Jan 17 2012: A Pictorial Analysis of the Grip (from a Student Design Portfolio, c.1990)

It’s not difficult to understand why these photographs were taken, as they appeared in a portfolio of work made by a Singaporean product design student, based in the East Midlands sometime during the later 1980s or early 1990s. The sequence was presumably intended to analyse the fit of the human hand to a variety of objects – ranging here from designed templates to door handles and an aircraft joystick – in order to explain the design descisions made when deciding on a shape for a product that would require the use of a grip somewhere in its making. There’s also something both slightly suggestive and a touch abstract about these images, as disembodied hands take hold of various somewhat phallic shapes, removed from any explanatory context, in a way that puts a few of the familiar hallmarks of a very surrealist concern with the eroticisation of everyday things into play…


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