How to reinterpret our vision of day-to-day objects? The Little Match Seller was one of the most noteworthy results of the workshop carried out by the Viennese design studio mischer‘traxler for the students of the Master of European Design Labs and the Master of Product Design Labs.
The ambivalent proposal by the designers Katharina Mischer and Thomas Traxler is the result of the confrontation with mass-produced objects and the perception of users.
In our daily lives we coexist with items which are rarely seen as design objects: disposable cutlery, rubber bands, clothes pegs, paper clips, post-it notes and matches, for example. The latter was the format chosen by the designer Sergio Guijarro, a student of the Master of European Design Labs, to develop his installation and illustrated book.
There are thirty matches in the project The Little Match Seller, based on the moving story by Hans Christian Andersen, and, following a prior study of the material, it was destroyed and reconstructed to create a new scenario for research. After burning, wetting, painting and breaking these combustible wooden sticks, Guijarro interacted with the piece as if he were the character in the story, connecting and personalizing a range of scenes, which were later included in an illustrated book, leaving viewers to make their own interpretations.
A clear example of the way in which design in general –and matches in particular – is susceptible to a range of interpretations according to one’s point of view.
One of the scenes says: “Last time we were swimming the sea stood up and hugged you as though you were responsible for keeping it blue” [Sergio Guijarro, The Little Match Seller]
This post is also available in: Spanish