Reduce / Reuse / Reimagine: Frank Criscione

Tupp A Lamps, by Frank Criscione
Tupp A Lamps, by Frank Criscione

The Kernel: Counter-intuitive as it may seem, real creative possibility often lives within constraints.  From Mondrian to Picasso, from Hemingway to Kundera, creatives have often used carefully chosen, often self-imposed, limitations to take their work from pedestrian to game-changing.  The box, so to speak, is as important to the creativity as is the thinking your way outside it.

The Column: Reduce/Reuse/Reimagine, my brand new weekly column here on Scoutie Girl, takes that kernel as a lens for thinking about eco-friendly art and design. This is a column that will explore the art and design successes that come about when makers purposefully limit their materials and resources, opting to make eco-friendly choices an integral rather than merely incidental component in the creative process.

The Promise:
The focus won’t necessarily be on earth-shattering creative breakthroughs but rather on products that are so much the cooler simply for having been created under these specific constraints.

The Guinea Pig: Frank Criscione

I’d originally planned to whip up a quick feature of the Tupp A Lamps created by Frank Criscione, a designer educated at Massachusetts College of Art and Design. But as happens, one link led to the next led to the next and suddenly I was basking in the glow of Criscione’s product portfolio.

Feast your eyes:

Poof, by Frank Criscione
Poof, by Frank Criscione
Fz Side Table, by Frank Criscione
Fz Side Table, by Frank Criscione
Shagaloo Chairs, by Frank Criscione
Shagaloo Chairs, by Frank Criscione
Shagaloo Chairs, by Frank Criscione
Shagaloo Chairs, by Frank Criscione

Whether you can picture his work in your own home or not (his Tupp A Lamps generated quite a vehement response on Apartment Therapy), there’s something about its very existence that proves to me that design can be a revolutionary thing. It can challenge the status quo.

As fashion trends tell us, our sense of beauty is ever evolving. With each new change to the height of a hemline or the width of a pant leg, we retrain ourselves to understand and appreciate proportion, alignment, shape… What Frank Criscione’s work does, just by its very existence, is help retrain our eyes to see repurposed items in new ways, perhaps even to redefine what we think is beautiful.

{all images via Criscione’s portfolio on Coroflot}

10 thoughts on “Reduce / Reuse / Reimagine: Frank Criscione

  1. I have to admit I have no idea what a candeloo shell is or why anyone would want to put them one chairs. But I do love the idea of reusing and repurposing. I visit our local flea market as often as possible to look for items that I can by that have already been created and shipped rather than going to Walmart, Target, or a dept. store to by something new while perfectly good, but no longer wanted, items are going to landfills.

    Thanks for the article.

    Teresa (@mrslevite on twitter)
    http://teresasstudio.blogspot.com

    1. From what I gather, the candeloo chair was part of a contest to see who could come up with an everyday item made from those shells. But yeah, still not sure what the shells themselves are for. : )

  2. Nice to see you hear, Julie! I love your column idea and writing style so very much – and I’m excited to see what you’ll be sharing. I go crazy over beauty & duty and thoughtful use & economy of materials – your column will most certainly be a source of inspiration!! Welcome!

  3. Ah, Scoutie Girl just keeps getting better and better. What a great new article series, Julie.

    I … I kind of want to sit on those chairs! D:

  4. Yay, great column idea – can’t wait to see more. This subject is one close to my heart as I try to design & produce with this in mind. I am constantly being faced with advice on how to grow the business which so often takes it away from its core value of ‘re-use & up-cycle’. I want to make this work without compromising my ethics. Really interested to see where you take this

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