Name of Work: Emerging Design

Polished stainless steel, lime based plaster over wood / 104"w x 54”d x 72"h

About the Work:
Emerging Design consists of two elements: a polished metal rectangle, and a natural plaster form that either rises out from it or descends down into it, depending on how you view it. Falling loosely into the category of 'bench', the piece offers vast opportunities for seating and other engagement. The interaction between these two disparate elements – the clean, polished minimalism and the tactile, organic formalism – is a recurring theme in my work. While the mirror-like rectangle, reflecting and camouflaging into its environment, offers traditional bench seating all the way around it, the seductive, curvaceous solidity of the form offers a backrest here, a table there, and if you climb, more seating options at the top. Originally imagined as a 'social distance' bench, Emerging Design gives physical form and presence to the 6' space between us. Though my work is often about introspection and isolation, during this time of so much of that sort of thinking, I wanted to imagine something that allows for and invites interaction, gathering, spatial intimacy and play.

About the Studio:
J McDonald is an artist, designer and fabricator of otherworldly furniture and sculpture that challenges and illuminates our contemporary relationship with our natural and built environments. Drawing on parallel worlds of traditional earth building in West Africa and high-end fabrication in NYC, he brings ancient traditional materials and philosophies into dialogue with their contemporaries. Imagining an alternate reality that is both our past and our future, his unique constructions bring the dominant rectilinearity and clean minimalism of human rationalism into confrontation with the chaotic, organic, and intuitive forces of our world.