Biennale Interieur 2014

In the charming Belgian town of Kortrijk, set in the countryside of western Flanders, the 24th edition of the Biennale Interieur has recently opened (16–26 October 2014).

An event with a biennial format, the current edition of Interieur – the second led by Lowie Vermeersch – has succeeded in achieving a sophisticated balance between the stands by selected top producers of designer objects and furniture and the promotion of research and awards – Interieur Awards  – along with specially-created spaces and bistrot.
This was aided by the decision to commission Joseph Grima – editor of Domus from 2011 to 2013 – to curate the cultural programme and there is no shortage of ideas to reflect on. Under the general theme “SQM: the home does not exist” Grima and his team debate the notion of domesticity through two exhibitions and a series of meetings, workshops and events. “The home, as we once knew it, no longer exists, not because we are no longer in need of a shield from the elements and the inquisitive, as Le Corbusier once described it, but because its function as a stage for social rituals has been deeply transformed”.
The main venue for the Biennale Interieur is the Kortrijk Xpo: six curated exhibition pavilions – some featuring beautiful ribbed wooden pillars – housing over 270 selected design brands. The Interiour Biennale however has also been developed in the city centre, with easy connection to the exhibition provided by a fleet of cars supplied by Audi. Buda is a historic district of the town of Kortrijk, an island between the two branches of the Lys river, where visitors can walk around the exhibitions set up along the route that connects the Buda Factory and the Broel School, young talents chosen by Ventura Interieur or stop for lunch at the Interieur Bistrot designed by a team made up of winners of Belgian Designer of the Year between 2006 and 2013.

The first Biennale Interieur opened its doors in 1968 with the aim of presenting a careful selection of products at a moment when industrial design was beginning to show signs of crisis. Forty years later, a new crisis has hit design and the Western economies, with furniture sales dropping as a result of changes in lifestyle, the Biennale has gone back to its roots as a research-driven event.

 

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