Student Work

  • Interior Design (MFA)

    Sam Bennett

    The Things We Keep

    A home is like a glimpse into our heads. The things we silently keep tell a visual story of us. I interviewed sixteen East Harlem residents, and discussed 93 of their most special things. I created photo-typologies of these items and analyzed their spatial placement. We keep our most special things in plain view, yet we do not interact with them as often or as fully as we wish to. Meanwhile, media encourages us to fill our home with things we need, & creating a homogenized identity. As a response, I made Home Moves, a card set meant to encourage the user to explore their things and the things' meanings within the home. We completed Home Move #16: Remove everything until only your identity remains. Next, we tried Home Move #17: Remove everything until only the necessities remain. We kept the TV, couch, dining table, two chairs, a typewriter, letters, and photo albums. The place echoed. Some mornings I sat at the cornered table, flipping through photos I hadn't looked at in years. At night, we ate on the floor in front of the TV. Maybe we didn't need a dining table after all? Daylight hit my wall above an outlet plugged with a computer charger. Is this the future? Will the digital recording - an image, a sound, or a story - overtake the need to have the physical thing? I wondered about the memories in my building. Could an underused apartment lobby become a community living room? With a set of biodegradable mycelium stools, the lobby becomes a space for displaying, sitting, and conversing, as residents are invited to bring their most special item to the lobby. In the future this space will become a museum of all that came before, evidence that these people and their things existed, in their place and in their time.