Depth must be hidden

During Dutch Design Week seven designers presented at La Terrasse their exploration of the dimensions that shape the surface in the context of aesthetics and materials.

"La Terrasse Vol 1: Surfaces", view of the exhibition
Surfaces unite contradictory qualities.

They simultaneously denote a superficial external skin and demarcate the silent depth assimilated within the object.

This meeting point between inside and outside involves an intensity of materials and an investment of thoughts, presumptions, and curiosities.

Elisa Strozyk, Ceramic surface reflections.
Elisa Strozyk, Ceramic surface reflections

Smooth, curved, flat, plain, soft—surfaces unveil fragments of the designer’s yesterday and construct his or her tomorrow, building an interwoven manifestation of cultural attributions and incorporeal existence.

As Hugo Von Hofmannsthal stated in Book of Friends, “Depth must be hidden. Where? On the surface.” This presentation of work explored the dimensions that shape the surface in the context of aesthetics and materials.

Tuomas Markunpoika, Distant Light.
Tuomas Markunpoika, Distant Light. In Distant Lights, the viewer sees an acrylic Fresnel lens square in front of a ring of LEDs, which casts a geometric pattern of light on the wall behind it. While the geometric pattern is a relatively stable consequence of the distances between the ring, lens, and wall surface, the image that the viewer sees in the lens itself is entirely based on his or her position. From the front, the lens portrays a series of concentric circles of coloured light, but shifting one’s perspective from side to side renders the light as a three-dimensional impression of two circular paraboloids. The viewer is thus confronted by the transience of their perception of the object—or of the object itself—in contrast to the static pattern of light cast on the wall. While the object has its own logic, the viewer can only experience their impermanent and immaterial perception of the light, an active construction of the eyes in negotiation with the object and the environment.

Each designer presented his or her own interpretation of surface, respecting these prescriptions: the surface has to be defined in a frame of 20x20cm; this surface then generates its own unique object; this object demands its own utopia from its designer. This exhibition is thus less about past process than about future possibilities.

As the surface constitutes the membrane between the knowable, visual and tactile reality and the unknowable depths that spark imaginative questioning, so each project transcends its physical limits to suggest the hypothetical world that surrounds it.

La Terrasse Vol 1: Surfaces
curated by Erez Nevi Pana
graphics: Camille Bulteau Barreau
illustration: Konrad Bialowas
La Terrasse
Gas Fabriek
Nachtegaallaan 15, Eindhoven

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