Set the task of creating a piece of furniture orientated towards the use of either aiding or promoting the act of reading, my original ideas encompassed possible pieces linked in with audiobooks, kindles and e-readers, early learning devices and intuitive answers to some of the main problems many people encounter with reading. After various conceptual walks down exciting yet ultimately dead-ended routes, I decided to change my approach and instead focus on my own personal love of reading. How I read, when I read and where I read.
The Fluid Bookshelf
It was shortly after this change in direction that I came up with the first idea that I liked. Inspired by my own personal habit of being buried between the pages of multiple books simultaneously and therefore forgetting my place the majority of the time, I wanted to create a piece of furniture that enabled the storage of a minimum of three open books at a time in such a way that they would be out of the way, but not to the extent that I would then forget about them. This then meant that I had to make the design both intriguing and playful, almost more of an interactive sculpture than a typical bookshelf. The proposed target audience would have been predominantly for the fluid readers, people like myself that occasionally need a bit of gentle encouragement in order to keep on track of the ‘being read‘ bookpile. However, due to the pieces ability to separate and stand free the ‘Fluid Bookshelf‘ would have been perfect for any literature-touched scenario. Beginning with the general form of an upturned book, I started to play around with triangles, attempting to figure out a means of connecting or integrating a multitude of book-coves into one seamless piece.
I progressively got drawn deeper and deeper down the mind-numbing rabbit hole of equilateral triangles and encountered with full force the sheer awkwardness of the 60° angle repeatedly. Despite testing various joints and means of assembly, I had to accept that with the combined short time period and my then limited knowledge of the newly-inducted machinery, the design would have been fairly impractical and thus, not in tune with the brief.