Function follows form in Bruno Schillinger's
Unidentified products collection


Central Saint Martins graduate Bruno Schillinger combined randomly selected characteristics to create a collection of desktop products with functions dictated by their forms (+ slideshow).

Unidentified by Bruno Schillinger

Bruno Schillinger wanted to design a series of objects that a user could suggest functions for, rather than specifying how they should be appropriated and then seeing them used for another purpose anyway.

Unidentified by Bruno Schillinger

"The project was fundamentally inspired by observations of people misusing objects and their remarkable ability to appropriate objects instinctively," Schillinger told Dezeen.

Unidentified by Bruno Schillinger

Each small object in the Unidentified collection was created by selecting a card at random from each of four categories: shape, material, action and detail.

Schillinger chose one or two cards from the four piles and used their instructions to inform what he designed.

Unidentified by Bruno Schillinger

Material chosen included marble, concrete, resin, brass, jesmonite, ash and cork.

Unidentified by Bruno Schillinger

"The cards set the parameters of the design and allowed the design process to be dictated by serendipity rather than rationality," said Schillinger. "The selected material not only has an impact on the look and feel of each object, but also the function it suggests."

Unidentified by Bruno Schillinger

The resulting ambiguous products included cork and wood platforms with rounded edges, a plywood slab with grooves in the surface, angled chunks of wood and metal with stepped indents, and metal sheets bent so they pinch together at the top.

Unidentified by Bruno Schillinger

The items are packed in simple brown cardboard boxes with white paper sleeves, giving no hint as to what they should be used for.

Unidentified by Bruno Schillinger
Concept sketches

Unidentified formed part of Schillinger's graduate project from London arts institution Central Saint Martins, which was presented at London's Business Design Centre for the second part of the New Designers exhibition earlier this month.

Unidentified by Bruno Schillinger
Diagrams of each product
  • Elliot Morgan

    I don’t feel that design should be determined by the flip of a card. When such precious materials (concrete, resin excluded) are used on the outcomes of these cards for frivolous purposes, it is nothing but a waste. Perhaps i’m missing the point of the project; perhaps there isn’t a point.

  • mrswoo

    And why not. Plenty of so called form following function objects are not what they say they are.

  • Mikelli

    I love the way it looks, but keeping these on my desk while at work would just distract me as I try to figure out what to do with them.