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The “MUDERNISM” collection celebrates prehistoric design icons, glazed with materials extracted from modern wastewater treatment. All pieces are handmade at the designer’s studio in Amsterdam.
All living species drink water, but we as humans elevated ourselves above plants and animals by designing objects in which we give shape to the water before we drink it.
Archaeologists discovered ceramic designs from around 6368 Before Present buried in the Dutch earth. Studio Billie van Katwijk pays homage to this pioneering Dutch design with a reimagining of a classic: the funnel beaker. We glaze the ancient mudshape with the residue of latest scientific explorations.
MUDERNISM is a glaze. The thin layer that separates us from our earliest ancestors.
MUDERNISM consists of the most modern mud that we can distill from water: Kaumera.
MUDERNISM gives you a hyper-prehistoric drinking experience.
We are part of the cycle of water.
We are temporary containers.
We’ve always been and always will be.
MUDERNISM is an ongoing project. Studio Billie van Katwijk is currently researching different by products of the wastewater purification process. Billie also works on site specific projects connecting with local clay, heritage and wastewater.
Conceptual product designer Billie van Katwijk is fascinated by nature: that endlessly shapeshifting, growing, blooming, dying, sprouting, phenomenon. From these natural cycles all sorts of materials emerge. Some are treasured (gold, oil, diamonds) while other materials remain unseen or unappreciated. Billie van Katwijk unravels the beauty of these materials. Slaughterhouse-waste becomes a luxury-leather, a residue from the sewer shows its hidden colors when turned into a glaze. Cremation ashes are transformed in a delicate porcelain.
Van Katwijk believes in showing contradictions and taboos, but she doesn’t judge. Her projects seduce people to think and to engage in a dialogue. “My concepts are completed by the user, with his or her own thoughts.”
The body of work in this collection consists of pieces by Greek designers of the mainland and the diaspora, or international professionals who live and work in Greece. As a common theme we tackle the elusive notion of “Greekness” and how this transpires through the work of seemingly diverse and distinct individuals. In our attempt to define “Greekness”, we aim to raise questions about how this plays out in the work presented.
How do Greek designers view their identity? Is it through their effort to decipher their heavy heritage? Is form important in order to achieve a predisposed classic elegance, or is a philosophical disposition towards shape more poignant? Could it be simply a resourcefulness and DIY ethic to make up for the absence of design infrastructure?
How do Greek designers based abroad deal with their background? Could it be that they simply ignore it in order to finally free themselves? Is there a certain amount of innovation necessary in order to channel it into the new environment?
Finally, how do foreign designers see their work influenced by their Greek surroundings? Is it the reference through the use of noble materials such as marble or the abundance of natural light that makes their work unquestionably Greek? Or could it be something else they were seeking when they decided to move here, something abstract like humour or drama? Could their arrival finally mean a departure from Greek heritage’s self-reference?
The pieces that we present might seem ill-matched, but they share an important core element. They are confident in their narrative of a personal story of identity, that is either at peace or against the Greek archetype. Through this communication, they all describe a culturally mature and vibrant scene that is finally extroverted and coming of age.
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