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.
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
Danny Venlet (°1958, Victoria, Australia) is one of the world’s best and most promising designers; yet his work is a well-kept secret in the design world. This is partly due to the fact that Venlet has worked and lived in two different worlds (Australia and Belgium), but is also explained by the essence of his personality and work – modest, prone to understatement, and relaxed.
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.
The work of self-proclaimed ex-designer Martí Guixé (°1964) can aptly be described as ‘beyond design’. Creating new objects he finds rather ‘superfluous’ and ‘boring’; he prefers to concentrate on ideas, systems and living matter such as food and human behaviour. As a ‘global designer’, Guixé constantly travels back and forth between Berlin and his native Barcelona, analyses situations, rituals and movements and proposes radical solutions with a minimum of ergonomics – simple, immaterial, humorous and often iconoclastic.
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.