With the exhibition Panorama. A History of Modern Design in Belgium, the Art + Design Atomium Museum, ADAM, Brussels present an exploration of design in Belgium from the 1880s until the 1980s: and in doing so not only explain the development of design in Belgium, but provide for new understandings of that development.
With their eyes fixed firmly on the road ahead, the riders in the 2017 Tour de France prologue time trial through the streets of Düsseldorf on July 1st will have no thoughts for the buildings they pass.
Which is a shame, because as a city Düsseldorf has more than its fair share of buildings which are not only architecturally interesting and important, but whose stories are often interesting and important in wider cultural contexts.
Interesting and important architecture and stories the Tour de France competitors could become acquainted with. If they just slowed down.
It is fair to say that Malmö University wasn’t on our radar before we began our 2017 #campustour.
Which is in no way to detract from the institution, far from it, much more it highlights our ignorance. And also one of the aims of our tour, achieving a better understanding of contemporary European design education.
The exhibition Much More Than One Good Chair. Design & Society in Denmark at Felleshus Berlin explores the development of Danish design, and by extrapolation Danish society, since the end of the Second World War.
To find out a little more we spoke to the exhibition’s curator, the Danish designer and author Thomas Dickson.
The Swedish town of Lund is famous as the birthplace of the Tetra Pak packaging system, and thus of a global revolution in food and drink distribution systems and consumption patterns.
If the new crop of Lund University School of Industrial Design graduation projects reached conclusions as simple, logical and resource efficient, if arguably, and ideally, without the associated post-use recycling problems, could be assessed at the institution’s 2017 Degree Exhibition.
At the opening of the exhibition Ronan & Erwan Bouroullec – Rêveries Urbaines at the Vitra Design Museum we intimated that the first projects arising from the brother’s research into urban spaces were in an advanced state of planning.
With Oui the Kunsthal Aarhus present the first realised project.
Throughout June and July well be touring Europe in context for our 2017 #campustour.
By way of an accompaniment, we thought it would be an opportune moment for a game of bingo.
For who doesn’t love bingo?
As the apostle Paul once wrote to the people of Galatia, “for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.” The manifestation of that wisdom can be observed in the twisted reality of our contemporary farming and food production systems.
What we could, should, sow in order to reap a more sustainable and democratic future harvest, and for all the role our personal relationships’ to food plays in approaching such an answer, is explored in the exhibition Food Revolution 5.0. Design for Tomorrow’s Society at the Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe Hamburg.
Very much like Willie Nelson, we’re on the road again, and like a band of gypsies goin’ down the highway, we’ll be goin’ places that we’ve never been, seein’ things that we may never see again, and all the time insistin’ that the world keep turnin’ our way.
It’s smow blog #campustour 2017
Until Sunday June 4th state of Design, Berlin 2017 is presenting projects from over 80 international creatives, supported by films, lectures and workshops, in the Vollgutlager in Berlin-Neukölln.
Viewing the 2017 edition it occurred to us there is a lot of charming ambiguity about the name state of Design, Berlin…….
In northern hemispheres June marks the start of both astronomical and meteorological summer.
In southern hemispheres June marks the start of both astronomical and meteorological winter.
The one rejoices, the other laments …. and we don’t even notice, far too busy as we are perusing architecture and design exhibitions. Our five recommendations for June 2017 features new shows in Den Haag, Frankfurt, New York, Leipzig and Brussels.
Inaugurated in 2016 state of Design Berlin is a festival which seeks to explore the experimental, critical, social character of design as much as present the industrial and commercial: and by extrapolation explain not only that design is all these things, but that the various aspects of design’s character needn’t be contradictory, far less conflicting or contrary.
The 2017 edition of state of Design Berlin opens on Thursday June 1st
’tis a curious thing time. It has accompanied our universe since the instant of its creation, has allowed for the development of our civil and social society, is the bedrock of our economic, industrial and commercial systems, guides us through every day, week, month, year, life.
Yet it is questionable if it actually exists.
And if it does exist. In what form? How can we visualise and document it? Does it have an inherent value?
Clues towards some possible answers are provided by the Designpreis Halle 2017 exhibition.
Dear Judge Tessin:
I will herewith express our delight to have Florence with us this summer. I am sure that it will be good for her to see a little more of the world. We are going to Sweden, Finland, Denmark, Germany, and Holland. We will take good care of her.
Most sincerely yours,
And take good care of Florence, Eliel Saarinen did: so much so that she advanced to become one of the most important protagonists in the development of post-war furniture, textile and interior design.
When we first viewed the exhibition Full House: Design by Stefan Diez at The Museum für Angewandte Kunst Cologne, it was was still being assembled. Objects were missing, set-ups not in their final composition, lights not yet properly positioned. As such we didn’t get to form an opinion on the final, complete, intended exhibition. Did however mange to take some truly awful photos.
Fortunately we have now had a second chance to view the exhibition.
And it is every bit as good as we assumed it would be from what we had seen.
With the exhibition Much More Than One Good Chair. Design & Society in Denmark, the Danish Embassy in Berlin present an exploration of the evolution of design in Denmark since 1945. And by extrapolation of the evolution of society in Denmark since 1945.
It’s early May and once again the party ship we call the smow song contest is ready to set sail……
There is one song missing from the smow blog playlist: missing for the simple, regrettable, and thoroughly avoidable, reason that it isn’t on spotify.
For din skyld by the Danish singer Birgit Brüel. Denmark’s entry for the 1965 Eurovision Song Contest. And featuring lyrics by Poul Henningsen.
Yes, that Poul Henningsen.
On May 1st 1851 Queen Victoria opened The Great Exhibition in Hyde Park London: the first “World’s Fair”, an event which celebrated the advances of the industrial age, and whose influence on industry, engineering, science, architecture and society was to resonate globally for decades, acting as it did as the motor for the quickening technological advances of the late 18th and early 19th centuries. While the profit generated from the 6 million visitors allowed for the construction of London’s Science Museum, Natural History Museum and neighbouring Victoria and Albert Museum.
If any of the numerous architecture and design exhibitions opening globally in May 2017 will become quite so pivotal remains to be seen. Our top five can be found in Hamburg, Atlanta, Amsterdam, London and Stuttgart.
It’s not quite radio smow. Not yet. But we hope it is another way to enjoy, and understand, the smow blog…….
“The handicraft training in the Bauhaus workshops was not an end in itself, but an irreplaceable educational tool. The aim of this training was to create designers who, thanks to their precise knowledge of materials and processes, were able to influence the industrial production of our time.” Walter Gropius, 1955*
The tensions caused by the practical question of how this influence was to be expressed, and the parallels with the industrial production of our time, are explored in the exhibition Craft becomes Modern. The Bauhaus in the Making at Bauhaus Dessau.
One of the genuine highlights for us at Milan Furniture Fair 2017 was without question the launch of USM Haller E – a new development by which electricity can be supplied to USM Haller units, electricity which can be used to power LED lighting or USB chargers housed unobtrusively in the structural tubes. “Unobtrusively” being the keyword as it means the functionality of the system is extended without altering, adjusting or otherwise impacting on the aesthetics of the system. A genuinely very exciting development and one which extends not just the functionality but also the value the system.
And which got us thinking…….
Backrests appeared to be a major feature of those new products Konstantin Grcic presented at Milan Furniture Fair 2017. Or perhaps better put, from those new product we saw by Konstantin Grcic, we interpreted the backrest as being central components. But it wasn’t all about backrests, a few thoughts on new products for Magis, Plank, Flos and Mattiazzi.
Much as we moan, moan, and moan about Milan Furniture Fair, it is a rare opportunity to get a snapshot of where individual designers are currently at: differing products for differing manufacturers being displayed in relatively proximity allowing for a nice overview. A few considerations on the latest projects by Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec for Vitra, Magis, Flos and Mattiazzi.
In our post The Sedentary Workers: Orchestra Musicians we explored the unique world of orchestra musicians’ chairs. One of Europe’s largest, and most experienced, manufacturers of orchestra and musicians’ chairs is Esslingen based Wilde+Spieth. Who thus seemed an ideal address to learn more about the orchestra chair and the orchestra chair market…..