process, by corbin keech.

February 17th, 2009 by admin

the design for my chaboo was conceived in a matter of minutes. this is somewhat atypical for someone like myself, whose instincts are to think, experiment, and think some more. instead, my process started quickly and without much deliberation. assuming my chaboo stands and isn’t a terrific failure, i may have turned over a new leaf.

several weeks ago Juno Lackman had mentioned ken’s project to me. it seemed like an interesting idea, but i wasn’t sure if i had the time or the energy to participate. a few weeks and a lost job later, an email from juno arrives, alerting me that ken had one chaboo left and i had better call him immediately or my tiny window would close. within an hour i was in ken’s shop, sharing with him my ideas conceived on the bus ride over. perhaps the stars would align.

despite my complete lack of preparation and thought, this process has been, oddly enough, comfortable. design is occasionally exhausting, but almost always a thrill. the most satisfying work i’ve contributed to thus far has involved a similar ethic - work quickly. collaborate heavily. be physically, mentally and emotionally engaged. presumably good things will result.


initially, i wanted to make simple adjustments to the original chaboo. i wanted to play with it, manipulate its simple form, and slightly change its elegant proportion. in other words, i simply wanted to compose something.

through this process, i eventually broke the chaboo into three parts.

moving between sketches and 3d study, the ‘playfulness’ started to get a little out of hand, and the whimsy was overwhelming any effort on my part to be clever.

three elements would require a ’spine’ to join them again - too complicated?
perhaps if i reduce the chaboo to two elements instead of three?
how do you reconfigure the chaboo once you split it in half?
do you split it in half?
once the chaboo is split/broken, how much of the original is retained?
does one replicate the original with a similar form/material? different? is it disrespectful to completely change the original piece?
can something this ‘fragmented’ even stand on its own weight?

one sketch provided a sensible resolution >

a simple idea emerges > the chaboo is reconfigured, but includes two ‘foreign’ elements - one that echoes the original form, and another that is completely divorced from the original.

no matter what, the additions to the chaboo cannot dominate the original. such a gesture would be inappropriate, disrespectful, and unnecessary. as a diagram, boldness in reconfiuration must be balanced by a concerted effort to restrain the expressiveness.