Inspired by Michelle Hlubinka’s short story ‘The Date Book’ I began this project by isolating the objects preliminary evocative aspects. I explored the date book’s meaning, form, character, materiality, functionality and emotional attributes. With these in mind I began to apply them to the design of a completely new object. I created a Flower Press from alder wood. The purpose of the press was to awaken memories with the smell of its contents, provoke serenity through its connections to nature and provide the user with a sense of mastery trough the physical manipulation of time and preservation. Aesthetically the design needed to remain simple whilst portraying feelings of perfection and cleanliness that directly relate back to the original object the date book.
Through research I understood that giving was a contributor to the increase of morale thus, I considered the pressed flowers as gifts from the user. Ideally the flowers would be inconspicuous and have the potential to be carried easily as constant reminders of positivity. I imagined flowers within pockets or wallets; just like business cards. I created a clear casing made with sticky facing sides so the flower could sit perfectly as the user desired.
Through the exploration of various materials, I decided I would use a belt to close and fasten the wooden flower press. With this mechanism the user is able to increase the flower’s compression incrementally, keeping a record of time through the number of holes in the leather. As the project progressed it became increasingly important for me to balance the addition of necessary functional details without compromising my original simple design. An invisible hinge meant that I could eliminate the amount of buckles required to press the flowers and inlaying the belt would keep the wood’s surface flush. I fitted two wooden dowels through the back of the lid that includes a fillet which allows it to open freely. The cove along the front of the lid acts as a handle to open the casing. Finally, I created a compartment within the side of the presser which can hold the plastic flower casings.