Today, during a press conference at the Press Club Brussels Europe, the Belgium is Design platform reinforce its commitment to promote Belgium design companies & designers during the Milan Design Week. This year, as in 2016, Flanders DC, MAD Brussels and WBDM – Wallonia Brussels Design Fashion, will be coordinating the Belgian design actions from 4–9 April 2017 in the spectacular Palazzo Litta, in Milan.
‘The goal is to create an exhibition that lends insight into the creative process between two or more persons, ideas that grow from scratch through a mix of friendship, mutual trust, experience, as well as lots of amore & umore that results in a wonderful final product.” explained Sigrid Demyttenaere, DAMN° Magazinee co-editor.
Belgium is Design and DAMN° Magazine asked the designers to select the companies they wanted to collaborate with. The reasons for their choices are boundless: affinity, continuity or curiosity.
Belgitude is about exchanging know-hows, collaborative excel- lence, friendly dialogues, but most of all, it is about local production, and definitely, about time. The time that is behind creation is both fast and slow. Six months to design and make an object sets the stopwatches ticking, yet this small-scale country has a major quality: a poetic, ironic and surrealistic attitude to make everything possible. Parallel to this, a slower dimension lies equally with the ability of each selected company to produce long-term and enduring products, but also in the nature of the collaboration with designers that deeply understand the skills and limits to overcome.
Who are the creative teams?
ATELIER LACHAERT DHANIS (SOFIE LACHAERT & LUC D’HANIS) / ART CASTING are working on a complex cast piece, playing with visual perceptions and decontextualised domestic archetypes. Trio is three bronze chairs soldered together, wherein sophisticated conceptual design combines with the foundry’s speciality of casting for artworks.
NICOLAS BOVESSE / KERAMIS are challenging ceramic throwing techniques in order to create a solid and durable small table of earthenware and steel. The final result will be for sale via Keramis, a Walloon ceramics museum and research centre.
JEAN-FRANÇOIS D’OR / MAISON VERVLOET carry on a successful collaboration investing design accessories with poetry and a surrealistic ‘clin d’œil’ that transforms anonymous fittings (door handles, door bells, umbrella holders) into a precious landscape of functional reveries. Maison Vervloet has been creating high-end hand- crafted hardware for over 100 years.
BENOÎT DENEUFBOURG / CRUSO decided to seal their mutual love for wood by completing the Paddle chair collection with stools and barstools. As a Belgian design manufacturer, it’s also a reflection of Cruso’s goal to unite outstanding designers with the finest craftsmen.
NATHALIE DEWEZ / VAL SAINT LAMBERT is a first-time collaboration that reinterprets the traditional crystal-cutting skills and archives of the Walloon crystal company, which has been handmaking its collections for nearly 200 years. Focusing on inner light projection and emphasising the shade of the cut material, three lamps will be formed by two layers of left-over crystal with LED light fixtures in the centre.
JAN & RANDOALD / LABT are once again working together on a project that engages the former’s skills as graphic designers and the latter’s as specialist studio-maker of customised furniture. The Rontgen Rack is a stackable and adaptable series of modules that change their function, focusing on the idea that repetition is a form of change.
LAEND (CHEVALIER MASSON+ DIANE STEVERLYNCK) / VALERIE_TRAAN sees the three designers brought together by the Antwerp gallery and editor to develop a collection of carpets that provides the knitted surface with different patterns depending on the observation point. Key to this effect is the invention of an experimental thread, for which collaboration with the specialist spinning mill of Diese Wolle and the expertise and infrastructure of Belgian producer and editor of carpets Limited Edition has been instrumental.
XAVIER LUST /CHARLES SCHAMBOURG BY NACARAT is a long-standing relationship and here the designer has chosen to work with the luxury woven leather workshop to create a prototype seat worked in aluminium, upholstery and woven leather, highlighting the respective craftsmanship of both partners.
MULLER VAN SEVEREN / EMAILLERIE BELGE is a partnership that brings the distinctive assemblies of the design duo together with an enamelling company that has evolved from its industrial past to artisanal future. This prototype project sees high-end finished surfaces interplay in elementary architectures, one steel plate folded to form a small desk, rack and/or folding screen and then enamelled in colours that accentuate the shape.
JULIEN RENAULT / KEWLOX is a recent relationship in which the young designer has been collaborating with the 1950s icon of self-assembled furniture as artistic director to develop a complementary collection. Challenging the patented historical system, the designer is developing a new interpretation of the modular architecture that plays with transparencies and introduces glass into the pieces.