Windows of Design: ADORNO x ALHAMBRA BERLIN
“…the ‘Windows of Design’ project highlights creatives that express a unique philosophy through their work and objects that represent a viewpoint towards design that is not purely stylistic. I wanted the items in the installation to create a dialogue with each other that was not only in harmony, but also in debate and contrast.”
– Garth Roberts, designer, curator, and founder of BERLINDESIGNCLUB
All images courtesy ALHAMBRA BERLIN, photos by Ragnar Schmuck for ALHAMBRA BERLIN
View the full “Windows of Design” collection, including (L-R) “Frozen Lava Lamp” by Teun Zwets, “Bricomart Supreme” Vase N.1 by Teresa Fernández-Pello, & “OKO Vase / Forms / Gradient ROCKET” by Malwina Konopacka
ADORNO is pleased to launch the third edition of ALHAMBRA BERLIN’s “Windows of Design” project, developed and curated by Garth Roberts, designer and founder of BERLINDESIGNCLUB, in collaboration with ADORNO’s local curator William Bagnoli of QUEI Studio. “Windows of Design” brings a diverse mix of artists and designers together in the windows of what is soon to be an innovative, multi-purpose co-retail format. This project acts as a leading star for the future of retail spaces and a new way of exhibiting physically in a time of social distancing.
Launching in Spring 2021 and located along Berlin’s renowned luxury mile Kurfürstendamm, ALHAMBRA BERLIN is a space dedicated to reinventing retail. It will feature a mixture of a showroom, a gallery, an event venue and a store, presenting an evolving curated selection of brands and designers both physically and online. It seeks to disrupt traditional methods of retail and offer clients a more connected and unique experience. The “Windows of Design” project, curated by Roberts, has showcased pieces from talented local artists and designers as the space nears its launch. In line with the aims of BERLINDESIGNCLUB, it has explored the unique identity and interconnected character of the Berlin design scene. The third edition expands the selection of designers beyond the German borders, highlighting contemporary interior and collectible design from around Europe.
The third edition of “Windows of Design” features work by Andreas Berlin, BNAG, Craig Barrow, Finn Meier, Johannes Hemann, Laetitia de Allegri, Malwina Konopacka, Philipp Weber, Roni Feiten, Sanghyeok Lee, Sisse Holst Pedersen, Sophie Rowley, studio b severin, studio jephrim, Teresa Fernández-Pello, Teun Zwets, and Tim Teven.
View the collection in person at Kurfürstendamm 68, Berlin – on display from 19 November to 6 December 2020 – and available online on Adorno.
Interview with curator Garth Roberts, founder of BERLINDESIGNCLUB
Can you tell us a bit about BERLINDESIGNCLUB and how it began?
The BERLINDESIGNCLUB is a design initiative that aims to highlight Berlin’s design identity by presenting and empowering its designers within their community and abroad. I am often asked to describe the ambiguity and underground nature of Berlin’s design scene. BERLINDESIGNCLUB activities merge the creative sectors of graphic, product, environmental design, craft makers, and design artists, etc.
But, the inclusivity of the BERLINDESIGNCLUB also extends to other platforms, by openly supporting Berlin’s existing creative collectives and new aesthetic movements. We also make efforts to seek out opportunities for integration and collaboration. Our joining forces with Alhambra Berlin and the Adorno community for the ‘Windows of Design’ project is an example of this concept in action.
How did the collaboration between BERLINDESIGNCLUB and ALHAMBRA BERLIN come about?
ALHAMBRA BERLIN’s ‘Windows of Design’ was an unexpected opportunity that came from the unfortunate disruptions caused by the COVID situation. When I first heard that the briefing of the project requested content and engagement in both virtual (via social media) as well as physical (via window installations) formats, I understood immediately that this was the ‘window of opportunity’ 😉 for the BERLINDESIGNCLUB to collaborate with ALHAMBRA BERLIN.
The proposal outlined three options, aimed at local, national, and international audiences. As you can imagine, I was pleasantly surprised when ALHAMBRA BERLIN’s project team announced that they wanted to produce them all.
The Berlin design scene is known for its strong collaborative and trend-setting identity – what is it about this scene that makes this possible?
Being a recent addition to Berlin’s design community, I always feel humbled when asked to detail or define aspects of Berlin’s design scene.
For me, the ambiguity and underground aspects of Berlin’s culture, in general, result in an intangible ‘outlier’ quality when it comes to design. This individualism is reflected in the work and the ways of working of many creatives living here. But this does not result in more stylistically pronounced design scenes that you find in Milan, New York, or Eindhoven. I think that the loose nature of this community creates a freedom of expression that ironically becomes a ‘ligne rouge’ that resonates with the designers of Berlin’s urban locale.
Referencing your experience as a designer, what aspects of design were you looking for when curating the selection for “Windows of Design”?
In general, the ‘Windows of Design’ project highlights creatives that express a unique philosophy through their work and objects that represent a viewpoint towards design that is not purely stylistic. I wanted the items in the installation to create a dialogue with each other that was not only in harmony, but also in debate and contrast.
The fact that I knew William [Bagnoli], Adorno’s Berlin Curator, before this collaboration, made it easier for us to find a comfortable dynamic for the project. This familiarity and level of trust were also what allowed us to share in the successful execution of this project.
What do you envision audiences taking away from both the physical and digital presences of “Windows of Design”?
An audience is always an uncontrolled variable. Of course, you desire as much audience as possible, but their response is always unpredictable. Because of this, I put my focus on variables that I can affect. In the context of ALHAMBRA BERLIN’s ‘Windows of Design’ X Adorno and in working with William as their Berlin curator, firstly I wanted to be sure that there was a strong link to William’s existing curation for Adorno. It was also a priority to create the visual immediacy and public interaction necessary for the successful engagement of the objects presented ‘In Real Life’.
When a strong balance between the virtual and real aspects of this exhibition is achieved, it creates an opportunity for the audience to engage directly with the object via the installation, and for the virtual component to continue to reinforce the viewer’s impressions over time. The symbiotic nature of the two formats also works in reverse. When one experiences aspects of the design online, there is also the opportunity to build upon this information with an ‘In Real Life’ encounter attained when engaging directly with the window.
This extended participant experience is something unique to the ALHAMBRA BERLIN X Adorno collaboration and something that William and myself saw as a unique opportunity to explore by coming together on this project.
An innovative multi-purpose co-retail format launches in Spring 2021 on over 1,100 square meters in Berlin. Under the name ALHAMBRA BERLIN, the space along Berlin’s renowned luxury mile Kurfürstendamm features a mixture of a showroom, a gallery, an event venue and a store and serves as a platform aligning advanced trading tools and holistic marketing activities. The creators behind the space pursue the ambition of disrupting the conventional models of retail and adapting them to the demands of modern-day consumers for service excellence, authenticity and memorable experiences.
ALHAMBRA BERLIN acts as a playfield for carefully curated products of leading brands and evolving designers and their exceptional physical presentation in-store as well as online. The approach of engaging products and collections into artistic installations plays an essential role at ALHAMBRA BERLIN and encourages guests to discover and explore brands in an emotional and authentic way, opening a dialogue with designers, artists and craftsmen beyond their stories and creative journeys. By frequently hosting events and exhibitions, ALHAMBRA BERLIN organically forms, connects and services a diverse community and constantly surprises with international names, inspiring creatives and industry pioneers from various fields, bringing them all together in the very heart of Berlin. A visit at ALHAMBRA BERLIN turns into a unique experience beyond just shopping. It pictures a tour through brands from the fields of fashion and accessories, beauty and health, interior and living, travel and leisure, tech and mobility, and art and design.
All pieces are available for purchase on Adorno, the online gallery providing free insured deliveries from leading designers across 25 countries.
The third edition of “Windows of Design” is presented in partnership with: