Upside down was a famous Diana Ross song and it seems that French product designer Claire Ferreira, in a rebellious mood, created her own version, calling it Downside Up. This is the main idea behind the latest projects she presented at the Royal College of Art Show of this year and we can’t help to admit that she caused us some creative dizziness with her interesting concepts. Inspired by the impulsive behavior of turning a bag over in order to find what we are looking for, she explores the ‘spilling over’ process and its upside down outcome to generate new typologies of products.
She places her research ‘in-between’, aiming to create a dialogue between designed elements and less predictable ones, between solid and fluid materials, always trying to go beyond the edges of the object.
First came the rush bag in which your essential daily items – such as keys, mobile phone, wallet – are all hung onto strings. Inspired by the classic behavior of emptying our bag in order to find our belongings, Rush Bag 180° can be turned upside down thanks to an ‘emergency handle’, to expose its contents. Rush Bag 90° opens at the side, while Rush Bag 360° folds to accommodate jackets and scarves. No need to enter in panic then when you can’t find your keys after a crazy night, just let your bag do it for you!
Downside Up Shelf is born out of the process Claire Ferreira has called Downside Up: liquid is poured inside a defined base, to freely run through a slit. Once turned upside down, flat surfaces emerge to give the object its function and so create a shelf, a table... Downside Up Shelf is composed of three separated units, which can also be used as individual side tables. The pieces are made by pouring Jesmonite - a bio-resin supplied as a water-based acrylic liquid and a mineral powder - inside a wooden base intended to become the shelf structure. Resin comes out from a slot, to form a smooth organic surface. Poured in different times, a unique pattern appears. From a designed base, the shelf can take many appearances - colors, sizes - following one’s desire.
The same method is used in order to create the Downside Up Table, Jesmonite is poured inside a wooden base intended to become the table’s monopod. Resin comes out of four separated slits to form a smooth flat surface once flipped right side up. The exact same quantity of materials is poured in each slot… Except that the setting time finally draws what is going to become a unique tabletop.
Downside Up Shelf and Downside Up Table are the proof that randomness and partial loss of control can be more challenging than ever. Well done Claire!