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Design Through Making

Gaston Golstein

Gaston Golstein is a Belgian industrial/product designer living in London.

He started its education at the European Schools in Brussels. In 2012 he decided to follow Neuroscience and Cognitive Science studies at the University of Sussex where he found a great interest in the interaction between human and environment. In 2015 he enrolled at ENSAV La Cambre in Brussels where he started to study industrial design. He finished its study at the Royal College of Art in London where his practice became a dialogue between innovation, industry and craftsmanship. Its work is multi-etiologic, taking its roots from exploring unknown territory, reducing products to its simple form and taking into consideration social contexts.





Degree Details

School of Design

Design Through Making

Today Design practice has shifted from its original goal to « develop powerful new ways for people to interact with the world, emphasising experience, not technology » (Don Norman). It has become responsible for enhancing our everyday environment to improve people lives through shaping products, services or digital worlds. It has even grown into a new way of thinking, a tool to creates better processes and better performance. Design became a method that is collaborative, adaptable, and centred on the complexities of human behaviour. It starts with understanding human needs and ends, to propose innovative solutions. Design is becoming a hybrid multidisciplinary field that is focused on human behaviour and its interaction with the world from micro to macro and specific to unique perspectives. Nevertheless, it also results in a dilution of the discipline making Design hard to define due to its new pluridisciplinary aspect.

My approach is mainly how a designer can use what surround us to create bridges between subjects or disciplines that seem distant to each other in order to offer a new insight on existing problem or future problems. However I tried to keep a close relationship with aesthetic. Aesthetic should be considered as a crucial part of the design process and should not be neglected at the expense of functionalism. No matter the future development of the design field, aesthetic will always be intimately bound to efficiency and ethics, as described by our predecessors. 

AMAI by Gaston Golstein

Assembly system, photo Credits: Gaston Golstein

Upholstery system, photo Credits: Gaston Golstein

Close-up, photo Credits: Gaston Golstein

Photo Credits: Gaston Golstein

AMAI is an iteration of chairs made from t-slots aluminium profile. The design concept is a furniture system in which each component can be easily assembled and disassembled. They are compact and removable due to the profile structure and its material property. This enables to rationalize transport, storage and responding to practical needs of indoor/outdoor situations.

In addition to flat-pack logic, the use of ready-made and mass produced profiles avoid adding nearly any post production features reducing manufacturing steps. It also encourages participation in short distance supply chains, encouraging to design global but produce local.


Aluminium & Textiles

photo Credits: Gaston Golstein

Timeline: The Unsettling Future of Smell

Speculative advert in the underground

Emotional breakdown of a citizen

A day in the life of a citizen

photo Credits: Gaston Golstein

photo Credits: Gaston Golstein

photo Credits: Gaston Golstein

photo Credits: Gaston Golstein

This critical design project explores the potential benefits and drawbacks of a future in which smell technologies are omnipotent.

Smells have the power to drive behaviour on an instinctive and subconscious level, change physiology, aid sleep, alleviate anxiety, improve cognition and retrieve autobiographical memories. The fact that the sense of smell can unleash powerful emotions is beyond doubt. We use fragrances to feel relaxed, invigorated, happy and attractive. Utilizing fragrance to connect people to products is already becoming one of the sensory superpowers of the future.

However, the sense of smell is complex and powerful. It greatly influences our mental states and we should carefully study and explore both the positive and negative impacts of scents on living beings, before over-using it in our daily lives. This is especially important as the vast majority of natural fragrances have been replaced by synthetic odors. Indeed the exploration of the potential health dangers of artificial scent on our brain need to be properly understood before releasing potential smelly devices.

The project timeline imagines future technology occurring between now and 2050 through a number of dystopic and utopic objects from this smelly future. A series of critical devices are imagined, the first of which allow users to capture, release and share smell, illustrated through a set of adverts and newspaper articles. The last object in the timeline blocks this onslaught of manufactured fragrances that threaten to control our daily lives. This dystopic object is accompanied by an immersive video and a set of photographs.


Mixed Media

Opla: photo Credits: Gaston Golstein

Assembly components, photo Credits: Gaston Golstein

Platform, photo Credits: Gaston Golstein

Separation tiles, photo Credits: Gaston Golstein

Shape recognition app, photo Credits: Gaston Golstein

Tangible User Interface board, photo Credits: Gaston Golstein

Tangible User Interface board, photo Credits: Gaston Golstein

OPLA by Gaston Golstein
Opla is an open educational platform adapted for visually impaired children. It aims to reinforce progressively visuo-spatial skills through fun and low-cost serious games. Children living with moderate to severe visual impairment (VI) have difficulties in developing spatial understanding due to a reduced experience of vision. Opla aims to reinforce progressively visuospatial ability through multi-sensory rehabilitation. Opla is an evolutive platform which offers different stages of usage.

Firstly young children will start to get used to their environment by playing simple serious games, such as shape recognition or texture discrimination games with a therapist or its parents. The difference in material and colour creates tactile and visual cues to help children determine the delimitation of the platform.

Once children are used to the board and understand basic concepts (5+), therapists can start to make more complex serious games by adding some separation tiles. They will be able to play alone, together or against each other.

Finally, when the child is at ease with rehabilitation games they can start training and playing on their own. The innovation is to use the phone to create a tangible user interface.The phone will be used as an object tracker to map what is happening on the board. Different games will be available through an app opening a new realm of multisensory exploration.


Plywood & ABS

B-parts, photo Credits: Gaston Golstein, Roseanne Wakely, Xujie Tao, Shengli Lu

B-Parts — B-parts has emerged as the first company looking for funding to develop easily accessible at-home kits for a wider audience. The kits proposed on Kickstarter include everything you need to change your own features and body parts using open source models. The B Part method involves the user wearing a mould on their face for 3 hours after injecting a specially developed serum called “Boto-plasti” (patent pending) inspired by saline injection popular in body modification subcultures. The revolutionary chemical composite is designed to expand the facial feature or body part into the mould and set it into that position. Photo Credits: Gaston Golstein, Roseanne Wakely, Xujie Tao, Shengli Lu

Packaging, photo Credit: Gaston Golstein, Roseanne Wakely, Xujie Tao, Shengli Lu

This is a speculative project questioning how far people will take body modification into their own hands and questioning what the implications of that are. Current trends promoted by youtubers for apparently easy makeover transformations and beauty treatments are on the rise. Will easy home cosmetic surgery be in our not too distant future?

Body modification is nothing new, and so common that we don’t even see it as a modification any more. Blurring the lines of what is natural and what is a modification. In a future where we believe that we are the experts and can make our own cosmetic surgery experiments on ourselves how far will body modification be taken? And who owns the designs?


Mixed Media
27 July 2020
13:00 (GMT + 0)

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