Craftsmanship, creativity and diversity are the keywords to a showcase of Danish designs opening during Milan Design Week.
Text by Anna Battista
Visitors popping around at the Mindcraft12 showcase organised by Danish Crafts, an institution of the Danish Ministry of Culture, will be plesantly surprised by the diversity of the pieces included.
This year Danish Crafts brings to Ventura Lambrate – Milan Design Week’s new event for experimental projects – pieces created by sixteen artists, including interior, jewellery and fashion designers. The exhibition features pieces for every taste: from refined chairs made using a minimum amount of materials and tools, to more artistic projects such as relief imprints left by Pirelli tyres in clay, gravity defying space measuring devices, one-off prints made with reactive dye on cotton textiles, and fabric-based “art in progress” projects that will reveal the first tangible results in 12 years’ time.
Each piece is unique and original and perfectly summarises the recent developments in modern Danish crafts: Ben Clement and Sebastian de la Cour’s optical mirrors function as design objects, but also as conceptual installations; Henrik Vibskov’s “Suitnest Dinner” is a rattan weave and leather picnic basket that includes a dinner shirt and jacket plus room for food and utensils, while Louise Campbell’s “Papercuts” lamps, created for the Danish lamp manufacturer Louis Poulsen, employ the light to project delicate three-dimensional geometrical motifs on the surface of the lamp and on the walls of a room.
“The process of curating was about selecting the designers/craftspeople and not projects already done, this gave it an extra thrill. I gave everyone a theme to work from – for example ‘vertical surface’, ‘bookcase’, ‘mirrored’ and ‘between two points’- so a main criteria was their individual high quality and the fact that they are brilliant in their own fields,” Cecilie Manz, curator of the previous and of the current edition of Mindcraft states.”It fascinates me that all the creators included are so dedicated to what they do. Putting all the individual projects together – Kaori Juzu’s enamel brooches with their breathtaking beautiful materiality, Eske Rex’s approach and way of thinking in developing his measuring device, or the great solution suggested by the functionality of Jakob Jørgensen’s book storage system – in one exhibition will hopefully bring a feeling of unity.”
The showcase focuses a lot also on the materials employed, such as textiles, wood, enamel, stainless steel, ceramic, copper and gold, highlighting the importance of modern craftsmanship. “I believe the point is to accept that machines aren’t necessary evil, we just need to keep and develop the understanding of the process behind the making of objects. In other words, we shouldn’t erase old knowledge, techniques and craftmanship, but find a way to rethink these things and combine them with new technologies, new materials and new ways of production,” Manz concludes.
“Mindcraft12”, 17th-22nd April 2012,Ventura Lambrate, Via Ventura 6, Milan.