Not Pascal Anson. The London-based designer is the whimsical (which doesn't mean his points aren't serious) genius behind designs like the Reunification Project, a series of projects in which he unifies previously mis-matched items like forks or tables by treating them, as he says, "in the same way" (dipping cutlery in black and then red; covering bedside tables in red-dipped plastic deer) and also high-luxe designs like a porcelain birdbox for china giants Rosenthal or a totally rocking rocking chair. He is also the host of a series of short videos detailing ways in which people with a lack of budget and a surfeit of creativity can outfit their homes.
Rented Spaces tracked Anson down to ask a few questions about his Really Really Wrong Design (which he also calls Twisted Design.)
Rented Spaces: Could you explain a little bit more the fundamentals of "really really wrong" decorating? How do you know when something's crossed that line into "so wrong it works?"
Pascal Anson: So wrong it's right is a tricky one to get right, but we can see it in the food we eat...have you ever eaten Pretzel Flipz....salty and chocolaty at the same time....they taste amazing. I suppose it is visually easiest to see in fashion when colors, patterns or textures clash. I think it is so conservative to live by the rules that says everything must co-ordinate, go with one another or match...if you follow this dogma you end up in a very bland existence with no tension.
Herein lies the proof, if what you are doing feels exciting, naughty or a bit edgy, then the chances are you are doing something 'right', if you are trying to emulate a look you have seen somewhere or to try and keep up with the Jones' then it's probably boring...ask yourself how does what I'm doing make me feel?
RS: What is it like to actually live with mismatched cabinets on a day-to-day basis? Does it ever bother you? Or do you live in a constant state of enthrallment?
PA: I suppose mismatching becomes its own form of aesthetic. I think if asymmetry and un-coordination bothers your soul and gets on your nerves then it's probably not for you, however if you are stimulated and not irritated by that then that's all good. So, I live in a constant state on enthrallment anyway!
RS: What kinds of suggestions would you have for someone who is perhaps a little bit less handy with cabinets but still wants to make improvements?
PA: With most of the videos, I tried to focus on ways of working which requite little craft skill and whose emphasis is much more on the idea. Anyone can shop in a certain way on eBay and can drill holes to put up mirrors. That requires very little expertise. It's just about seeing the world in a different way. I think we are told what is beautiful way too much. With the Go sign, I was suggesting that people look through new eyes for something that they might put in a frame....again there is no skill required, just a shift in vision.
RS: What's your background?
PA: I was born in South London and I graduated from the Royal College of Art in 2000 from the Design Products course. I love getting involved in all forms of visual art and design, from fashion to film making although graduating as a product designer. Also, I love swimming.
RS: What's coming up next for you?
PA: The videos have started to lead me in some new and interesting directions, I would love to work with a TV company with just a little higher production to turn the ideas from the clips into a TV show.