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Cross-pollination of art and design

Cross-pollination of art and design

by Jojo Corväiá

Upon my participation at “Collectible”, the fair for and about the most relevant 21st century designers hosted in Brussels at the beginning of March 2020, startling pieces stoked me as among the most brilliant and imaginative I have ever seen.

Roxane Lahidji
Alissa Volchkova

Artists and designers are experimenting with innovative techniques that deliver extreme and unusual shapes, dramatic proportions and creative new ways of using old and new materials. You could see a montage of techniques layered in a single piece, juxtaposing elements of one technique with the character from another.

Color is a big factor, elongated and distorted shapes, effects and patinas crediting into an integral part of the design. Although this may sound like a development from any giving time since the Bauhaus movement, this current wave is really like any other created in the past.

The fusion between Design and Art is becoming an important force in shaping the future of the new standard: Art into Technology. This fact is fundamental if we believe that art has the power to transform lives on every level.

This is a time of artistic experimentation, a kind of spontaneous combustion caused by a charged socio-political atmosphere, repercussions on the climate from previous ways of working, and the radical changes in art and life.

This exhibition was notable for frequent cases in which fine arts and functional art have converged, giving birth to a new and distinctive group of objects. A cross- pollination of art and design.

The new political structure created by climate change has produced a profound sense of social responsibility and encouraged artists to experiment in multiple fields, particularly in architecture, industrial design, and applied arts. Consequently, it is not surprising that many of the most prominent designers and artists of the moment apply their skills to the production of innovative solutions.

Ben & Aja Blanc
Cédric Breisacher

Part of the experimentation is focused on the study and development of the technical components and the light source itself (LED). The other part is focused on investigating the processes, the shape and the effect on the space. Starting from commonly used materials such as silicone, fiberglass or metal sheets and shaping them we aim to reach new and unexpected results.

In any particular order of importance, and noting that not all relevant creators I came across with are included, here I name just a few artists, designers and studios I payed particular attention to.

Ben Storms
Yellow Nose Studio
William Guillon
Ben & Aja Blanc
Savvas Laz
Li Dengting
Yang Sengbo
Charlotte Kidger
Adeline Halot
Roxane Lahidji
Sayar Garibeth Design Studio
Cédric Breisacher
Jan Garncarek
Döppel Studio
Merle Flügge and Job Mouwen
Alissa Volchkova
Alissa Lacoste

Adeline Halot
Elissa Lacoste - © Ties Bemelmans courtesy of Everyday Gallery

Curiously and furthermore, after my interaction with some of these designers, sometimes even for just a few words, I have felt a new sense of community and solidarity coming out of the current lockdown.

Communication stared to occur spontaneously about ideas, possibilities, projects, exhibitions and collaborations. This strikes me as such positive and constructive byproduct from the confinement that we may actually be witnessing the beginning of an even more important and memorable creative movement, one that could be a game changer for many industries.

We have been forced to slow down, to observe rather than see, to analyze rather than gaze.

And while we are confined inside, from the windows of our houses and apartments we have been astonished to see the change in the air quality after just a few weeks of reduction of human activity.  So this definitely is, and should be, a moment to think, to create, make a difference, leave a mark and grow. This, more than ever, is our greatest responsibility as creators. And what a great way to move on and reorganize our priorities.

William Guillon

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