Albert Einstein once mused, “The important thing is not to stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existing”. And yet, even the most broad-minded, freethinking folk amongst us can eventually come to accept some things without question. Each day, many of us trust our own abilities to employ the functional objects around us – we use knives to cut food, lamps to cast light and seats to rest our bodies upon, often without second guessing any of these common exercises.
But what if a stool had two legs, instead of three or four? And what if a broom’s bristles were longer than its handle? Suddenly, we would need to rethink the way we interact with the space around us, and query some of the more humdrum practices we observe on a daily basis. Lina-Marie Köppen’s furniture collection entitled Learn to Unlearn centres on humans’ relationships with the objects in their immediate environments.
Behind the creator’s work is an awareness that society generates a demand for objects designed to complement human limitations. And, perhaps, if everyday objects were reshaped and freed from predetermined functions, we could rediscover ourselves as we learn to cooperate with these objects.
Learn to Unlearn aims to kindle new possibilities and uses for items, which are designed to bewilder and prompt original thought. What the designer calls her resulting ‘family of objects’ consists of bottomless containers, a two-legged stool, a weighted lamp with a hidden mechanism, a tall shelf reached only by interaction with the space, and a broom that encourages a different use of the body – alongside some objects that are even less defined, inviting users to dream up an entirely new purpose for them.