Culture / Design

Now See These: 5 Design Exhibitions Summer 2016

With the eagerly awaited Maison & Objet still months away, these are some exhibits across the world to scratch your design itch.

Jun 27, 2016 | By Staff Writer

With the Milan Furniture Fair wrapped up, the connoisseurs of the latest in interior design are eagerly awaiting the next Maison & Objet show a mere months away. Yet, for those who still need to get their design itch scratched – there are still quite a number of exhibits running through the summer all over the world. Here then is a list of the top 5 of those exhibits showcasing the best in design innovation:

Radical Design (until November 17, 2017) – Vitra Design Museum, Weil am Rhein, Germany

Gaetano Pesce - La Mamma (from the Up series of furniture)

Gaetano Pesce – La Mamma (from the Up series of furniture)

With growing political turmoil and interest in social activism during the 20th century came the idea that design could be used for subversive purposes beyond just aesthetics and comfort. This was especially so with the “Radical Design” movement in Italy – formed in the 1960s to protest against popular design trends of the day. One of their notable designs, for example, is the “La Mamma” lounge chair by Gaetano Pesce which is shaped to invoke a woman’s torso with a ‘ball and chain’.

Nendo: The Space in Between (until October 30, 2016) – Design Museum Holon, Israel

"Thin Black Lines Chair" by Nendo

“Thin Black Lines Chair” by Nendo

This extensive retrospective on one of the most innovative and world-renowned studios out there cuts across a variety of Nendo’s designs to show a thorough scope of their capabilities. Stretching across 74 works, the exhibition is split into six categories, each of which depicts a different way the studio has gone ‘in-between the cracks’ of what is possible with design. An example is the “Thin Black Lines” chair, which steps in-between the boundaries of bare outline and proper form.

S.O.S. Sottsass Olivetti Synthesis (until August 21, 2016) – Olivetti Showroom in Venice, Italy

Ettore Sottsass Office Concept for Olivetti

Ettore Sottsass Office Concept for Olivetti

This exhibit delves into the extravagant works of designer Ettore Sottsass from the revolutionary Memphis Group in Italy. It specially focuses on the vibrant office designs that Sottsass created for the typewriter maker Olivetti.

Two Exhibits on Designer Harry Bertoia (until September 25, 2016) – Museum of Arts and Design, New York, USA

Harry Bertoia with one of his works

Harry Bertoia with one of his works

The influential designer Harry Bertoia is placed in the spotlight for two exhibitions at the Museum of Arts and Design. The first, entitled “Atmosphere for Enjoyment: Harry Bertoia’s Environment for Sound” delves into the special ‘tonal sculptures’ Bertoia created when he discovered that rods make lush and resonant sounds when they strike one another. These works incorporated noise into their design while maintaining the outer veneer of a sculpted form.

The second exhibit is entitled “Bent, Cast & Forged: The Jewelry of Harry Bertoia” and goes into a variety of jewelry crafted by Bertoia from melted-down metal scraps.

Learning from Japan (until September 24, 2017) – Danish Museum of Art and Design, Copenhagen, Denmark

"Learning from Japan" at the Danish Museum of Art and Design.

“Learning from Japan” at the Danish Museum of Art and Design.

Japan has always been a big influence on the interior design landscape of the world, especially with its long history of Zen, Shinto and Buddhist inspired aesthetics. This was especially true, unlikely as it may seem, for Denmark, which incorporated Japanese applied art to Danish arts and crafts around the turn of the century. The Danish Museum of Art and Design’s long exhibition on Japanese design (started in 2015 for their 125th birthday) aims to delve into this relationship as thoroughly as possible, featuring a wide variety of Japanese designs.


 
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