Collecting is a condition of humanity, an enthusiasm for a particular object or experience, objects you cherish, objects with a story. Connections between the collector and the collected are often easy to spot, sometimes surprising. The collector can usually say a lot about the object but the object can reveal even more about the collector. This activity results in a collection of things and stuff that you are personally attached to. It can be of all sizes, colors and materials. They lead to a chaos and they end up in dusty corners, they can be found all over the place, tucked away in corners or spots I actually need for objects more of a daily use, because these objects of mementos and of fascinations are often not functional.
I have the compulsion to give these objects their own particular orientation within my personal space, a subtle yet prominent position. Throughout my research and fascinations on the perception of space and architecture, I have chosen to work with a shape that gets absorbed by the space it occupies: a column, a constructive element of the house. For the idea of a column as a structural element has been used since antiquity, but it also embodies far more connotations, for it is also a shape to impress, to remind us of important events that may not be forgotten, like a monument, the totem pole or the obelisk. Or as symbol such as a phallus, or axis mundi the point between earth and sky. Often made out of imperishable, expensive materials, to show their prestige and importance.
My column is a combination of the monumental column and the column as a constructive element, but on a size and scale that fits in our living room. With my column of mementos I propose the question is it merely a piece of furniture or monumental architecture placed within the home?
The main characteristic of the column in architecture is that it spans the distance from the ceiling to the floor. Ceilings within and between houses can vary drastically in height, making one standard size obsolete. To solve this problem I’ve chosen to split the column in two parts: There’s the base, rather called the pedestal and the cabinet, both with the same circumference but with different lengths. Because no two ceilings are of the exact same height, I’ve chosen to let the cabinet side be custom made for each installation, for if a fixed length would be used in different installations the distance between cabinet and pedestal could be so great that it would spoil the overall idea of a column. The pedestal also remains at a fixed height for it serves to fill the needs of various functions such as a ‘step’ to elevate yourself from the floor in order to be able to reach your personal objects that will ultimately be placed in the cabinet above. It also serves as object to sit upon or better yet to act as an actual pedestal where one can place significant objects upon.
The upper part of the column is where the cabinet is situated and is suspended from ceiling (which allows the pedestal to be free to move below it) is where all the personal items are stored. It is made out of Cedar wood chosen for its strength and light weight, it is also a wood that is mainly unaffected by differences in climate and therefore remains stable. The outside of the cabinet has doors with different sizes, some to peek inside creating a curiosity towards the objects that are inside because these objects may not be totally visible, other doors are there so you can view the system inside the cabinet with it’s objects. And to see the dynamic play with the inside shelving system.
The inside the cabinet has a shelving system that works like a gradient, close compact shelves opening slowly to form rapidly larger shelves towards the ceiling. For every size object can find it’s place within the cabinet. Amongst the shelves are two drawers for not all objects are best displayed in one manner, and for objects that are best displayed hanging there is space available within recesses of a few doors.
This column project for me is a way to approach space in a different way. The presence of the column within a space interacts directly with the walls and other furnishings, for small displacements in the cabinet’s orientation affects how one perceives the space and the objects within this space. It is also a home for cherished mementos and objects of fascination allowing one to gather them together in a way that one can be reflected upon; perhaps inspiring further.