ERSKINE, Kirk

LOFT FURNITURE

7.9.1994

The abandoned factory building has become a cornestone for so called loft conversions. This apparent reuse is nothing new however, it is the platform from which I began my investigation. These conversions of abandoned industrial buildings within the city has led to provocative transformations of the city. The recent history of the New York SoHo district is a clear example of the profound impact the loft has had in representing a certain choice of home and the evolution of domestic space far from conventional thinking. Futhermore, the birth of the Loft studios is quite recent and repre-sents a high point of a lifestyle free from economic and spatial conditions of modern life-it is the vehicle for dwelling where, under the same roof, life and work simultaneously coexist. The original pioneers were artists who sought these spaces as a means to acquire cheap large studios as an interactive process between work, life and art. The loft was considered essentially a scene as a space for displaying works of art and its process together with the hardships artists faced. The image of the loft soon became attractive and glamorous to specific group of consumers where individualism, personal fulfilment, and identity all play a role. The image of the loft space is further promoted by MTV video clips which makes the loft extremely attractive for a younger generation. All these aspects are evident however, the fact remains that little to no furniture has been produced for this type of space.

The new furniture are free standing elements which have been directly influenced by Minimal Art especially that of sculpture. 'Minimalist' refers primarily to sculpture that is abstract and barren of decorative detail, in which geometry is emphasised and expressive technique is avoided. Likewise, the pieces represent a similar approach in aesthetic and ideology. However, the furniture contrasts the lofts stark interior with its bold, sharp, geometric forms. These pieces provide a base to create a work and living environment. The new elements are: a room divider (Arch), multipurpose partition (Letter Cabinet), sofa (EZE), and table (Hand). These pieces, attempt to bridge the gap between interior architecture and furniture within the loft space. Furthermore, they challenge traditional composition relationships and gives the spectator a new role as contributor of meaning.

MATERIALS: Written document 82 p., black and white pictures, colour Xeroxes, and drawings. KEYWORDS: Loft furniture, Loft lifestyle, abandoned indrustrial building STORED (PLACE): Interior Arch.Dept./Library