During the International Biennial of Design in Saint Étienne — from 9 March to 9 April 2017 —, the designer Mathilde Pellé is occupying a flat on Rue de la République in Saint Étienne. Here, each day, she is conducting an experimental project that focuses on the ‘subtraction’ (removal) of objects and materials.
Her environment initially comprise sixty-five everyday objects and elements that are inside the flat ; at the end of each day two objects are taken away — one is selected by the visitors, who can cast their vote, and the other by the designer herself. Each object that is removed is weighed, and she may keep one or several parts of the object, representing a maximum of one third of the object’s initial weight.
of the objects may conserve their initial function, be attributed new applications, or become the raw materials for the production of new elements.
Via the window on 23 Rue de la République and the website www.soustraire.fr, the designer keeps track of the daily changes made in her residence and demonstrate how she adapts day to day
(in her own way) to her environment.
By focusing on the simplification of a life saturated with objects and the simulation of a precarious situation, the project aims to address certain issues :
. To what extent can one do without objects and the ‘needs’ they satisfy? And what are the consequences?
. By removing an object that has a specific function, what are the alternative applications, methods or means available for replacing the missing object?
. During the experimentation, what is the significance of the void left by the missing fragment or the missing object, both in terms of the object and the living space?