University of Sussex
Product Design Show 2012
The Amex Stadium: 06 June - 09 June
New Designers, London: 04 - 06 July
Hidden Past - Family Tree Furniture
Dean Newman

Furniture designed to encourage prolonged emotional attachment between user& product, therefore aiming to reduce waste.

Hidden Past - Family Tree Furniture targets the need for more emotionally durable products by aiming to encourage prolonged emotional attachment between user and object. The furniture incorporates a wide range of psychological techniques that are aimed to encourage long-term product - user relationships. The product hopes to build sustained empathy by allowing users to impose their psyche onto the piece in the form of engraved wooden blocks commemorating special family events, building up a unique 'Family Tree'/ family database. Examples would be special birthdays, anniversaries, weddings, births &deaths. The furniture is intended to be passed down through generations and establish itself as a family heirloom, an item that evokes precious memories and is difficult to discard. The furniture is made from a combination of locally sourced (UK) sustainable and reclaimed timber, and incorporates further aspects of sustainable design. The driving factors for designing in this way are focused around sustainability, the aim being to reduce needless waste and the demand for new products, whilst also increasing the demand for service and repair. The products key objective is to last as long as the material limitations will allow, as opposed to the currently more common situation where fully functional things are discarded because the product failed to create sustained empathy between user and itself.