DAB DOCS, UTS Faculty of Design, Architecture and Building
Publication Type:
Safety Catch
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The LOOK series of mirrors was included in the exhibition, Safety Catch (UTS Gallery 8 August- 1 September 2006). A prime objective of the Safety Catch project was the presentation of a response from an Australian perspective to the emergent issue of critical design. In the exhibition, the concept of critical design was understood as design that asks questions and engages the user in reflective and speculative processes, challenging preconceptions and givens about the role products play in everyday life. As curator of the exhibition, I invited a range of Australian object designers to respond to issues of safety and security. Following the framing concept, I selected the mirror as an object that could be investigated further. The LOOK series of mirrors emerged out of questions around the extent of impact an object could have on the user's awareness of and interaction with things and people around them. The series was composed of three round, same-sized mirrors, each incorporating a different component that literally challenged the user's view. The mirrors were configured in such a way that while maintaining their primary reflective function, users also looked 'into' the mirror, inviting a reflection beyond themselves. Confronted with elegantly incorporated yet disturbing elements such as red laser target lights, tangles of barbed wire and rifle bulles, the tone of the design intervention was provocative and used the strategy of a 'double-take' to elicit response.
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