(adam štěch) The team of designers from Minale-Maeda ranks among the generation of young designers who graduated from the renowned Design Academy in the Dutch town of Eindhoven. The Chroma Key collection of furniture pushes conceptual design as far as engaged art.
The Design Academy in Eindhoven, which is currently probably the most progressive school of design in the world, laid firm foundations for young Dutch design with such personalities as Gijs Bakker and Renny Ramakers from Droog Design. It has turned into a world-respected phenomenon. Most young Dutch designers have a very specific and easily discernible attitude to design based on conceptual experience, wit, and sarcasm. Mario Minale and Kuniko Maeda established their Minale-Maeda studio in Rotterdam in 2005 with a focus on conceptual design that concerns important cultural and social issues.
The latest collection of Chroma Key furniture is a material and formal link-up to the Survival Furniture project that I.D. magazine declared to be one of the most inspiring feats in the field of design in 2007.
The collection consists of a chair, a low table, a cabinet, a lamp, and a bench. All pieces are upholstered with a floral moire pattern. They are reminiscent of 19th century bourgeois upholstered furniture, as well as the comfortable seating from within our homes. However, the shapes and functions of the individual pieces are completely distorted and strange. The tension between the exterior and the content causes a strange anxiety and raises questions related to the meaning of contemporary design and culture in general.
Thus, the designer duo from Rotterdam demonstrates that contemporary design does not have to be limited to the functions used or to visual effect, which is, in this case, represented by the strange combination of blue upholstering and unexpected shapes. Thanks to its character, the collection was able to approach the world of engaged art.