Disdain for a boring global market coupled with a fear of the virtualisation of society has inspired designers to create work that is linked to the humanisation of the making process and the contextualisation of a more responsible lifestyle. Craft has therefore become one of the major movements of our time and can be understood as the repetition of skills that belong to our common past, exuding a sense of belonging and continuity.
In this exhibition, Edelkoort and her co-curator Philip Fimmano, bring together contemporary design themes that reflect traditional domestic crafts in an attempt to remain connected to authenticity: pleating, draping, layering, ribboning, smocking, wrapping, folding, needlework, felting, quilting and baking. However, the designers in Gathering apply new technologies and techniques to completely transform their actions. Their interventions celebrate the possibilities that lie in front of us, ever more creative than in the recent past. These designers use three- dimensional craftsmanship which reinvigorates design, lending body and beauty to archetypical chairs or giving form and volume to lighting structures.
Edelkoort explains the shows context: We are an unstitched society suffering from a lasting socio-economic crisis that has made us ferociously protective and egocentric. It is time for mending and gathering, thus restoring the fabric of society: picking up the pieces and bringing them together in a patchwork of possibilities; a quilt of substance, able to absorb shock and fear.
Here, we see traditional crafts are mirrored by the layering and weaving of different entities and characters into a single product; the entwining of one material with another gives colour to the human condition. Flexible three-dimensional patterns develop enlightenment, adding dimension to the future. The pleating and folding of matter into sharper form brings innovative architecture to life and helps design plan for society.
Whether it refers to gathering friends or gathering a garment, the correlation between material transformation and social congregation is fascinating. Indeed, it may well be that gathering will shape our culture for the decades to come creating flexible forms through restraining processes.
Displayed in the museums lower gallery, the 132 5. Issey Miyake collection is revolutionary in its application of pop-up methodologies and ecological awareness as well as its efforts to sustain Japanese artisanal knowledge. Working closely with the computer scientist Jun Mitani and Miyakes Reality Lab. textile engineer Manabu Kikuchi and technical engineer Sachiko Yamamoto, mathematical algorithms are converted into 3D models before becoming creative dimensional garments. Another of the collections concepts, IN-EI, applies the same geometric formulas to unfold lamps produced by Artemide, an example of which is being exhibited in Holon. Made using recycled polyester products and fibres, 132 5. embraces the ideas of regeneration and re-creation which are important to Miyake. At Design Museum Holon
, visitors can experience a multi-media installation comprised of garments, animations and a documentary film.
Miyake describes 132 5. as a work of hope, expressing his environmental concerns for the future: I've been thinking about the challenges we'll have to deal with in the 21st century. Most of us feel some kind of uncertainty, with the population increasing and resources decreasing... It's important to make clothes for long-term use now, not just one season. We can't keep throwing things away
We have to face these issues. Many people repeat the past. I'm not interested. I prefer evolution.
Galit Gaon, Chief Curator of Design Museum Holon, comments: Gathering reinstitutes the economic, environmental, and social responsibilities of artisans and designers. Within this gesture, curators Li Edelkoort and Philip Fimmano expertly expand the current discourse about our future, examining the movement of contemporary design, its processing methods and the ways in which materials are used to create the new.
Design Museum Holon is grateful for the opportunity to present this important and fascinating exhibition. As a museum for the 21st century, we strive to present a broad and fascinating gaze into design, spanning research processes, creative objects and theoretical issues.