I can’t really believe the news that Tobias Wong is dead at 35. His work turned upside down so many ideas of value and expectation that I keep swaying toward a what if this is like an Andy Kaufmann prank… I have been so influenced by Wong’s work and was always I think even a little embarrassed to admire him as much as I do. He was a brilliant thinker who took risks with form and function and people’s minds. His work helped me to understand how I am humiliated by design as a consumer; how my desire for objects sits on really shaky ground. By messing with the values of materials and their traditional use in forms of associative value, he talked about the absurdity of our attachments to design and art. And he taught me about how we use design ostentatiously to project status and coolness. I only realized today that I didn’t cite his influence on my grad thesis. That’s crazy. His work had a profound influence on me and I will miss that feeling of wanting to pull my hair out everytime I see a new design from him. RIP.
Or don’t. And come back to count this among the countless outpourings of respect being blogged as I type.