© 2020 Johanna Seelemann
© 2019 Johanna Seelemann

Terra Incognita
x Daniel Rauch

Terra Incognita explores the ultimate tool for car styling, namely industrial modeling clay, and comprises a collection of ever-stylistically adaptable products. Commonly used to sculpt ephemeral 1:1 car clay models, this wax-based material is re-purposed in this work to make products that are stable but remain ever-transformable for the user.

Industrial clay inherits the political weight of car design in Germany based on societal and economic dependencies. While the obsolescence of desirability is a driving motor for object evolution and corporate power, it can also tell the story of the human hand in the generation of mass-produced objects through a form of industrial craftsmanship that relies on the age-old art of sculpture.

The wider design ideology today circles around efforts of “sustainability” and mitigation of climate change, including minimalism, cradle to cradle, timeless design, quality over quantity, local production, zero-waste, bio-based materials. However it strikes that many mass-producing sectors, such as the automotive industry, fashion, and consumer electronics, remain in trained patterns while employing the strongest means of obsolescent desirability — that of emotions and aesthetics, style, (user) experience, hence the irrational.

Through the media of object, film and anthology, this collaborative project is a compilation of stories that seek narratives on aesthetic evolution and urge systemic thinking on adaptation.

The designs of the pieces have been developed in collaboration with automotive designer Daniel Rauch.

Find the related theory in the Terra Incognita Anthology here.

Design and Development:
Johanna Seelemann and Daniel Rauch

Johanna Seelemann

Car Clay Modeler support:
Simon Badstübner, Sabrina Kraus,
Benjamin Werner

Special Thanks to:
Staedtler and Daf Trucks for material
sponsorship, Daniele Misso, Birta Rós
Brynjólfsdóttir, Ianis Dobrev and
Saga Rantanen for great support

Master of Contextual Design, 2019
Design Academy Eindhoven

BACK to projects