Curated by trend forecaster
Curated by trend forecaster Li Edelkoort, ’Post Fossil: excavating 21st century creation’ brings together works by over 70 designers and architects
(Image credit: press)

Amorphous shapes, organic materials and primal techniques abound in an exhibition at 21_21 Design Sight in Tokyo, dedicated to a new generation of designers that are looking to the past to find inspiration for the future.

Curated by trend forecaster Li Edelkoort, 'Post Fossil: excavating 21st century creation' brings together works by over 70 designers and architects, including Atelier Van Lieshout, Studio Job and Dick van Hoff.

Earth bound materials like minerals and alloys have been reinterpreted, as have traditional glass-making and pottery techniques. Among the 130 works are Pieke Bergmans' amoeba-like, hand-blown 'Crystal Virus' vases and Joris Laarman's skeletal 'Bone' chairs.

Edelkoort sees this excavation of the past as a backlash to pre-financial meltdown excesses. Designers are seeking to 'retrace their roots and research their history, sometimes going back to the beginning of time,' she says. The exhibition is also a collaboration with the Issey Miyake Foundation.

Cow benches

Works include Julia Lohmann's leather-clad 'Cow benches'

(Image credit: press)

Natural materials

Skeletal forms and natural materials abound

(Image credit: press)

Volcanic and primitive,

The forms on show are irregular, volcanic and primitive, as if formed by nature itself

(Image credit: press)

Pottery vessels

The show features a selection of hand-blown glass and hand-thrown pottery vessels

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Domestic Animals

The lower level hall features 'Domestic Animals' radiators by Guus van Leeuwen

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Alloys and crystals

In the annex of 21_21 Design Sight, designers have incorporated minerals, alloys and crystals into their work

(Image credit: press)


21_21 Design Sight
9-7-6 Akasaka Minato-ku


Malaika Byng is an editor, writer and consultant covering everything from architecture, design and ecology to art and craft. She was online editor for Wallpaper* magazine for three years and more recently editor of Crafts magazine, until she decided to go freelance in 2022. Based in London, she now writes for the Financial Times, Metropolis, Kinfolk and The Plant, among others.