Office Collar has been designed in response to the open-plan. The collars act as isolators, narrowing the field of vision, therefore enabling their wearer to focus on the tasks in front of them, The 15 individual hand made, white leather masks are to be worn on the head, the variation between each model explores the different actions undertaken whilst working and thinking.
Office Collar Explained
How did you decide to start this project?
The project began as a direct response to the open-plan office environment. I was given the opportunity to design an installation for an architecture office in Milan, Italy Instead of creating an inanimate object that could sit on d plinth, I wanted to use the workers of the office to express my thoughts on working conditions, and the connection that architecture and garment have on the individual.
Where did your inspiration come from?
After doing my first degree in architecture, I saw this as an opportunity to reassess what architecture could be, on the more local scale of the body. I had been looking at how the body could begin carrying or generating its own, more immediate architectural language and space. Also, with the growing addition of body add-ons we have with mp3 players, headphones, even palm pilots, I saw it as a natural progression to wear something on your body.
The aesthetic design of the collar came through an exploration process, which found me researching both past and future concepts of attire. This leads me to look upon works as wide as 16th Century painter Johannes Vermeer (Girl With the Pearl Earring), where you would find Dutch women wearing white head cloths for their daily work; or the photographs of Edward Burtynsky’s Manufactured Landscapes. in which he observes the daily working uniforms of those in Asia.
Who do you see wearing it?
see the Collars as having two If we look at it in terms of pure functionality, we may be lead to miss the questions it evokes about our daily working life, isolation, and the movement from the group to the individual pods we surround ourselves with. In this way it is much more of a commentary on current working, However, having worked with one myself, and having tested them with my colleagues, it can’t be denied that they do aid concentration; by simply blinkering its wearer, the focus is far easier attained. However, the final destination of the Collar will be as much dependant upon how society Looking at some of the uniforms of factory workers, or even training flight pilots, such an instrument would not be so alien.
Are they in production yet?
There are 15 variations of these collars, all of which I have personally handmade out of leather. So far only this one set exists, which were made for the office workers and their specific duties There are no plans to put them into mass production, but they can be ordered on request from me through contact via my website, However, more than dwelling upon this as the only final product, I see this as the first step in a series of objects and explorations that I will undertake, surrounding working attire and the working environment as a hole.