Organized annually by the Federal Office of Culture since 1918, the Swiss Design Awards creates platforms that help the competition winners advance in their careers and present their work to a wider audience. This year’s Swiss Design Awards exhibition, designed by Holzer Kobler Architekturen, will feature the works by 49 selected designers from a number of disciplines: products and objects, fashion and textile design, graphic design, photography, scenography and intermediation. All of them are featured in detail with an interview and profile on the specifically built Swiss Design Awards Blog. The winners of the Awards can choose between prize money, a six-month internship at a well-known firm, or free studio residences in London and New York. Furthermore, the Swiss Grand Prix Design is annually awarded on the occasion of the SDA to outstanding individual designers that contribute to the renown of the country’s innovation – this year’s Grand Prix winners are Alfredo Häberli, Wolfgang Weingart and Erich Biehle.
Established with design in Berlin since 1981, the exhibition Italian Eclectic marks the inaugural show of Hans-Peter Jochums new space on Mommsenstrasse, which is from now on operating under the new name JochumRodgers. Particularly interested in its mentality and playful spirit, Hans-Peter Jochum and Jett Rodgers’ works draw heavily on Italian design: exploring the development of design as an end in itself rather than a way to produce objects of utility.
As a result, Italian Eclectic spans from Carlo Bugatti’s Art Nouveau furniture to the bold postmodern pieces of the Memphis Group and Ettore Sottsass, and provides an assemblage of unique objects and small editions designed by different artists: a mirror object by Gino Marotta, a black cabinet by the sculptor Giacomo Cometti, a chair by the painter and sculptor Thayaht, and the TOP mirror chair by the architect and artist Nanda Vigo.
The exhibition Collection Röthlisberger | Miroirs – Spiegel at Kunsthalle Fribourg marks the largest presentation dedicated to designers and architects, Trix and Robert Haussmann, in over a decade. Since 1967, the couple has built an idiosyncratic oeuvre that has continuously challenged architectural, design and aesthetic conventions, and has explored many creative perspectives, such as poetry composed by chance, drawings, collages and texts. The exhibition, composed entirely in collaboration with Trix and Robert Haussmann, examines every aspect of their research, and weaves together different bodies of work, including furniture objects belonging to the Röthlisberger Collection, as well as a series of unique mirror’s made in the 1980’s. In addition, they have conceptualized, designed and produced about 10 new mirror works from 2014 that will be installed in the space of the Kunsthalle to create different optical illusions.
How does a digitally oriented generation, for whom creativity, sustainability, and mobility are more important than status, live? This is the question explored in Freunde von Freunden’s and Vitra’s first apartment in Berlin. Building upon their common styles and experiences, the FvF Apartment by Vitra on Mulackstrasse offers a glimpse into the world of the Swiss furniture manufacturer’s collage and visualizes the interview magazine’s conceptualization of urban living. The 65sqm ‘Altbau’ apartment has been rebuilt and designed to be adaptable to the diverse scenarios of everyday life.
In November 2012, Studio Manuel Raeder began developing the three display structures and furniture that make up La letra E está por doquier (The Letter E is everywhere) with fellow studio designer Santiago da Silva for Centro de Diseño de Oaxaca. As the first public institution of its kind in Mexico, it understands design as a tool for social change and, coinciding with the ethos of Studio Manuel Raeder, follows the understanding that form relates to production and production to alternative economic relations based on dialogue and the exchange of ideas. As a result the furniture features seating made out of plastic, wooden stools and upturned buckets, as well as the ubiquitous white plastic Monobloc chairs, reconfigured and covered with woven palm leaf. The modular cake table was produced in collaboration with a furniture factory and local wood producers in Oaxaca. Additionally the cubic structures display a selection of catalogues and artists’ books produced by Studio Manuel Raeder over the past ten years, as well as collected and found objects such as art wares, which the designers collected from their stay in Mexico.
The products of the Berlin based design company NEW TENDENCY are characterized by conceptual design, clear aesthetics and functional form, as well as the fact that they’re manufactured locally. Whether it is a glass, a coat rack or a jewelry collection, the design company’s credo is continually reflected in its new, interdisciplinary creations – expanding its portfolio of original products and collaborations with select designers. Corresponding to this approach, their newest innovation, the shelf rack CLICK is the result of a collaboration with Danish architect Sigurd Larsen. Furthermore, the latest NEW TENDENCY product range includes the MASA table base, the DECEMBER floor lamp, the HASH coat rack, the META side table and the X CHAIR, the RIEN glass as well as the SID & CHAD vases, next to a new oak version of the SHIFT, which received the Interior Innovation Award 2014.
Photos: Haw-lin | Matthias Schmitt & Michael Ott
Citizens across Europe are currently taking the initiative to re-appropriate urban space. A group of neighbours transforms wasteland into public space. Garden plot owners open their grounds to unemployed youths to test their small-scale business ideas. Communities are becoming patrons where they were once supplicants. Identified as “We-Traders” they redefine the relation between value, profit and public good and are able to motivate fellow citizens to follow suit. They respond to crisis in several arenas of urban life, be it economic, social or ecological and diffuse the boundaries between buyers and sellers: consumers become co-producers. Through interactive forums, workshops and exhibitions the project connects initiatives by artists, designers, architects and activists from Lisbon, Madrid, Toulouse, Turin and Berlin, where the current crisis manifests different facets from empty coffers and social polarisation to a lack of civic sense as a result of excessive growth.
Furniture, by its very nature, is a practical form, defined by its character and functionality. In his new exhibition Raumbilder (Spatial Pictures), Sven Temper presents his latest works, unique takes on ordinary household furniture, rendered here in everyday wood and mass produced materials. The show at gallery Hans-Peter Jochum sets his particular usages through an array of sideboards, tables, chairs, shelves, as well as multiple new takes on the armchair. The title of the exhibition refers to both the material as well as the social connotations of space, its physical and social impact and how social spaces are constructed through communication and/or action.
Specialty tea is still leading a fringe existence on the European continent. But that’s about to change, as P & T sets out from Berlin to spread the word on fine tea in an altogether novel fashion. P & T has made it their mission to make fine teas and tea culture more accessible and rewarding to a broader audience. Nothing like a conventional tea shop, it breaks with the traditional apothecary-like over-the-counter model. Instead, the original presentation system encourages self-directed discovery, sensory experience and dialogue.
Photos by Ludger Paffrath
P & T
As a journey through finest textile art, the exhibition features selected protagonists from the discipline, like Sofie Dawo, who by transgressing the boundaries of the medium’s two-dimensional format, steered the evolution of tapestry towards three-dimensional relief and fine art. The artists Lena Meyer-Bergner and Elisabeth Kadow – both trained at the Bauhaus University in Weimar – are presented with studies on paper for textiles alongside with a homage from Verner Panton to Josef Albers, selected samples by Barbro Nilsson from the notable Swedish weaver Märta-Maas Fjetterström, and a hand-woven wall piece made in the Sixties by Renata Bonfanti. The site specific installation by Frauke Eigen “Friendship-Balls” – or Japanese Temari – further traces a Far East tradition from the 7th Century.