Personal Skies for MoMA

Installation at Museum of Modern Art

Personal Skies is one of six commissioned works appearing in Workspheres, an exhibition presented at the Museum of Modern Art in New York from February 8 to May 8, 2001. Workspheres examines the changing nature of the workplace and design’s role in accommodating these changes.

Conceived by IDEO designer Naoto Fukasawa, Personal Skies is a collection of nine concepts that explore the theme of individuality in the context of corporate culture. Two of these concepts, Cut Skies/Under Someone’s Sky and A Chair with a Soul Left Behind, were fully realized as working installations by IDEO for the Workspheres exhibition.

Cut Skies/Under Someone’s Sky recognizes how the sky affects our mood, lighting a workspace with images of the sky projected onto a light panel suspended above a table. Cut Skies allows the visitor to choose a sky—from sunny blue to rainy gray—to enhance the feeling of the moment. Under Someone’s Sky creates a powerful experience of shared environment by showing the sky that is above the person at the far end of a phone call.

A Chair with a Soul Left Behind consists of a chair with a changeable surface, exploring the chair as the most personal object in the office environment. An empty chair can tell us much about its recent use: the warmth and texture of the upholstery, the position of the seat and back, the kicked-off shoes, the draped jacket, the bag or document on the seat: all these symbolize the person’s existence that is left behind. This chair seeks to capture the subtle phenomena that link the person’s identity to the otherwise public objects they use.

Project date: 2000