This project explores the hegemony of British behavioural norms. A matrix of class relations are embedded in strict linguistic and bodily codes: there are rules for drinking tea, blowing soup, standing up, sitting down, laying tables, walking up and down stairs. Modernist design can be seen to enforce these rules: its rectilinear forms, polished materials and artificial surfaces turn the home into space of normalization.
Exploring the Heal’s archive, I discover a historic logo designed in 1915. Written across the centre, a slogan reads NOTHING NEED BE UGLY. Its monochrome pallette and bold font are accompanied by a geometry that is reminiscent of a fascist dictatorship. For decades, this logo was stamped on Heal’s furniture, apparently turning its products into vehicles of propaganda.
Date : 2010
Media : window installation, consumer products, digital correspondence
Commissioner : Heal’s (London)