SAFE: Design Takes On Risk

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Anthony Dunne, Fiona Raby, and Michael Anastassiades
Hide Away Furniture from the Design for Fragile Personalities in Anxious Times project
Prototype. 2004

Anthony Dunne, Fiona Raby, and Michael Anastassiades. Hide Away Furniture from the Design for Fragile Personalities in Anxious Times project. Prototype. 2004

English oak and felt, 27 1/2 x 28 3/8 x 70 7/8" (70 x 72 x 180 cm); floor: 8' 2 1/2" x 6' 6 3/4" (250 x 200 cm). Lent by Dunne & Raby. Photo by Jason Evans

Director, Glenn Lowry: This piece by London-based designers Anthony Dunne and Fiona Raby is hard to characterize: Is it furniture or art? Funny or frightening? MoMA curator Paola Antonelli asked co-designer Fiona Raby to talk about the thinking behind their Hideaway Furniture.

Designer, Fiona Raby: We're very, very interested in irrational fears in today's society and this particular piece is about the fear of being abducted. And we imagined that someone would want to kind of hide within, you know, the object itself. But I mean the whole object is very ridiculous and irrational. You see the object actually is made of the same material as the floor, so the idea is that this huge object is actually trying to be invisible, it's trying to kind of be camouflaged within your own home.

One of the challenges of making the piece was to make it open in very unexpected ways. And we designed it such, in this particular case, you can keep domestic objects. It may be a TV or a vase of flowers sitting on top of it, and you can kind of sneak into the Hide Away Furniture and close it with all these objects still in place.

One of the areas we're interested in is expanding the role of design to look at how design can raise issues and ideas about contemporary society, and make these ideas tangible through objects.