It takes time and space for ideas and design to breathe, and for observors to understand them. And this is the main reason why design collective Dutch Invertuals located themselves in the slightly remote Isola district, away from the noise and crowd of the Salone del Mobile, for their fifth presentation at the Milanese furniture fair.
Led by curator Wendy Plomp, who founded Dutch Invertuals six years ago, the collective has gained a reputation for influential and experimental design. It has grown into a network of 44 designers and has realised over 100 projects on 14 themes; each theme being presented at Milan’s Salone or Dutch Design Week in Eindhoven.
The exhibition is the product of an open discussion among creative professionals, largely coming from Design Academy Eindhoven, ‘What I notice is that a lot of designers don’t want to be superstars any more; they don’t want to be famous. They like to team up, work together, open their sketchbooks and discuss with other designers,’ says Plomp. The group gathers for bi-weekly meetings in Eindhoven, ‘it is necessary to work in this way, to push design to a new direction, to create total new objects, or new in a way of thinking,’ she adds.
Titled ‘Advanced Relics’, the exhibition reflects on the significance of physicality in today’s increasingly digital and virtual world, and how creativities and aesthetics fit into this. Leaving behind the ‘old world’, it explores new rituals and ways of finding comfort, presenting a collection of ‘contemporary relics’.
The exhibition showcased works by nine studios. In addition to works by Bastiaan de Nennie, Carlo Lorenzetti, Daniel de Bruin, Martina Lasinger and Nel Verbeke, is 'The Synthesis Monolith' by Chinese designer Hongjie Yang, a group of aluminium sculptures showing the transition between its natural stage and the intervention of humans and machines; Australian Studio Truly Truly’s Abide Vessels made of copper-infused resin invites visitors to perform an imagined ceremonial action; Dutch designer Tijmen Smeulders’s hanging Antenna looks into the behaviour of human interaction with light, resulting in a sleek aluminum, tube-shaped light sculpture; and The Ceramic Symphonies installation created by Dutch Studio Edhv, which uses gravity and evaporation to capture natural aesthetics onto unique ceramic plates.