valerie_objects, the fresh, Antwerp-based design label, is participating in A Matter of Perception: Tradition and Technology as part of the group exhibition Belgium is Design, and also filling two outdoor spaces under the arches at Palazzo Litta with wonderfully beautiful work.

“We are going to Milan with our very cherished designers and architects”, says art director Veerle Wenes, who also explains how the selected pieces are in line with the overall theme of the event: Tradition and Technology. Belgian design-duo muller van severen will be presenting their brand new alu tables at Litta, which architect Francis Kéré is putting in his central pavilion in the courtyard of Palazzo Litta. “Such small round tables can be found in every major city. They really belong to the familiar cityscape; they’re part of an urban tradition! However, the technology behind them is not at all obvious: a special colour treatment of the aluminium enables the colours to be very smooth. These pieces seem simple but they are not.” In addition, Fien Muller and Hannes Van Severen are also exhibiting their hanging lamps at Litta, but in new shapes and colours. Wenes also invited Belgian Robbrecht en Daem architecten to launch a table and stools at the event. “A kind of traditional folding table that you can find wherever people eat, drink, and party. Robbrecht en Daem architecten had developed this for itself a long time ago, using it for exhibitions and presentations. So the table has been abundantly tried out! This very same object is now being marketed, but in a different wood and finish. It’s still a folding table, and a very nice one I think, called Ta Tisch. The table is accompanied by small oval stools, called Joburg.”

hanging lamps by muller van severen for valerie_objects
Although focusing on large pieces, valerie_objects is also displaying a number of smaller pieces, like “the hidden vases” by Dutch designer Chris Kabel, made of glass and ceramic. There’s also cutlery by fellow Dutch designer Maarten Baas and by Japanese designer Koichi Futatsumata. valerie_objects, which claims not to have the least desire to be a trendy label, has as a mission to offer creatives the opportunity to show their individuality. “So we never just throw a set of objects into the market – you can still clearly see the very personal signature of the maker behind each one.” valerie_objects also doesn’t take to all things brand new, which is evident in the choices Wenes made for A Matter of Perception. “Sometimes designers, artists, and architects make great stuff that doesn’t find its way to the market. Why not pick it up and launch it? Of course, between dreams and reality, a lot of challenges occur...” Wenes cites the cutlery set designed by Maarten Baas as an example: “In his great signature, childlike fashion, Maarten devised irregular teeth for his knife, but that is not so simple to implement. For ages, mankind has made efforts to develop knives with regular teeth for a reason... But in the end, we found a way to produce the irregular teeth! That kind of small victory gives us much satisfaction.”

valerie_objects is at A Matter of Perception: Tradition and Technology, hosted by DAMN° and Mosca Partners at Palazzo Litta, Corso Magenta 24, Milan, 12-17 April 2016.

rendering of Ta Tish and Joburg by Robbrecht and Daem for valerie_objects
Cutlery by Maarten Baas for valerie_objects
Cutlery by Koichi Futatsumata for valerie_objects