The dichotomy between a designer’s project statement and the meaning an end-user extracts from a particular space or object is a constant source of amazement. Take “www”, a new series of bookshelves by Italy-based Yugoslavian designer Viktor Matic. The designer describes the shelves as a reaction to the digitization of the world, as a sort of dematerialized Bauhaus product, whereas the consumer would probably describe them as pretty-looking adjustable bookshelves.
There is no doubting that the shelves are a cool bit of design, though. Much of the shelves’ richness comes from the layering of the components, as wood and string pass through and around one another, allowing for different opacities and patterns as one’s angle of view changes. Richness is also achieved by the materialization of force, as the tension in the blue strings allows them to carry the heavy weight of books, a burden which has been known to cause the collapse of bookshelves built of far sturdier materials. Each set of strings can be moved to a different position allowing the user to customize the piece for different objects.