Wednesday, June 22, 2016

How A 300-Year-Old Religious Sect Is Influencing Young Designers Today

By Diane Budds
For Furnishing Utopia, a group of designers organized by Studio Gorm collaborated with Hancock Shaker Village and Mount Lebanon Shaker Museum to develop a new line of pieces inspired by the philosophy of the religious group, but through the lens of products that are needed and desirable for contemporary consumers.
NEW YORK---The principles of honesty, utility, and simplicity read like a modernist's credo, but those were the core design values of the Shakers, a radically conservative religious sect from England that settled in America in the late 1700s. Though there are few practicing Shakers today, their ethos continues to inspire contemporary designers—as shown in Furnishing Utopia, a New York Design Week exhibition taking place at Sight Unseen Offsite. Because ornamentation on furniture symbolized excess and pride, Shakers instead focused on overall form, proportions, and craftsmanship. [link]