Spaces. Identities. UX.

Fictitious Fruits

Under the direction of Faye Toogood, our group of 19 designers and artists was asked to respond to an abandoned walled garden at an ancient French estate. With "The Gardener" serving as a point of departure during a group brainstorming session, I was inspired to fill the empty garden with Fictitious Fruits. This idea became a theme for exploring form, culminating in an exhibition of oversized fantastical fruits large enough to serve as chairs. The object featured here, "Field Mattress", was a collaboration between myself and LA-based artist and educator Heather Scott Peterson. 

Softgoods was a five-day product and furniture design workshop led by UK designer Faye Toogood at the Domaine de Boisbuchet in Southwest France. All images copyright Ingebjørg Kårstad.

Mattress officinalis in use.

Our original maquette included threads and cigarette butts to represent the mixture of disco culture and atelier culture that fuel Boisbuchet.  

Fictitious Fruits, ready for exhibition.

Maquettes created during a two-hour form-finding exercise on the second day of the workshop from found materials. Each maquette was assigned to a team of two-designers to scale up to the size of a usable chair or bench.

With my partner Heather, we created the fruit "Mattress of the Field" (Mattress officinalis). This minimal response to the design prompt was created from salvaged agricultural plastic, dried grass, and a single brass hook. The traditional Chinese medicinal herb sachet served as the primary inspiration for this piece.

A detail of the chair's simple brass hook closure. Originally intended as a bookmark, Heather happened upon this beautiful piece of brass in Paris before coming to Boisbuchet. 

Mattress officinalis in use

A refreshing Gardener's Tonic made from foraged nettles, mint, and rosemary was served to guests.

An index of the Fictitious Fruits on display.

How it all began. My first sketches envisioned a collection of fruit-like vessels. Filled with scented tinctures, they would add a new olfactory element to the empty garden.

Found materials. All work was created from found and salvaged materials from the landscape and the workshop's rummage bins.

Faye Toogood collects ideas from the group brainstorming session that determined the course of our week-long workshop.