NotM: Ludens + Inhabitable Toys

mexicanarmyshelf02.jpg

[Image: Mexican Army Shelf]

Similar to the way Ivan Hernandez Quintela of Ludens [our first featured ‘ninja of the month’] used his ‘Urban Prosthetics‘ as a means to investigate / challenge / experiment with social interaction in public spaces, his ‘Inhabitable Toys‘ do the same with furniture. From Ivan:

…’inhabitable toys’, or furniture designed as small machines meant to promote interaction between users or between user and the furniture. I enjoy working with wood, doing all joints and moving parts in it because it reminds me of these wooden toys I use to play when I was little. Therefore, I see these pieces of furniture as big toys, toys meant to be inhabited.

mexicanarmyshelf01_1.jpg
[Image: Mexican Army Shelf, sketch]

Ludens’ Mexican Army Shelf was inspired by the Swiss Army Knife – raising the question: how efficient and multi-purpose can a piece of furniture be? Meant to function as a shelf near an entry to a home, most of the ‘blades’ are designed for needs that arise when one is walking in and out of the house – storing the keys, for keeping change, for writing notes, etc. When closed the shelf is quite sleek and contemporary – transforming as necessary to serve the user’s needs, then neatly closing up until needed again.

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[Image: Seesaw Table]

Now, everybody knows that ninja who doesn’t know how to have a ‘balanced’ conversation – talking up a storm during a meal, never letting anyone else get a word in edge-wise. Solution? The Seesaw table.

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[Image: Seesaw Table, with sketch]

…[the Seesaw Table] comes out of a condition when two people are having a meal together, and one usually saturates the conversation, leaving the other person just listening as he or she eats her food. The “see saw table” is a mechanism meant to balance the interaction while eating with someone else. Using a see saw system, the seating areas oscillate up and down, allowing the interchange of positions, so as one person is seated high, he or she talks, while the other person eats, and if one wants to change activity, he or she only needs to push up or pull down to talk or eat.

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[Image: Sliding Table, sketch + final product]

Another response to the needs of social diners, the Sliding Table offers users a nine piece meal-time puzzle – creating a physical sharing of space along with the sharing of food, drink, etc. The concept is actually that people would no longer simply ask someone to ‘pass them’ the item the wanted from the table – they would instead transform the arrangement of the tiles to better suit their needs.

I thought that by giving each unit a function, for holding snacks, for holding a book, for holding a bottle of wine, for the cigarettes, etc, one would generate a different interaction, where one would no longer ask for any item to be passed to them, but instead would change the whole composition of the table in order to move the bottle of wine unit close by.

I’d be interested to see people going after that wine bottle as the night goes on…

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[Image: Sliding Table]

For our other articles on Ludens, check out the NotM page we’ve set up combining the individual features.

View more of Ivan’s ‘Inhabitable Toys‘ at Ludens’ home page – and be sure to head back to AMNP next week for the following installment of NotM: Ludens, entitled ‘Spatial Corrections’.

::the projects featured in this post were selected by Ivan Hernandez Quintela of Ludens – who also provided the images along with any quoted text::

Posted: August 4th, 2008
at 11:30am by orangemenace


Categories: architecture,furniture,featured ninjas,Ninjas of the Month

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