Belgium is Design: Perspectives

Opening at the next Salone del Mobile, an exhibition that surveys the current landscape of Belgian design.

Taking place at the Triennale di Milano during the Salone del Mobile, Perspectives, is an exhibition that surveys the current landscape of Belgian design and is the result of the collaboration between Belgium's design organizations and promoters. In a collection of prototypes, products, services, projects and systems, the exhibition offers reference points from which to consider the influence and impact design has on daily lives lived in parallel, colliding, harmonious and divergent ways.

Perspectives places emphasis not only on design in the here and now, but on its prehistory and future projections. Sampling an array of practices and methodologies, it is a logic that invites the visitor to consider the designer's search for a solution and its interpretation once in the public realm. From a social perspective, design comes from a desire to change – a more or less utopian representation of something better. This motivation also traverses design's cultural perspective, where forms, materials, technical realizations and production processes provide important anthropological indicators and evidence of the evolution of human behaviour, needs and wants.
Top: Micheal Bihain, <em>Diaphragm</em>, stackable stool. Above: Alain Gilles, <em>O'Sun</em> Portable Solar Lamp.
Top: Micheal Bihain, Diaphragm, stackable stool. Above: Alain Gilles, O'Sun Portable Solar Lamp.
Reflecting both local and global contexts, the narrative of the exhibition draws on five different scenarios: industrial design, self-produced design (the designer/craftsman), design art (one-off series), social design and design as an "open work" (open source, rapid prototyping). From these indicative "perspective grids", each strand will give a kind of inventory of perspectives, demonstrating how approaches to design merge, converge and diverge. "How, why and what?" questions are posed throughout, with Belgian designers and companies responding to challenges such as economic instability, environmental impact, ageing populations, sustainable development and social cohesion with objects and projects that range from cooking pots to walking sticks and production models.
Jean-Francois D'Or, <em>Elisabeth</em>, mirror
Jean-Francois D'Or, Elisabeth, mirror
However, Perspectives also acknowledges the intangible world design occupies, where the poetic potential of rapid prototyping and raw materials do not exclude one another. In this dimension, the motivations and emotions of the designer meet those they provoke in the user, and the experience can be both intensely individual or a political invitation to share responsibility.
D'Hanis & Lachaert, <em>Changed values</em>, installation of old coins made into brooches
D'Hanis & Lachaert, Changed values, installation of old coins made into brooches
Nathalie Dewez, <em>Balance</em>, Desk lamp
Nathalie Dewez, Balance, Desk lamp
Objekten, <em>New Basics</em>, Twist Lamp, Peppermill, Dock Tray
Objekten, New Basics, Twist Lamp, Peppermill, Dock Tray
Objekten, <em>Strates</em>, Desk and storage system
Objekten, Strates, Desk and storage system
Openstructures (Thomas Lommée, Jesse Howard), <em>OS Waterboiler</em>, Steel, copper, polyamide, electric heating element & control switch and reclaimed plastic bottle
Openstructures (Thomas Lommée, Jesse Howard), OS Waterboiler, Steel, copper, polyamide, electric heating element & control switch and reclaimed plastic bottle
Linde Hermans, <em>size 27</em>, slippers
Linde Hermans, size 27, slippers

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