London’s Aram Gallery is narrowing down our focus with its new exhibition ‘12 Shelves.’ Curated by Riya Patel, the installation simply examines the typology of a shelf, through 12 different creations by Adam Guy Blencowe and Thor ter Kulve, Bram Kerkhofs, Charlie Crowther-Smith, Dimitri Bähler, Katrin Greilin, Martijn Rigters, Matteo Pacella and Philippine Hamen, Mentsen, Odd Matter, Pesi Studio, Sammi Cherryman, and Silo Studio.

The Drury Lane space has previously made a single subject the focal point for exhibitions previously with 3D-printing in 2012 and cardboard in 2014. ‘All exhibitions are never too conceptual and are as accessible to an expert as to someone who knows nothing about design,’ says Patel. ‘There are no restrictions on who can enter the gallery.’ Here they shine a light on the different materials used to build the shelves, and how this informs their fixtures and usability.

Adam Blencowe and Thor Ter Kulve Square Peg System

‘Square Peg’ system, by Adam Blencowe and Thor ter Kulve

Reflective of the times in which we live, where Instagram has created the ‘shelfie’ phenomenon, this show too elevates this functional storage device into an art form. The delicate wall-mounted shapes of Swedish designer Katrin Greiling are juxtaposed next to Matteo Pacella and Philippine Hamen’s bold architectural silhouette. Meanwhile, Odd Matter’s abstract and vibrant structure contrasts more functional versions from Thor ter Kulve, and Martijn Rigters and Adam Blencowe.

Gallery director Zeev Aram is renowned for championing works by emerging designers, and this exhibition is a clear example of clever exprimentation as it encourages the visitor to rethink regular shelving and its impact on a room, through its shape, structure and materials. §