it was fascinating to observe the discomfort some customers felt about assembling the parts, or even choosing their preferred composition of components. At the same time, it was fun to see people inadvertently construct cups that matched their clothing and accessories.
For me, the design process was very focused on defining the palette of choices for the user: not to eliminate chances of failure, but to be able to track specific decisions. More experiments - new variables, new materials - to come.