CECI N’EST PAS…Public Collection
While Belgian architect and designer Henry van de Velde was amongst the first ones to strive for rational mass production of design, he was also one of the founders of Bauhaus, which philosophy ‘form follows function’ is still of paramount importance. As introduced by Bauhaus, the barriers between arts, design, and crafts disappear more and more. In abandoned factories, creative human-sized laboratories are settled and designers take the stage. Doing so, they propose a new way of producing, in a more small-scale, local, and artisanal way. Good examples are amongst others Chanel Kapitanj who – as a woman – designs and welds her metal creations herself, or Nicolas Erauw and Amandine David who use traditional production methods in a personalized, innovative way.
The recent global crisis only strengthens this way of working. Moreover, it stimulates designers to look for more sustainable materials, such as Roxane Lahidji who works with salt, Filip Janssens who uses discarded marble or Geneviève Levivier who integrates eggshells. As Belgian artist René Magritte they play with our perception. The objects might not be what you think they are at first sight. The playful Tamayi stool by Objects with Narratives can be a stool, but also an abstracted Christmas tree, the lamp COFIT-20 by Haute Cuisine is not made from concrete, but from locally sourced stone coal and Pierre-Emmanuel Vandeputte doesn’t design just a table, but always looks beyond regular functions, adding a touch of poetry to his creations. Doing so, these designers intertwine rational and more irrational driven aspects, stimulating an emotional connection to their creations.
As our thinking, feeling, and acting are stimulated by our subconscious, according to the theory of Sigmund Freud who strongly influenced the surrealists, this way of designing might strengthen the relationships we have with objects, and function in the long run as a catalyst for sustainability. Or how dream and reality have to become one in this ‘new reality’.