April 2016
London, United Kingdom
Composition No. IV
The basis for this project was first developed through the work of Beau Lotto, a Neuroscientist and his reference of Berkley: "We don't have any access to the external world, other than through our senses". He explained how people learn how to interpret the signals through an active engagement with the world around us. This is perhaps how the perception of consciousness is constructed. A series of memorable moments, both good and bad, that shape the perception of personal identity and what the surrounding world could be like. Therefore, it seemed relevant to ask the question "What is good design for consciousness?"
Perhaps the most challenging of memories to process are of suffering. However, they can also be made useful by enabling us to be more resilient towards facing future difficulties. Interviews, workshops and discussion sessions held with a wide range of people, revealed that if people had the mindset to see suffering as an opportunity to learn and develop their skill sets, while still uncomfortable, the experience instead felt positive and meaningful. As a result, the design process aimed to encourage users to acquire this mindset.
The final concept attempts to encourage a positive perception of suffering by expressing the process of breaking and mending as an attractive and positive transformation. The aesthetic of the concept contains several different cultural references, from Ancient Greek classicism to Japanese Wabi-Sabi, that contain elements of acceptance and similar transformative philosophies. One of the defining aesthetics are expressed by the marble cracks decorated with gold. It is derived from Kintsugi, the Japanese art of mending broken pottery with gold lacquer in a way that incorporates the item’s breakage and repair as part of its valued history.
The form of the concept as a table was determined by observing the furniture’s role as a bridge between people in a lounge setting. Talking about experiences of suffering felt important as it forces people to think of it within a concise story, rather than an abstracted emotion that could be hard to grasp. The response from the listener could also help to process the experience. The table could then act as a reminder to keep the conversation positive and constructive, expressing the ideals and goals of the discussion at hand.
The concept table was recommended to be provided unbroken, so that the marble could be transformed personally within a workshop environment as part of the product experience. It was important for the user experience to be an active role so that the process could be a form of personalization, but also as a memorable experience that could be useful in processing experiences of suffering.
The prototyping process took 4 months to manufacture over 100 parts, producing 3 tables, each representing a different stage. The first table represents the initial stage, before the marble is broken. The second table represents the intermediate stage, right after the marble is broken. The third table represents the final stage where the table is mended and decorated with gold. It was important to produce 3 prototypes as they represented the entire process as a narrative involving the intended product experience.
This project observed how we interact with our environment and how it contains values, ideas and dreams that help carry our identity and resulting culture forward. As a result, the concept table is an attempt to understand how we can identify and further develop these strengths to help us improve our quality of life. As we found consciousness to be partially built on a series of memories that we build our stories upon, we tried to provide opportunities for inspiration, quality building blocks for our consciousness, and explore what ideals designers could aspire to.
This project was featured in Made in Brunel Exhibition at the Bargehouse, Oxo Tower Wharf, June 2017
Click here to read the Official Press Release


理想を描こうとしたルネッサンスの考えに感化され、日本の美意識、わび・さびの表現を採り上げたサイドテーブル。リビングやラウンジなど、室内で人生をゆっくり考える時、困難について語り合うときに、 理想的な考えや会話をもたらすことができる家具を目指しました。心の落ち着きを表した作品、未来の文化に繋がる作品をつくってみたいと考えました。
アイデアの切っ掛けとなったのが 神経科学者のボー・ロット(Beau Lotto)のインタビューでした。彼は人間はどのようにして周りの世界を感じ取るとこができるのかについて詳しく語り、「目があっても脳に送り込まれている信号を読み取れないのであれば、目がないのと同じである」と説明。経験が記憶として残され、その記憶を重ねることにより各自に価値観が生まれると彼は解説しました。
インタビューを聴いて、同じ経験でも異なる解釈ができることに気が付きました。周りの世界を感じ取る方法によって脳に送り込まれていく信号の意味が異なり、一つの事柄が絶望にも希望にもなります。 考え方が各自のアイデンティティと意識に大きな影響を及ぼしていることに注目しました。 
そこで困難な体験をどのようにして受け止めていくのかについて興味を持ちました。乗り越えることによって心の弾力性を高め、強い精神力を育てることができます。 インタビューやワークショップを行うことにより、乗り越える経験を積極的に捉えることができたら、その経験が有意義に感じると判明。 その結果に基づき、どのようにして積極的な姿勢を育てることができるのかが課題となりました。
試作プロセスは、それぞれ異なるステージを表す3つのテーブルを作成しました。一つ目は大理石が割られる前の初期段階を代表。二つ目は大理石を割ったその直後を代表し、三つ目は修復され、金粉で装飾された最終ステージを代表しました。 3つのプロトタイプを作成することにより、購入者の体験全体を表現し、物語れることが重要ではないかと考えました。
ロンドン市内で2017年6月に開催された学生展覧会 「Made in Brunel」で発表しました。プレスリリース(英語)は、こちらをご参照ください。
Illustration of a concept "Museum of Philosophy" Could these kinds of products be distributed in these future venues?

This project would not have been possible without the kindness and great support that I have received from so many people. I cannot imagine how I could have been able to otherwise address the multiple elements of the work involved without their generous help. Most particularly, I wish to offer my most heartfelt gratitude to the following people;
Brunel Workshop Technicians
Chief Technician Paul Josse
William Pierce from Metal Machining
Guy Fitch from Metal Fabrication
Vincent O’Horo from Model Making
Peter Bird from Wood Working
Paul Barrett from Plastics
Douglas Rosario from 3D Printing
Ali Ahmadnia from Solid Mechanics & Structure
Minal Shah from Stores

Project Supervisors
Professor Josef Giacomin
Dr. Gabriella Spinelli
Dr. David Rees

Brunel University Academics
Dr. Mike Kann
Dr. Stephen Green
Dr. Marco Ajovalasit
Dr. Farnaz Nickpour
Dr. Richard Rakowski
Dr. Eujin Pei

Friends and Supporters
Tomasz Tchorzewski
Ali Sulaiman
Eleanor Hayward
Karolina Maximova

Brunel University Press Office
Sarah Cox

I would also like to extend my deepest gratitude to my family who have continued to generously support my dreams, the Made in Brunel team and their hard work with which made the event possible, the visitors who spent their valuable time visiting Made in Brunel, as well as so many of my friends and colleges who patiently listened and provided valuable insight into many of the ideas and thinking that surrounds this project. Thank you.
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