Smooth, sleek and fast: aeronautics and streamlining as furniture inspiration
In this new and exciting project I will spend the next two months researching the design history of American aeronautics, focusing on the technical and cultural notions that have influenced the changing appearance of airplanes and the concept of speed over time, at the National Air and Space Museum and the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center.
As part of the Smithsonian Artist Research Fellowship program this project will be used as direct inspiration for my next body of work.
I plan to use this fellowship to investigate the development of plane forms, building techniques, and materials and their dialogue with broader American culture. I’m interested in exploring how American industrial designers were influenced by airplanes as a symbol of innovation and progress, and how that shifted the aesthetics of items in daily use—from toasters and pencil sharpeners to cars and trains—as well as what, if any, influence the changing styles of different eras had on airplane design and engineering. I’d also like to examine what changes if any aerodynamic simulation software had on airplane design versus the earlier trial and error methods as a corollary to my own practice, which combines new technologies and hands-on material exploration.
Nominations for the fellowship came from international art curators, scholars and former SARF fellows, and awardees were then selected by a panel of Smithsonian art experts.
The fellowship program began in 2007 and allows artists from around the world to have access to Smithsonian collections, meet with Smithsonian scholars and conduct research that is essential to producing new work. More than 90 artists have received this award.
The diverse mediums, nationalities and research interests of the 2014 SARF fellows reflect the unique nature of this fellowship and the research resources available only at the Smithsonian.
I am honored to be here and share this experience with all of you.