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.
Unconstrained, poetic and timeless. That is how we can characterise the designs of Jean-François D’Or. The Belgian Designer of the Year 2013 does not put himself in the spotlight with large showpieces, but with his special talent he leaves his own mark on the field of smaller home and interior accessories such as bowls, lamps, vases, coat racks, door handles, mirrors,… Small touches that in all subtlety colour an interior and at the same time very ‘democratic’ design that can seduce a large public.
In 2008, Design Flanders is organising the Triennial of Design for the fifth time, a prestigious exhibition in the Royal Museums of Art and History in Brussels, which puts Flemish design in the limelight on the basis of a chosen theme.
Dirk Wynants (°1964) is the founder and owner of the innovative Belgian furniture brand Extremis. He is also the main designer of the brand and the creator of the brilliant branding concept “Tools for Togetherness”.