“It is the time to bring nature back in our everyday life; not the romanticised, sanitised, domesticated version of it, but the gritty, wild stuff. We need to stop seeing nature as a garden landscape to tame or protect. We need to embrace the undomesticated, feral side of nature and allow pockets of wilderness to take over.”
– Alice Stori Liechtenstein, curator
Adorno is pleased to introduce you to the newest collection from Schloss Hollenegg for Design, WALDEN – an exploration of wilderness in everyday life, including work from twenty-two young, talented, emerging designers.
Situated in the Austrian Schloss Hollenegg, a castle dating back to 1163, Schloss Hollenegg for Design is a non-profit organisation that supports the growth and understanding of design culture through a yearly residency program and corresponding exhibition, offering a platform for emerging designers to share their practices. Curator Alice Stori Liechtenstein, who founded the project in 2015, describes that the institution “[aims] to investigate with continuity, culturally relevant topics and offer a large public a cultural program in a non-urban area”. The castle itself plays a large part in the creation of each exhibition, taking on the identity of a gallery and inspiring designers with its historic spaces, grounds, and inherent narratives.
Schloss Hollenegg – Photos © Leonhard-Hilzensauer
Previous exhibitions at Schloss Hollenegg have included the themes of slowness, metamorphosis, legacy, and the table. This year’s exhibition, WALDEN, has been created around the theme of wilderness in our everyday lives, encouraging the participating designers and, now, audiences to reconsider and embrace the undomesticated, wild side of nature.
In terms of curatorial approach, Stori Liechtenstein “wanted to approach the theme of ecology and address our dysfunctional relationship with the environment”. She explains that “[she doesn’t] think it is necessary to choose between technology and the environment or artificial and natural, but we do need to have a different understanding of what it means to live in symbiosis with nature. It is the time to bring nature back in our everyday life; not the romanticised, sanitised, domesticated version of it, but the gritty, wild stuff”.
It is from this idea that WALDEN has grown.
“It is obvious that however amazing technology can be, it will never substitute the physical presence, but it is exciting to have tools at our disposal that allow us to discover and explore, even when we are not able to travel.”
The collection includes pieces which have been commissioned by Stori Liechtenstein and designed especially for the exhibition: “I give the brief at the beginning and try and guide them along so that the projects are different and complementary, but I also leave a lot of freedom [for] them to develop their ideas and visions.” Creating pieces that have been inspired by and integrated into the castle’s rooms and grounds, the designers are able to explore their individual practices and shape the final outcome of the exhibition.
Due to the current pandemic, Schloss Hollenegg for Design has had to approach the presentation of their exhibition from a different angle. Instead of welcoming visitors into the castle, audiences are able to explore the exhibition online on Schloss Hollenegg for Design and view the collection on Adorno. “I felt it was a wonderful time to experiment and try out different mediums. So, we have made a video and a 3D mapping of the rooms so that the viewers will be able to explore the exhibition online,” explains Stori Liechtenstein, “it is obvious that however amazing technology can be, it will never substitute the physical presence, but it is exciting to have tools at our disposal that allow us to discover and explore, even when we are not able to travel”.
The exhibition’s opening will also be streamed live on Adorno’s Instagram, @adorno.design, at 19.00 CET on 9 May, allowing audiences a first look at the pieces and a chance to view the collection in situ within the castle and its grounds.
WALDEN features pieces designed by twenty-two designers including crafting plastics! studio, Charlap Hyman & Herrero, Marlène Huissoud, Klemens Schillinger, Sophie Dries, Arvid & Marie, BNAG, Thomas Ballouhey, Thomas Barger, Commonplace Studio, Marianne Drews, Jonas Edvard, Linde Freya, Marc Leschelier, mischer’traxler, Odd Matter, Marylou Petot, Studio B Severin, Studiotut, Study O Portable, Evalie Wagner, and Sander Wassink.