– 2 September 2018
“Poéme Brut” [Rough Poem] is one of the current exhibitions at the Design Museum Gent, looking at the ways artists use coarse materials and the power of handicrafts and traditional techniques. The exhibition showcases individual objects by well-known designers and emerging talents who have experimented with the use of materials in special ways.
In recent years, many designers have begun to take an interest in handicrafts, local manufacturing, and materials in stark contrast to trends towards globalisation and dematerialisation. The central aspect of the exhibition revolves around the implementation of research on materials and techniques, either by combining old materials with new techniques or old handicraft traditions with innovative materials. Inspired by tradition, the works on display focus on the process and on transforming contemporary contexts into aesthetic form.
Visitors can see objects that present new perspectives in surprising combinations. One is Roxane Lahidjis’s project using salt; she sees herself more as an alchemist than as a designer. Also on display is work by British designer Max Lamb, who uses simple and expressive techniques such as cutting, carving, sanding or folding. He says: “I want the process to be communicated in the final object, the aesthetic is a consequence of the making. It’s not about design: it’s about how it’s made.” Another object is by Dutch designer Dirk Vander Kooij, who works with technology and machinery in a similar way to traditional craftsmen.
Other designers included in the exhibition are: Anne Marie Laureys Ceramics, Atelier NL, BELéN, Ben Storms; Bram Vanderbeke, Carlo Lorenzetti, David Huycke, DWA, Ferréol Babin, Formafantasma, Hans Henning Pedersen, Jólan van der Wiel, Jonathan Muecke, Kwangho Lee, Lisa Ertel, Matthias Kaiser, MdSt, Michael Young, Nendo, Olivier van Herpt, Rudolf Bott, Sigve Knutson, Sophie Rowley, Studio Furthermore, Studio Mumbai, Studio Swine, Tamara Orjola, Thomas Ballouhey, Tom Price.