Born out of his own practice Andreas Fabian’s doctoral research was framed within the idea of a philosophical inquiry through the making of objects into what he calls ‘spoonness’. The term ‘spoonness’ refers to the Platonic idea of the objects in our minds; the concept of an abstract quality or property we find in things. Baudrillard suggests an object’s functionality is the very thing that enables it to transcend its main function in the direction of a secondary one, to play a part, to become a combining element, an adjustable item, within a universal system of sign.1
Although driven by creative practice, which is embedded in the materiality of physical objects; their form, materials, processes and aesthetics, this research engages with and is informed by many philosophical concepts. It touches on Heidegger’s thought that ‘the true meaning of the thing is something we experience through the perception of its function’ and Socrates’ fundamental question ‘What is x?’ For Andreas Fabian he takes this notion of x and considers what is the one thing common to all the many examples of it, where x = spoon?
The ‘need’ to know, to understand, is fundamental to us all and remains the driving force behind this (research) work. Finding what lies behind the ‘wall’ has been what matters most; what lies ‘beneath the skin’, understanding the ‘thing in itself’ – unpicking assumptions and preconceptions, built up over time by generations.
1. Baudrillard, J. (ed) (2005). The System of Objects, trans. J. Benedict. Verso, London.
A childhood in Afghanistan, Lebanon and Portugal and a design and silver smithing education in Germany and The Royal College of Art, London was always going to make Andreas Fabian well connected to global design culture. These days he delights in design play where an overly familiar cultural form is re-imagined to subtly allude to several others and perhaps a natural form as well, toying with how well you observe his work. In his objects cool sighted functionalism meets reinterpretation and wry humour to create domestic objects that sensually occupy a much more thoughtful table landscape than usual. The refined details of a silversmith are seductive but they are undercut by an astringent clear-sighted questioning. The answers are challenging, provocative and very often humorous. ‘Fabians design consultancies are driven by a constant exhibition schedule where the play of materials, silver, porcelain or glass reappears in the work highly finished and skilfully intertwined.’ (Simon Fraser) Andreas Fabian is Senior Lecturer in Silversmithing and Jewellery at Buckinghamshire New University.
Multiples, Gallery SO (London) 2010,
Contemporary Silver – Bishopsland Trust, Victoria & Albert Museum (London) 2009,
Mo-Billy, Business Design Center (Milan) 2008,
Collect with Gallery SO 2007,
A Field of Silver – Silver in a Field, Birmingham Museum and Art Galleries (Birmingham) 2006,
Work in Progress (solo show), Gallery SO Solothurn, Switzerland) 2004
Currently working on Practice led PhD; title: Spoons & Spoonness – A Philosophical Inquiry through Creative Practice. Live research events: Food events with LA based ‘private chef’ Roberto Cortez, V&A Museum and Somerset House (London Fashion Week 2009), Los Angeles (2010) and San Francisco (2011)
hemDing, porcelain plate with wooden spade handle shown at the Milan Furniture Fair in 2008. Currently produced by Thorsten van Elten Ltd in the UK for worldwide distribution including the Museum of Contemporary Arts, Chicago and the Centre Pompidou, Paris.
Petits Fours Plate, fine bone china plate with stainless steel handle shown at the Milan Furniture Fair in 2007, under the IN/D Label. Currently produced by Innermost in the UK for worldwide distribution