Matt Copeland & Julia Jones Hellstrom.
‘Infringe’ challenges the boundary between public and private spaces.
As society relies more on technology and digital surveillance creates more transparency, we are left questioning the need for defined physical boundaries and fences. Boundaries and their restrictiveness are instinctive to humans, holding great historical and symbolic value. We are led in specific directions and halted at certain points. We obey rules and alter our behaviour based on these confines, conforming to an ideal we have always understood.
‘Infringe’ challenges this notion. The range allows an unconventional means of marking a division between spaces by redefining the form of a conventional fence. Climbing a fence has always been recognised as an act of defiance. ‘Infringe’ supports and builds on this idea by allowing users to pass through and question the meaning of the boundary, realising their own level of deviance, based on the route they choose to pursue.
Initially the project involved research into existing fences and their connotations. Notable features were the vertical bars and speared railheads, implying an aggressiveness and a means of intimidation.
Early iterations explored ways of breaching existing fences in the form of an accessory. Questioning where the responsibility lies in breaching a fence, latter designs focused on a more permanent and anonymous breach that maintained the fences appearance and symbolic value. Different designs models, made first in illustrator then laser cut, responded on different levels to the theme of deviance. Ultimately, they were narrowed down to five designs of varying difficulties to breach, creating a range of visually pleasing but conversational sections that in full scale can be connected in any order and maintain the underlying elements associated with a fence.