The Shaker community has long been held in high regard by those in the design world, inspiring many contemporary designers the world over. They were unique in their pursuit of perfection, which was almost a form of meditation as they went about their daily tasks. The upmost care and attention to detail was taken, tending to shun elaborate detailing or unnecessary decoration while handcrafting all these objects. Whether it be the objects, furniture or architecture, in my opinion they still look modern in appearance and useable today.
I enjoyed viewing this project in which Oregon based Studio Gorm, consisting of John Arndt and Wonhee Arndt, and a number of other studios decided to partake in. Titled ‘Furnishing Utopia/Shaker Reinterpreted’ the collection itself has been used as a reference point to reinterpret and reevaluate the Shaker’s timeless design. Thanks to the Hancock Shaker Village and the Mt. Lebanon Shaker Museum they were able to get access to many of the objects in the Shaker archive, which in turn meant they could examine these works and how they now apply to a modern setting.
It’s testament to the Shaker’s eye for functional design that the designers here didn’t need to alter the design much, merely updating the colour slightly or reconfiguring the shapes to be more angular. I picked this selection of work by Studio Gorm for the Shaker project but these are only a few of the fantastic works that they have made by them in the past. I highly recommend scanning through their portfolio as you are sure to be inspired by the other work too.