“Indifference towards people and the reality in which they live is actually the one and only cardinal sin in design.” (Dieter Rams) It’s not often that a contemporary designer gets its dedicated, (almost) solo auction nowadays. Obviously, Dieter Rams is not just any contemporary designer – but arguably the most influential industrial designer of the past century. Chicago-based auction house Wright just wrapped up their” “Dieter Rams: The JF Chen Collection” sale, featuring over 130 works by the iconic designer and his colleagues. The pieces had previously been exhibited by antique dealer Joel Chen in one of his Los Angeles showrooms. The sales grossed over $99,000. Dieter Rams' body of work includes more than 500 objects and furniture designs — from coffee grinders and razors to stereo components and projectors to universal shelving and seating designs — that are admired around the globe. Despite the variety and volume, his works illustrate a cohesive adherence to his philosophy of what makes good design.
Miniaturist and artist Joshua Smith’s intricately detailed models of overlooked Sydney buildings celebrate the beauty of urban grime, rust, decay and graffiti. "Urban Decay", showing at the Australian Design Centre (August 2 - September 25), will be his first solo exhibition. Joshua Smith (based in Norwood, South Australia) will unveil five intricately-crafted miniatures of buildings, one roller door and one dumpster, each constructed complete with ad hoc signage, graffiti and urban grime. The Sydney buildings include the Olympia Milk Bar in Stanmore, the Karim building in Wentworth Street and the Ginseng Shop in Haymarket, while a Milk Bar from Joshua's home town Adelaide and a Bodega from Brooklyn, New York round out the set. Smith has previously shown his miniatures in galleries and art fairs in London, Paris, Berlin, New York, Hong Kong, Sydney, Melbourne and Adelaide. Formerly a self-taught stencil artist, Joshua ran Espionage Gallery in Adelaide for four years before concentrating on his career as a miniature artist in 2015. The exhibition offers insights into Joshua Smith’s meticulous approach to the creation of the works, including research conducted through Google Maps and photography, and the perfect recreation of each building’s facade in 1:20 scale using a variety of materials.
The Design Museum Den Bosch (The Netherlands) is tempting your tastebuds and challenging your brain with "Food is fiction", on display until October 28th. "Food is fiction" draws on a wealth of designs to provide insight into the role of design for the food industry. It shows the importance of presentation and narrative: from the oldest commercials, iconic packaging for Droste and the first exotic products to culinary science fiction in Star Trek, hand-crafted imitation food from Japan, and the art of the food blog.
Designers Daphna Isaacs Burggraaf and Laurens Manders (Eindhoven-based studio Daphna Laurens) have imagined the scenography of the most recent Dutch Invertuals collective exhibition. First introduced during the Milan Salone, "Mutant Matter" explores the new era we have entered, the "Anthropocene era – a new geological age where human making has realigned the processes of nature, forever blurring the boundaries between the natural and the man-made." "Designers are beginning to consider not only the complications caused by these vast ecological changes, but also the potential," explain Dutch Invertuals members Caroline & FranklinTill "Humankind used to take the materials of nature offered and make them into something new. Now, there’s a new stage in the cycle, as nature takes human materials and transforms them once more. The making materials of today become the mined resources of tomorrow. Plastics are written into the fossil record. Industrial waste streams decay into intriguing new substances."
In the beautiful city of Utrecht (The Netherlands), the Workshop of Wonders gallery presents "PLAY TIME! 25 Dutch Design Years". The exhibition, which will run until the 2nd of June, marks the 25th anniversary of the place, accordingly echoing 25 years of Dutch Design. Workshop of Wonders chose to spotlight the four Dutch designers who played a main role in both the Dutch design history and the gallery adventure: Ineke Hans, Richard Hutten, Edward van Vliet and Marcel Wanders. As renowned members of the "new generation", Dutch Design duo Daphna Laurens were invited to design the show.
For its second edition, "NOMAD Monaco" brought together leading collectable design and contemporary art galleries in the Villa La Vigie - previously owned by Karl Lagerfeld. The historic mansion was transformed this past April 26-29th with rare furniture pieces, a lounge conceived by Vincent Darré together with 18 Davies Street Gallery and works by French designer Mathieu Lehanneur showcased at Musée Océanographique.
Until November 2018, the Musée national Picasso-Paris presents an exhibition of the new benches the iconic museum has acquired, which were created by Isabelle Baudraz, ECAL Bachelor Industrial Design student, and produced by French furniture brand Tectona. Originally introduced during the Milan Design Week, Isabelle Baudraz’s ‘Tie’ bench was designed after ECAL commissioned a group of students and graduates to carry out a study on the seats of fifty museums or so in Europe (Germany, England, Spain, France, Italy, the Netherlands and Switzerland). The modular Tie bench has been imagined in order to fit the evolving, ever-changing needs of any museum.
"The Dynamic Lines our our Nest" is an installation designed by Matali Crasset for the National Museum of Singapore (exhibited until Sept. 30th). With this piece, the French artist and designer's intention is to pay a tribute to "the awakening of our curiosity". By twisting the central pole, the installation is transformed into a colourful mobile for toddlers in a central playpen below. Visitors are invited to “nest” and recline in a shared space around the playpen. Inspired by natural greenery (a casuarina tree, according to Crasset), the installation proposes "a future play space where the natural and manmade meet". Matali Crasset's "Nest" is part of The More We Get Together: Singapore’s Playgrounds 1930 – 2030 exhibition.