Reinventing Functionality (Prototype)


Joris Laarman (Dutch, born 1979), designer and maker




Fiber-reinforced concrete, steel, and plumbing parts


27 1/2 x 21 1/2 x 4 inches


Gift of the designer and Friedman Benda

Accession #


On View

Currently not on view

Reinventing Functionality is designer Joris Laarman’s 2003 graduate project from Eindhoven Design Academy in the Netherlands. It explores the role of function, form, and decoration in designed utilitarian objects in the twenty-first century through a series of works, including this radiator. This is the prototype—the first hand-built model representing a future manufactured product—for the now widely produced Heatwave. This object is considered Laarman’s first major project. Prototypes, like Reinventing Functionality, are critical to design. Much like preliminary sketches for painting or maquettes for sculpture, prototypes are integral to the development of an idea and provide insight into the designer’s intent and process. Usually starting with a concept sketch, prototypes allow designers to experiment and test their ideas using actual materials. The size, shape, and functionality of a design are examined until the product is ready for replication through a manufacturer.