Provincie Limburg.be

Design by Performance

design exhibition
Design by Performance
14.03 to 30.05.2010

The world of design has been witness to how the boundaries between art and experimental design are becoming ever more blurred.  Z33 already focussed on this phenomenon in ‘Designing Critical Design’, in which designers introduced a critical element into their work. The exhibition ‘Design by Performance’ is a showcase for performative trends in contemporary design, which focuses not on the production of a finished product, but on the production process itself: objects whose realisation is a continuous project, affected or formed by either the environment, the specific situation in which they find themselves, or onlookers. As such, processes and performances constitute a crucial part of Design by Performance, thus lending the exhibition its unpredictable and spontaneous character, and converting what is otherwise a pure ‘exhibition space’ into a space for events, interventions and actions by designers, artists and the public.

Participants

Atelier NL (NL), Maarten Baas (NL),  Pieke Bergmans (NL),  David Bowen (USA), Oscar Diaz (UK), Edhv (NL), Front (Sw), Martino Gamper (UK), Simon Heijdens (UK/NL), Eric Klarenbeek (NL), Sofie Lachaert & Luc d’Hanis (B), Laurent Liefooghe (B), Lawrence Malstaf (B), Bruno Munari (IT), Markus Schinwald (Au), Studio Glithero (UK), Studio Libertiny (NL), Tjep. (NL), Unfold & Tim Knapen (B)

Photo & video: based on the photo series by Bruno Munari, "Seeking comfort in an uncomfortable chair" - Photography: Kristof Vrancken - Performer: Seppe Baeyens

 

 

Supported by:

       

  

Meer

The world of design has been witness to how the boundaries between art and experimental design are becoming ever more blurred.  Z33 already focussed on this phenomenon in ‘Designing Critical Design’, in which designers introduced a critical element into their workThe exhibition ‘Design by Performance’ is a showcase for performative trends in contemporary design, which focuses not on the production of a finished product, but on the production process itself: objects whose realisation is a continuous project, affected or formed by either the environment, the specific situation in which they find themselves, or onlookersAs such, processes and performances constitute a crucial part of Design by Performance, thus lending the exhibition its unpredictable and spontaneous character, and converting what is otherwise a pure ‘exhibition space’ into a space for events, interventions and actions by designers, artists and the public.

In the art world performance and performativity have transformed the status of the artwork from an autonomous object to an event or action. The artistic expression is no longer situated on the level of representation, describing or showing the world but is defined by what an artwork ‘does’: which actions, happenings or interventions it produces. In contemporary design we are currently witnessing a similar shift to ‘events’, towards design as performance.

Design performance

The introduction of performance and performative elements is most pronounced in public design acts by designers such as Maarten Baas, who made his Smoke Furniture series by burning classic design objects in front of a live audience, or Martino Gamper who cut up classic furniture by Gio Ponti at the Miami design fair in 2007. Although their acts may look like artist performances, they still distinguish themselves as designers in that they create an actual design object or product.


video: Eric Klarenbeek: Work Survey, 2007

Design by performance

Design by Performance not only refers to design performances but also to performance as a wider tendency within the current design practice. As is the case in art, the focus shifts from the autonomous and finished product to process: design acts rather than design objects. The locus of action can be the physical body of the designer but just as well the object itself, an installation or the space surrounding the object. The exhibition shows different expressions of performance and performativity, which both introduce an element of time and duration in the design process. The object is part of a process of change, transformation, metamorphosis, which is shaped through action and interaction with time, space and the visitor.

Performing objects

The design object becomes part of an ongoing action and duration. For instance, objects have the ability to develop, grow or evolve after having left the design studio. The design process is also open to external elements, such as space, nature, the audience or the enduser. The designer does not deliver a static and functionally fully defined product but a becoming-object (an object subject to change) where unpredictable and coincidental elements play a role. The Design by Animals series or the Blow Away Vase by Front are remarkable examples, the first designed by animals, the latter by the wind. Another example is the Honeycomb Vase by Studio Libertiny, who only  created the mould of the vase and let a colony of bees determine its final shape. 


Tjep., the making of Shock Proof

Performing machines

Other designers present the production process itself as a performative act. The candle
making machine in Panta Rei by Studio Glithero, for instance, or the lamp that knits its
own hood by Atelier NL. Whereas these two examples show a certain fascination with
mechanical processes, the exhibition also gives special attention to new creative and
performative possibilities that are enabled with the use of rapid prototyping machines
such as 3D printers: an instant materialisation, from sketch to object, becomes possible
(as in Sketch Furniture by Front).


Studio Glithero: Panta Rei
 
Performing space

While performance in the visual arts has known a broad and strong tradition, in design it remains a rather recent phenomenon. A rare example of a performative, self-critical design act is the photo series by Bruno Munari, one of the godfathers of Italian design. Design performances come in many shapes and forms, from the action-oriented manual labour of Martino Gamper, to the poetic or elaborate choreographies of Eric Klarenbeek or Maarten Baas.

Construction

Images

 Design by performance campagnebeeld
Growth Modeling Device
Growth Modeling Device
Debug
Blow Away Vase
Design by Animals
Sketch Furniture
Sketch Furniture
Nevel
Poster Plant
Light Blubs
Panta Rei
Made by Bees, the Honeycomb Vase
Front, Design by Animals (2003)
Anamorphosis
Shock Proof Jonsberg designed by Hella Jongerius
Do Break
Do Break
L'Artisan Electronique
L'Artisan Electronique
L'Artisan Electronique
Sleeping Beauty - Atelier NL
Sleeping Beauty - Atelier NL
Sleeping Beauty - Atelier NL
David Bowen - Growth Modeling Device
David Bowen - Growth Modeling Device
David Bowen - Growth Modeling Device
Edhv - Debug
Edhv - Debug
Edhv - Debug
Eric Klarenbeek - Lucid Dream
Laurent Liefooghe - Woonmachine
Laurent Liefooghe - Woonmachine
Lawrence Malstaf - Nevel
Lawrence Malstaf - Nevel
Lawrence Malstaf - Nevel
Studio Glithero - Panta Rei
Studio Glithero - Panta Rei
Studio Glithero - Running Mould
Studio Glithero - Running Mould
Studio Libertiny - Honeycomb Vase 'Made by Bees'
Studio Libertiny - Paper Vases
Unfold & Tim Knapen - L'Artisan Electronique
Unfold & Tim Knapen - L'Artisan Electronique
Lightweeds - Simon Heijdens

Videos

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