Return to the entity, the touch of collectible design


2022-06-29 14:02:00


The origins of "collectible design" can be traced back to the early 2000s. In 2006, when the Phillips de Pury auction house succeeded in auctioning avant-garde designs for art-like highs at auction, the trend known as "design/art" began. However, after the economic crisis and the recent global pandemic, this trend has evolved from the grandstanding formalism of the past to a more down-to-earth "collectible design" that focuses on craftsmanship and handcraft, and has recently spawned "functional sculpture" (functional sculpture), "effervescent concepts" and other new keywords. The Collectible exhibition has been held for five consecutive years. At this year's exhibition, the cultivators in this field not only injected the spirit of experimentation and storytelling into the design, but also hoped that the audience could regain the real "touch" during the epidemic. "We want the viewer to interact with the work and want to touch it," says curator Julia Haney Montañez.

Pouf "Atlas" by Pietro Franceschini

The collectible design in the post-epidemic period places more emphasis on curves and textures. South African designer Jan Ernst's "Womb" lighting was inspired by an ancient cave near Cape Town. The organic curves of the form allow the built-in light source to emit a soft, campfire-like light, evoking a sense of "primitiveness" and a womb-like celebration of the beauty of life. In a similar design, there is also the "Crotto" cabinet from the French designer Thomas Defour. What makes the design unique is the use of a violin-making process - "using this process you can make the product hollow," he explained.

Stained glass lamp by Maarten De Ceulaer

French designer Solène Bonnet's "Flesh factory" decided to explore beauty standards in the age of social media from the point of view of objects and furniture. Using the simplest of IKEA mirrors as a base, she uses "augmented reality filters" to digitize the human element of the lips and form abstract frames in materials such as foam, acrylic and polyester. Although abstract, the framed image is still reminiscent of the original shape of the lips, thus reflecting the contradiction between the real and the digital.
When it comes to collectible design, one cannot but mention France, the "unofficial" birthplace of this field. With the "design/art" trend, French design galleries have sprung up like mushrooms after a spring rain, delivering new designs and sales models to the European industry, and allowing the new generation of designers to see a new way out. Gradually, the distinction between design galleries and furniture brands, like design and art, has blurred and integrated boundaries. This year’s show’s curation theme is “The Editors”, and the different ways galleries and brands have responded to this theme and curatorial models also reflect current trends.

'Crotto' Cabinets by Thomas Defour

The Swiss-based gallery Objects With Narratives envisions a theme that runs through the exhibition: "Sur-real fictions," inspired by the Surrealist movement and Belgian painter Rene Magritte (René Magritte), hoping to achieve an ethereal atmosphere through the interaction of two unique spaces. Designs on display include the "Liquid" coffee table by Lukas Cober and the "Atlas" pouf by Pietro Franceschini, with the difference in tactile sensation, the viewer is deeply impressed and realizes a surreal narrative.
The "liquid" coffee table comes from the designer's famous "new wave" collection, but is raw material converted to thick solid resin (the previous collection used fiberglass). At first glance, it appears to be a mass-produced product, but in fact, the chair is hand-carved and polished by the designer to create a "blow-and-break" lightness. The Atlas pouf is equally sculptural, but its soft exterior is more playful and makes one want to touch it.

Womb lighting by South African designer Jan Ernst

Also worth mentioning is Maarten De Ceulaer, a senior design representative in Brussels, and design duo Muller Van Severen. Both of them presented a new lighting design in the "custom" theme unit. This unit features a continuation of traditional craftsmanship and a combination of precious materials. The designer Ma Teng, who is famous for his "Mutation chair", also used glass material for the first time, studied the stained glass window in depth, and took this as a reference to launch a new series of stained glass lighting. His work uses the craft of mouth-blown glass to achieve the visual quality of stained glass windows. There is some randomness to using this process, and while the color combination can be predetermined, because the manufacturing process cannot be fully controlled, the final pattern will be slightly different from what was envisioned in advance, giving each lamp a unique personality.
"These glass lampshades are like light-transmitting three-dimensional abstract paintings, which can create a unique lighting atmosphere for the interior space, regardless of the shape of the lamp."

Flesh factory by Solène Bonnet

In the new "FRAMES" lamps unveiled this time, the most iconic simplicity of the designer combination Muller van Severen can be seen. Different from the distinctive "sense of lines" in the past, this time the lamps are in the form of a group of "lighting sculptures" protruding from the wall: from some angles it looks like a piece of paper with a corner lifted; Like a cut painting by Lucio Fontana; other angles look like framing a "space" in the corner of the wall, allowing the built-in abstract light source to connect the real and imagined worlds. “It’s an imaginary world of images,” they explained, “to let people think about the meaning and possibility in the air.” Perhaps, in the days of home retreat, this design can also come in handy.
Compared with other European design exhibitions, the "collectible" exhibition that has just returned to the line is still a newborn calf, but because it is at the delicate intersection of design and art, the field of handicrafts involved also contains more Unknown possibilities and rich heritage are waiting for designers to discover and guide the audience to feel and touch.

Article Source: 艺术与设计