(adam štěch) Dutch designer Hella Jongerius currently has an exhibition of her designs at the Parisian Galerie Kreo, which we wrote about earlier this week in connection with her work for IKEA. The author presents two series of designs under the name Natura design Magistra. Both series create new archetypes of contemporary designer production.
In the two new collections, Jongerius presents unconventional views of design. Design seems to appear as a nuisance in her installation. The exhibition shows two tables that really shock at first sight, plus a series of artificial flower objects whose one function is only decorative. Thus, everything is shifted to the level of art. Both tables – the Frog Table and the Turtle Coffee Table – represent unexpected sculptural creations on which the traditional function of a table is based as a sort of burden to fine artistic expression. The gigantic frog climbing onto the ordinary wooden table interconnects with it, turning into an artistic yet natural fossil. The sea turtle, lying on the coffee table, carries a huge bowl on its carapace. Both “animal objects” represent a spatial collage that could easily do without any hint of function, but are still perceptible in the form of the tables and their names. However, design has been notionally pushed out of the running.
The series of artificial flowers plays with a similar theme. Visually attractive vases with flowers made from plastic, wood, or textiles are, in essence, surreal spatial still lives. Blooms and leaves turn into hybrid objects of various forms and meanings with biological shapes transformed into purely artificial forms. The tables are a contrary case. Artificial objects are transformed into the biological world. No matter which way one looks at it, the exhibition by Hella Jongerius works almost as a painting. Although the designer does not create functional objects anymore, she creates, like a painter or a sculptor, fantastic and personal images of ordinary objects and products of nature. She creates their modern contemporary archetypes.
Animal table, design: Hella Jongerius