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London-based designer Simon Heijdens is always the first to point out that even as the natural world is in a continuous state of growth and transformation, most of today’s designed products and places are conceived to be fixed and immutable, offering a limited set of possible uses and experiences. Heijdens challenges that position in his own working practice by reintroducing the time factor into objects and environments to arrive at design solutions that, like Nature, unleash a continuum of expressions over time, thereby multiplying the possible experiences we have of them.

He believes that all the things around us act as continuous collectors of images, sensations and memories from their immediate environs, including the people who use and inhabit them, and he holds that they can and should respond to their unique exposures through equally distinctive physical expressions. They hold the potential to be, in his words, “alive and talking.”

His Dirt project tracked the gradual accumulations of dirt in Stockholm subway stations, creating a time map of human movements in the underground network. While with Clean Carpets, Heijdens applied patterned stencils and high-pressure cleaning equipment to city sidewalks, claiming public space with temporary erasures that 'fade' back to grime over time. Yet another project, Broken White, explores the unfolding expression of intimate personal items in direct correlation with their use, creating a slow portrait of the user-object relationship. In 2007, slowLab exhibited his 'Tree' project in New York, a meditation on the the city itself as an ecology.

 

Tree >

Broken White >

Simon Heijdens web site >