For Milan Design Week 2016, the organisations and institutions that support and promote Belgian design under the collective name Belgium is Design, have joined forces with DAMN°. Taking part in the group event A Matter of Perception: Tradition & Technology at the Palazzo Litta, the seventh edition of Belgium is Design’s presentation in Milan, Belgian Matters, features the results of pairings between 13 designers and companies, the latter often coming from sectors far removed from that of furniture design. Each project has been com- missioned especially for the event and will be seen for the first time during the Salone.
The participants for Belgian Matters come from all three regions of Belgium (Brussels, Flanders and Wallonia) and occupy three rooms of the Palazzo. The partnerships have been forged and supported by Belgium is Design and present a series of ad-hoc products and prototypes that stress confrontations and commonalities between designers and manufacturers, as they work both with their fields of expertise but also outside their normal experiences. Designers use a range of materials (bluestone, leather and wood) or techniques (glass blowing, tapestry and tanning) with different degrees of familiarity. However, for the mix of manufacturers, artisans, industrial producers and research centres, it is often the first opportunity to experiment and encounter design as a collaborative act or in a way that expands and exploits the potential of their role beyond that of a supplier of materials or the tools of production. What links these diverse approaches and mixed typologies (accessories, small objects or furniture) is the emphasis on the creation of each project, the process of making and mutual learning, and the dialogue that has arisen out of these carefully crafted relationships.
Thomas Lommée & Christiane Högner, who are participating as designers, are also responsible for the scenography and Kidnap Your Designer is the team behind the graphic design of the Belgium is Design 2016 edition. Ultimately it’s all about connections, from the content to the setting: this is Belgian design, made in Belgium, but decidedly for the world and uninhibited by borders of experience.
Designers & Producers : JULIEN CARRETERO / LES CARRIÈRES DE LA PIERRE BLEUE BELGE, MAARTEN DE CEULAER / ALTON, FREDERIK DELBART / VAN DEN WEGHE, DAMIEN GERNAY / DELVAUX, KASPAR HAMACHER / TANNERIE RADERMECKER, THOMAS LOMMÉE & CHRISTIANE HÖGNER / OPENSTRUCTURES, MARIE MEES & CATHÉRINE BIASINO / VAN CASTER, MULLER VAN SEVEREN / VALERIE_OBJECTS BY ALTON, JULIEN RENAULT / TIMBERGROUP, LEVISARHA / MARCEL ZIEMONS, BEN STORMS / HET GLAZEN HUIS, MATHIAS VAN DE WALLE / RALPH BAGGALEY, UNFOLD / MATERIALISE.
Images: studio \ factory visits. All pictures by Julien Renault.