Yes, we’re all back! To kick off the semester I am heading to this evening’s Keller Gallery Opening of Postlerferguson’s PERSONAL SPACE exhibition at 6pm.
Am I just going for the snacks and beverages? Probably. But, I’m also curious about how industrial design can begin to inform how we deal with the extreme environment of space. Is the design issue one of making the housing for an environment, or as Postlerferguson is proposing, one of objects?
Perhaps a bit non-sequitur, but last month I had the chance to visit the Space Shuttle Endeavor, which is now located in the California Science Center in Los Angeles. A few of the most popular parts of the exhibition included the shuttle’s toilet system, an incredible video of all 100+ shuttle launches, and my favorite, a film of the shuttle’s three-day journey through the city’s streets. While the Endeavor isn’t really big compared to a regular commercial jet, when it was driven—out of context—in the LA streets, it suddenly seemed so clumsy and odd as power lines and trees were moved out of its way.
Personal Space looks forward to the future heyday of private space travel, when the emphasis of design shifts to elegance and comfort. As astronauts become the mission financiers themselves through their ticket purchases, the comfort and quality of the travel experience will undergo much the same domestication as did aviation in the 20th century. The objects in the exhibition are future interior fittings for space stations that emphasize the sensorial experience of orbit, connecting to and sheltering from the extreme conditions of outer space. Foregrounding taste, touch and breath they anticipate new ways of living in orbit for our earthly bodies.
Postlerferguson is a creative design agency founded by Martin Postler and Ian Ferguson in 2007. Educated at the Royal College of Art, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and the Muthesius University of Architecture, Fine Art & Design, and having worked in the USA, Germany, UK, Japan, China and Hong Kong, they now work and reside in London.
The work of Postlerferguson spans a broad range of disciplines and clientele, from product design for commercial clients to strategic planning for cultural institutions to branding for start-ups. Notable clients include Loewe, the Victoria & Albert Museum, the British Council, Nude Audio, Selfridges, Goods of Desire and Atari.
Ian and Martin teach at the Royal College of Art, running Platform 17 in the Design Products course. They also sit on the board of Papafoxtrot, Postlerferguson’s Hong Kong based sister company producing contemporary wood toys.