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Chicago Designer Felicia Ferrone  Reimagines Design as  a Kind of Architecture

by Benjamin Genocchio 

Excerpt from Article (read full article here)

For Felicia Ferrone, form doesn’t follow function in design, they are one and the same thing.

“The world doesn’t need any more things we already have. Design today seems to be just an exercise in styling rather than about new ideas of what a piece could be,” says the designer, who in addition to a successful private design practice, is Director of Graduate Studies and Associate Clinical Professor of Industrial Design in the School of Design at the University of Illinois at Chicago. 

Today the role of a designer, Ferrone believes, “is to avoid cluttering up the world with more unnecessary things.” Design for her is about bringing a unique and purposeful angle to object creation. 

To this end, she searches for the unexpected, taking on an established object or a design archetype in order to take it apart and reinvent it. A successful example is her Frame Mirror, which instead of simply being a flat surface over a flat surface is designed in such a way that the mirror itself wraps around the frame and the frame allows for use with a wooden shelf or to hang things on like a hand towel.

Her unique approach to design also extends into her use and choice of materials and production techniques. “People often ask me what material do you work in — that makes no sense to me as I work in whatever material is best to meet the functionality and efficiency of manufacturing of an object.”

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