Interior and furniture design are disciplines in which sensory qualities are of central importance. Within these disciplines there are well established methods for developing these qualities, and this development has, up to the present day, been achieved through artistic and practice-based methods with little or no use of text as medium for knowledge and research. However, within contemporary education and research, textualized knowledge is valued higher than other medias. This has led to a situation where textualized thinking has increased also within the disciplines of architecture and design.
Andreas Nobel’s research problematizes, on the one hand, that sensory qualities tend to be ignored in highly textualized knowledge environments, and on the other hand, how textualized thinking might even have a negative effect on a designer’s ability to grasp and work with aesthetic and material qualities central to the discipline of design.
In Nobel’s dissertation, the main part is a text. The other part is an exhibition mainly presenting a bow-lathe and some furniture that is designed and produced in that bow lathe. Nobel’s research stress the notion that the existent hierarchical view on different forms of knowledge also has an influence on the practical profession of the designer, which manifests in the paradoxical situation where the form aspects of design is neglected and overshadowed by various forms of textualized knowledge. The central research question posed in the text part is: Which adverse effects might an increasing emphasis on textualized theory have on the design practices? The question is highlighted from perspectives such as epistemology, tradition, history and power. The foremost query in the exhibition part examines if any possible negative effects on design resulting from the above mentioned scenario, may be prevented by engaging in a highly physical and non-conceptual design process. The purpose of the exhibition part is to introduce methods and design that may provide the impetus for further development in the fields of design, where the bow lathe is presented as an example of a productive tool for the development of relevant contemporary design.