Thursday, 29 April 2010

Sebastian Herkner

'Sebastian Herkner has his own studio, where he designs lamps and furniture, among other things. His product designs combine current trends and familiar forms, challenge these forms, and reveal his own creative and playful approaches to materials, craft and technology. His work is shown at a variety of fairs and exhibitions.'

Piece Bell-Light
Date 2009

I like the honest combination of new and old. The use of the light fittings themselves shifted only slightly out of context is refreshing.

Wednesday, 28 April 2010

Katachi: The Subtle Form from Japan

This exquisitely curated exhibition which I saw at the Bauhaus Archiv in Berlin made me really think about the unity of aesthetics and function in everyday usable objects.

'Lacquered dishes, bamboo lamps, paper fans, wooden bowls and iron teapots: The exhibition “Katachi – The Subtle Form from Japan”, which runs from 3 March to 2 May 2010, will be presenting over 100 examples of contemporary product design from Japan. The exhibits combine design and craftsmanship, the traditional and the contemporary. Whereas some have been manufactured in almost the same manner for centuries, others interpret traditional products in entirely new ways. Masterly craftsmanship and the sensitive treatment of materials, forms reduced to their bare essentials, and absolute functionality lend these objects their timeless aesthetic appeal.'


Reinhard Dienes (furniture designer) Last great exhibition you saw: KATACHI, at the Museum of Applied Arts in Frankfurt, about the relationship between Japanese craft and industrial design. (Katachi is the Japanese word for form.) There were objects from the 1300s until 2007, my favorite being the chasens, bamboo whisks used for making tea. It’s amazing how they’re made, by twisting the same material in different directions. You can use one of these whisks often, and it won’t lose its form — all these properties from a very simple item made from bamboo. Incredible.



Ron Arad's retrospective at the Barbican.

'Ron Arad: Restless explores three decades of Arad’s designs from his early post-punk approach of assembling products from readymade parts to his exclusive and highly polished sculptural furnishings. Featuring a dramatic exhibition design by Ron Arad Associates using the latest LED display technology, Ron Arad: Restless also includes architectural designs and immediately recognisable mass produced pieces. Highlighting the significance of experimentation, process and materials in Arad’s work, the exhibition offers a timely insight into the development of objects from initial idea and fabrication to finished design.'


Ron Arad
Date 2010

Here the degree of experimentation and combination of materials and processes really excited me. I was really fascinated by the juxtaposition of well crafted precise pieces against the more intuitive haphazard aesthetic of others. Knowing when to excerise control and restraint or when to be more fluid is something I aim to consider more within my own work.