For COFA graduate and lecturer Trent Jansen, design and emotion are intertwined - it's a belief that has seen him shortlisted for Australia's most prestigious design award,The Bombay Sapphire Design Discovery Award.
After completing a Bachelor of Design at COFA in 2004, Jansen, a self-confessed environmentalist, began designing objects that were sustainable rather than disposable.
For Jansen, sustainability can be promoted through the creation of designs that encourage a lifelong relationship with their owner.
He believes the availability of cheap, disposable furniture has promoted an emotional detachment from consumers and the objects they purchase.
"I want my designs to make a connection on an emotional level that is timeless, so I base them on what is universally important to all of us - our personal relationships, brotherhood, motherhood, fatherhood and friendship," he says.
Jansen's entry in the award, the Kissing Pendant lights, is an example of this fusion between design and humanity.
"I designed the lights as an expression of the beautiful intimacy that exists between two people when they kiss and the way each person gives themselves completely to the other," says Jansen.
The Kissing Pendants are two separate lights that hang side-by-side. As with kissing, when the two shades are pushed together a magnetic attraction connects them and a magnetic switch turns both lights on simultaneously.
Jansen currently has another sustainable design, The Pregnant Chair, in production with Amsterdam-based Moooi design group.
The Bombay Sapphire Design Discovery Award Exhibition runs until 2 November 2008 at Object Gallery.
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