For 'Freak Show: Strategies for (Dis)engagement in Design', Wallpaper* editor-at-large Sophie Lovell has assembled a subversive cast of designers, who can be relied upon to turn accepted norms on their head. The roll call includes Pieke Bergmans, who corrupts mass-production processes to produce items full of mutations and irregularities and Martí Guixé, who calls himself an 'ex-designer' and prioritises function over shape - so-called 'freaks' that threaten the status quo to constructive effect.
'Our survival depends upon diversification through mutation,' says Lovell. 'We need conceptual thinkers, lateral thinkers, revolutionaries, explorers, inventors, anarchists, activists, cross-disciplinarians and non-linear agenda benders.'
Also confronting design expectations at the Helmrinderknecht gallery are young duo Sarah Kueng and Lovis Caputo (of Kueng Caputo), whose new, limited edition 'Dolce Vita' chair comprises two chairs sandwiched together, in a lively play on the nature of originality. Meanwhile, Mathieu Lehanneur has created a Berlin addition to his 'Age of the World' series of demographic jars, which map the ages of the population in a given country. Equally challenging contributions come from the likes of Jerszy Seymour, Stuart Haygarth and Studio Makkink & Bey.
This selling exhibition isn't about polished aesthetics - it's about celebrating difference. 'I have picked these designers for their brains,' says Lovell. 'They are some of the most intelligently creative individuals working in and around industrial design in Europe today. They look at the bigger picture and at aspects of design that most of us do not consider.'
For those who can't get to the Berlin show, a limited edition catalogue - beautifully designed by Christiane Boerdner, the creative genius behind 'I Love You' magazine, and with photography by regular Wallpaper* contributor, Marcus Gaab - is available to order from Helmrinderknecht,