As an atheist I was intrigued when I came across this original chest of drawers which is part of a project called ‘Object for Atheists’. The furniture piece itself is given the rather mundane label LKBP which belies the fascinating philosophy behind the creation. It’s designer is the Dutch multimedia artist Guy Keulemans who is based in Eindhoven and also in my old city of Berlin.
The concept behind this Object for Atheists chest of drawers is the relationship between religion and aesthetics. A thesis project Keulemans is working on led him to research more about the ethnography of online atheist groups. The chest of drawers thus became a study and metaphor on the need for ‘some’ atheists to delve into and expose the mysteries of religion, science and existence.
The LKBP chest of drawers that are also a set of shelves therefore provide an ‘inversion of aesthetic function’. At the front are a series of drawers which open up as any regular drawer would and can be used for storage, whilst at the back, hidden from view until the furniture piece is turned around, are secretive shelves where objects can also be placed. The LKBP rests on castors which allows for easy movement and turning. The shelves at the back represent the secrets to be discovered in science and existential philosophy which supersede the secretive nature of the drawers.
This Object for Atheist’s piece is made from sustainably harvested bamboo. Further environmentally friendly construction methods are used in the form of dovetail joinery which does away with the need for nails and screws. The philosophical point of the chest of drawers means it can be placed against a wall or in the center of a room and of course, moved about depending on one’s decor tastes and frame of mind.
You can read more about this LKBP furniture piece which is part of the Objects for Atheist research project, as well as the project itself, here: Guy Keulemans Objects.