Polite Furniture began as an artwork, informed by my academic work. An intervention in the retail environment offered products with the appearance of desirable consumer goods but with messages that interrupted the anticipated satisfaction of consumer desire, by provoking internal dialogue. A critique of consumerism highlighting the denial of ordinary human frailty that drives it. Polite Furniture was merchandise for my proposal that a kind of emotional sustainability was the prerequisite for other types of sustainable thinking and doing.
'What would it mean for the world if we as individuals were to become more aware of the ambivalence we encounter in our interactions with one another? What might sustainable relationships involve? Polite Furniture engages with the complexities and contradictions that expose us to our ordinary human frailty in day to day life. Emotional Sustainability means choosing with care the parts you are prepared to play in the dramas of others. The most creative place you can be and probably the hardest work you will ever do, is to remain in the audience.' [Polite Furniture 2012]