A couple of weeks ago I was at the opening exhibition of the Design Museum Holon titled: The State of Things – Design and the 21st Century. An international exhibit that featured current objects and the practice, consumption and cultural impact of contemporary design. They were grouped into various categories. Factors that shaped the selection process were: the materials used, the concepts conveyed and the intended uses.
There were eight categories in the exhibit. But I’ll touch on the things that caught my eye. The object above is a Water clock by Kouichi Okamoto.
Now what time would you say it is?
An example of the Design Lab, the One Shot stool designed by Patrick Jouin for MGX, Belgium in 2006. This category deals with prototypes and uses for new materials such as carbon fiber which provide incredible lightness as well as strength.
And here you see it closed like an umbrella – fabulous.
Above you see Joris Laarman’s ornate Wirepod. (Sorry about the photo quality. It was shot through a glass display case) This is an example of Super Beauty – an ordinary outlet for electronic appliance, its sinus curves and decorative nature make a normally hidden and unattractive object beautiful and intentionally showy. It reminds me of old wrought iron banister spindles.
Gareth Neal’s Anne table’s legs are very interesting. The striations mixed with solid areas give the legs a wobbly appearance. Some trompe l’oeil n’est pas?
The Social Anxiety category addresses issues that every country in the world is affected by: one or more of a range of problems including terrorism, environmental issues, natural disasters, disease, famine, and failing economies. Many designers are reflecting the perceived and very real experience of inhabiting an increasingly dangerous world. Here is an example of this category: the inflatable Evacuation Dress by Yael Mer of Raw-Edges.
The Global Warming carpet by NEL Colectivo, Mexico City.
And just to give you some scale.
The Riot Table Lamp by Janne Kyttanen takes a very pessimistic view of the future showing bombs, airplanes, barbed wire and other symbols of war.
In contrast to this light fixture:
The Hanabi Light is an example of the New Essentialism category: a range of aesthetically simple objects that call attention to their materials or function without the distraction of ornament or complicated functioning. Nendo’s Hanabi light made of a shape-changing metal that expands when heated is one example.
It opens and closes seemingly ambivalent to its environment. It reminded me of a Venus Flytrap.
One visit is not enough.
All images and text copyright Judy Weiss. All rights reserved.