I think I have never seen a design so perfect and so simple. Using only gravity to keep it together, the Annex Table designed by Joe Doucet is a signed and numbered edition commissioned by the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum.
With both Fien Muller and Hannes Van Severen being artists, it’s natural that the collection sits somewhere between design and art – it’s obviously ‘furniture’ but the emphasis is not completely concentrated on function and suggests different ways of living and use of space… an uncanny twist on universal forms. Fien Muller’s photography is suggestive of someone who considers everything in her daily life to be up for participation in the theatre of her compositions – whether choosing her characters from the woodpile, scavenging Hannes’ offcuts or realising the sculptural aspect of a skinned eel, nothing escapes the pot. It seems it’s not so much the qualities of an individual object that are important, but what happens when that object is introduced to another. Her sense of colour is extraordinary in the same way, with quite odd combinations – sometimes subtle, sometimes glaringly opposing, but always with a harmonious result. Fien’s interest in the material is also apparent in her art works, as below with the contrast in texture of the hand chopped wood and the plastic wood effect. It’s not necessary to ask why she has selected these elements to sit together but these incongruous objects are somehow compatible and appropriate. The work of Hannes is often the other way around – with the familiar becoming absurd, in the sense that it loses it’s function and turns irrational. A staircase laid on its side goes nowhere and a closet run through the circular saw loses its balance. The everyday is turned on its head and apparent function negated. The inspiration of their art world is readily seen in the furniture collection with forms reminiscent of Donald Judd or Sol Lewitt but with the humour that comes with collaborations such as that of Fischli & Weiss, who also created from the commonplace and familiar. There is wit in both artists’ work which follows into their furniture collection – two shelving units become entangled and inseperable, two people are forced into conversation by a double seat or the colour range might be dependent on the health and safety colour-coding of a chopping board manufacturer. Its hard to not be reminded of the self-taught, experimental and collaborative Jean Prouvé, who also didn’t work within the constraints of a particular discipline. The feeling you get is of the creators living their lives with the ‘work’ being an equal and necessary aspect of human existence alongside sitting, eating, reading, talking… The Muller Van Severen collection invites participation – the chopping boards and trivets are wall sculptures that adapt to a functional role and change in appearance with use; the double facing seat only achieves its potential with use – two people engaging and perhaps forming new ideas, flirting or just sharing a bit of banter. In this instance, the process of ‘designing’ appears to be more like a conversation and an evolution of ideas, with one finished product inspiring the next – hence the collection working so well as a whole. Working as a duo obviates the individual ego all too prevalent in both the design and art world and allows each object to just exist. The distinction between art and design narrows when the intention of the creators is not to produce one or the other, but to just create and live, and certainly not for the sake of becoming a name to look out for… although, whether through choice or not, this has become the case for both Fien Muller and Hannes Van Severen.
Text: Jonathan Barrie photos and text via Mulle Van Severen
my friend Adolfo Abejon has designed this beautiful porcilain lamp that easily fits to any hanging cable lamp and gives a beautiful soft glow. Venice is a porcelain lampshade that quickly turns a simple ceiling light point into a luminaire. Just secure the small safety part onto the wire by adjusting the set screw and place the lampshade over it. This way you will enjoy warm, diffuse light anywhere in your home.
Jo Nagasaka of Tokyo practice Schemata Architecture Office peels away parts of the surface of Douglas fir boards to expose the grain, before encasing the wood in brightly coloured epoxy resin. The addition of the resin transforms the uneven texture of the wood into a smooth and practical surface, while variations in the depth of the peeled wood affect the intensity of the resin’s colour. Read More
Celebrating the 400th anniversary of Japan-Spain Interexchange, Junya Watanabe designed a special collection in collaboration with Loewe. We designed the exhibition space for the show at Spanish Embassy in Japan. Temporary walls are inserted, forming various angles in the gallery space of the Embassy. And photographic images of the Royal Palace of Spain are collaged onto them. We attempt to distort conventional perception of space by intentionally disaligning internal and external corners of the interior spaces in the photographs and the actual walls, and also by using wrong scales deliberately.
Bless N°29 Wallscapes are a series of wallpapers 4m x 3m to cover one wall of your home. to give life to that barren wall or hallway. or how about to cover your kitchen like Bless did (below) for their last show. Bless web shop . Inspired by and developed for the exhibition BLESS fits every style at the Boijmans van Beuningen, Rotterdam. The BLESS Wallscapes are documents of interiors where BLESS products live or used to live.
I think this must be one of the most beautiful things I have seen in a long time