Udo Schill’s Wink Shelf for Performa
Looking at designer Udo Schill’s new Wink Shelf for Performa, I’m reminded of three past 3rings performers, two of which filled a familiar function and one that parlays the same shape as Wink for a decidedly different purpose. The first two are Amosdesign’s Moving Mondrian and Adrian De Melo’s Upside Down, both of which introduce a novel new lexicon into the language of the bookcase, and the third is the Serie T Radiator, a piece that incorporates the linear language shared with Wink for a different purpose entirely. The example of Serie T confirms that formal design languages can transcend function, while Wink reminds us that re-visiting the basics can result in an auspicious brand of re-invention.
Wink Shelf. Designed by Udo Schill for Performa.
Long Lines and Built in Bookends
The wink (and nod) inherent in Schill’s Wink isn’t entirely to tradition. In fact, Schill integrates some unusual descriptors into his portrayal of the piece: “with its width of 1.8 mm and the stabilizers left and right this board can carry big loads. It is highly functional with its integrated bookends which enable new usage.” Schill goes on to exhort Wink for its capacity to create “visually strong walls,” a notion I—ever loath to live with a canvas of blank wallboard—enthusiastically endorse. I’d like to return, however, to the juxtaposition of “big” and "board" above, which might suggest that Wink has applications, and aspirations, beyond mere shelving. Before we take it down of the wall and consider its floatational qualities, however, we should give it its full due as a shelf.
Wink is a simple and clever take on the classic single length bookshelf. The bracketing system allows freedom of movement (all elements can be shifted to either side by 60 cm), while the impressive length facilitates all manner of creative and visually interesting storage. The built in bookends make a linking strategy possible, in which—as the images illustrate—items can be tilted against a proximal shelf above or below. This creates the illusion that the books themselves have made the shape, a phenomenon that not only establishes an intriguing and always variable look, but that focuses attention on the elements that matter most.
Wink is available in an impressive array of textures and colors, from linoleum to veneer to Performa’s very own caoutchouc line of vibrant colors.
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