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.
It is difficult to compete with the beauty of trees, with their tall grandeur and high tops. And yet, the ambition of the Parckdesign project call lies in the challenge to use urban furniture to emphasise the age-old bond between man and nature, between his artificial interventions and his relationship with plants and flora. Placed in a contemporary context, park furniture expresses the desire to experiment, to test, and to value and discover green spaces in a quest for a more specific identity.
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.