As a teenager, I went to America with my parents and visited a Shaker village. I bought a beautiful, oval wooden box – which I still have – and admire the simple aesthetics of the Shakers ever since. And I’m not the only one.
John Arndt and Wonhee Arndt, both designers – under the name Studio Gorm – and professors in the Product Design Department at the University of Oregon, initiated Furnishing Utopia, a shaker design project.
Furnishing Utopia’s mission is to provide contemporary designers with direct exposure to original Shaker artifacts and demonstrate how the Shaker’s ideas can still prove influential in the modern context.
The Shakers – a religious and utopian community that came to the United States around 1774 – are often credited as the first minimalists. Centered on principles of simplicity and utility, their furniture have inspired countless modernist and