Forms with a smile brings together designs and objects by modern surrealists and shows that nothing is what it seems. Hairy carpets, lamps in the shape of a milk bottle, USB sticks cut from wooden branches or seats made from plush stuffed animals. Is it pure humour? Or is it a provocative statement wrapped in an infectious smile? Like surrealism, design sometimes tells us more than we think. Armed with subtle irony, these new surrealists go to war in a world where a certain seriousness reigns.
Forms with a Smile – Design Today
Surrealism may be best known as a movement within literature and the fine arts, but the influence of this 20th-century artistic movement in other fields should not be underestimated. Even the world of design and contemporary design does not escape a healthy dose of surreal humour.
Throughout the centuries, silverware has been a source of inspiration for many artists. Religious silverware raised the profession to unprecedented heights, but in the course of the 20th century commissions became scarce. More and more studios had to close their doors and monumental silverwork soon disappeared into the background. Gradually, training also left something to be desired. Father Rob and son Jaap Thalen’s dream is to make the very best again: objects, utensils and works of art in silver such as have been hard to find for a long time. Monumental creations for which both the old craftsmanship and the most advanced techniques are required. Their designs take shape in Francorchamps, Belgium, and are appreciated worldwide.
Contemporary jewellery design is undoubtedly the result of thousands of years of craftsmanship, tradition and research. Contemporary jewellers still use the same precious metals and gemstones as their predecessors, but continue to experiment with techniques, innovate with new materials and create their own unique concepts.
Vision was designed in 1986 by Pierre Mazairac and Karel Boonzaaijer based on the philosophy that a cabinet, as a composition, should be part of the architecture. Partly due to its maximum flexibility of use and extremely modest design, this design was very successful from the outset with the Dutch manufacturer Pastoe. 25 years later, the compositional possibilities remain unlimited: from a three-dimensional relief to a graphic grid of lines and planes, from a series of sideboards to an architectural landscape of volumes. The book Vision – Room for imagination sketches the story of this young classic.
The exhibition SERIAL EATER at CID Grand-Hornu dissects thirty years of experimentation with, and reflection on, the ‘object’ of food. The analysis of Food Design, from its development in the 1990s to its implications today, makes it possible to understand changes in consumption habits and awareness of the ‘food system’.
What type of consumers are we, how do we assess our impact in today’s system and what do we accept on our plates?
Bilingual edition: French/English