We spend much of our time trying to quantify the things around us. These processes require not just units of standardised or mutually agreed measurement but devices that manage the collection and display of this data. Measuring devices are not just benign suppliers of information that can aid us in our day-to-day lives, they are part of bigger systems of communication, objects made from materials and shaped by processes. The act of measuring is an everyday attempt at making sense of our tasks, routines, existence and the very human urge to look for order where there may be none.
Like other common tools, products that have as their primary function to measure or quantify have their own traditions, conventions and language. They, again like other manufactured things, can be beautiful in their detail, elegant in their work or conversely be ugly or irritating in their use.
For this project the designers associated with “Tools for Everyday Life” were set the exercise of designing and making a ruler to shown at the ICFF (International Contemporary Furniture Fair) in NYC, May 2014. The intention of this project is to illustrate individual interpretations of a product type that is ubiquitous and often taken for granted. The rulers will sit alongside the wider ‘Tools for Everyday Life’ collection of products. The rulers exist as investigations of function, units of measure and the handling/machining of materials.