Experimental Design, Design/Art?


I was trying to find resources about more experimental sides of Industrial Design - new materials, new methods, crazy ideas and more art-like approach in general - but I’m not sure where to start. Googling ‘experimental design’ doesn’t give very good results. Is there a specific term for this kind of stuff - Experimental Concept Design, Conceptual Design etc.?

There’s some decent books about experimental design, mostly from those designers who have become known for their out-of-the-box thinking, documenting what they have done. Often they have been applied to sculpture and interactive art kind of things.

Anyone into this sort of stuff? Any good sites or resources are appreciated :slight_smile:

The Campana brothers do some really cool stuff:http://campanas.com.br/en

SFMOMA had a show devoted to this niche, they titled it parade sign, which I think is a good description:

ParaDesign gathers objects from SFMOMA’s architecture and design collection that question the norms, habits, and conventions of design. The prefix para (whose meanings include “beyond” and “abnormal”) has not previously been applied to design, yet marks a central focus of the museum’s architecture and design collection. Exhibition highlights include Diller + Scofidio’s His/Hers, bath towels embroidered with cheeky aphorisms; and James Welling’s 0469, a colorized photograph of Philip Johnson’s iconic Glass House.

Source: http://www.sfmoma.org/exhib_events/exhibitions/427#ixzz3Eoj8U2Rn
San Francisco Museum of Modern Art

It hasn’t caught on as term though and I feel this type of design had its heyday a few years ago. Things seem to have shifted to the hyper hand crafted zone in the uber niche corners of design.

Chindogu lives somewhere in that crazy space.
Chindogu: the art of the unuseless invention.
Kinda dumb. Kinda smart. Kinda design. Kinda art.


I do love the Chindogu - and thanks, I recall seeing something about chindogu a while ago in a newspaper, but couldn’t recall the name!

I’m thinking that a chindogu would be an interesting topic for a design course. How do you design something that’s not ment to work?

The Chindogu rules:

  1. A Chindogu cannot be for real use.
  2. A Chindogu must exist in physical form.
  3. Inherent in every Chindogu is the spirit of anarchy.
  4. Chindogu are tools for everyday life.
  5. Chindogu are not for sale.
  6. Humour must not be the sole reason for creating Chindogu.
  7. Chindogu are not propaganda.
  8. Chindogu are never taboo.
  9. Chindogu cannot be patented.
    10.Chindogu are without prejudice.

There’s actually a chindogu staring at my face - it’s on the cover of Donald Norman’s book.