Curiosity is a strange impulse, chiefly famous for alleged cat-killing. It’s also the name of the Mars Rover landed by NASA this week which is currently sending many of us into paroxysms of scientific awe (and Twitter into quip-overdrive).
Mianne de Vries has explored our relationship with this concept through her graduation project at the Art Academy in Utrecht. The Curious Vase consists of a series of vases stacked within each other. It’s up to us to decide whether we want to know what lies beneath and if so we can break the outer layer thus changing the object irrevocably.
It’s a really nice idea, bringing to mind both Schrodinger’s Cat and Pass the Parcel and clearly Mianne enjoys the philosophical aspect of the piece. As she writes: “You don’t know what to expect. Are you making the right choice? If you destroy the vase to find out what’s in it, there is no turning back. Don’t you dare to take this risk, then you will always stay curious…”
She begins by making the smallest vase and then makes the larger ones, cuts them in two and glues them back together round the previous one.
If the inability to accept the unknown is entirely natural, the act of sating your curiosity is anything but as we’re not in the habit of taking hammers to our household ornaments. This is our kind of product design – playful, unusual and thought-provoking – and it suggests Mianne, who also works as a graphic designer, has a big future ahead of her.