During the past ten days, the unique 24th Biennale INTERIEUR became the global meeting place for professionals and aficionados of contemporary design
Biennale Interieur expected exhibitors to feature high quality, functional products as well as materials, forms, trends and looks which translate into a coherent vision about the design of interiors, as well as a contemporary interpretation of inherited know-how about aesthetics, craft and industrial production.
“The process of dialogue between commercial reality and cultural reflection, an essential component of successful design, was stronger than ever at this Biennale
For those who missed out, INTERIEUR 2014 delivered on all those points, here’s a recap on this successful edition
The role of design in contemporary living. Inspired by the research project on the domestic sphere as the site of encounter between design and everyday life, by curator Joseph Grima (Space Caviar) in the centrally located Rambla, the scenography reflects one of the intentions of the Biennale INTERIEUR 2014: to combine the best, newest and most avant-garde expressions of today’s production with an uncompromised reflection on future developments.
The choice of Joseph Grima as curator of this content-driven Biennale confronted this commercial aspect with a rather philosophical investigation into the meaning of the home in a fast-changing society.
The 2014 edition may well offered a more decorative Biennale than usual, with form and content no longer within strict minimalist lines, but manipulating that approach and linking it to fashion, food, music, sport and work-from-home… Concepts play with new interpretations of post-war modern classics with high recognition value. Timeless design is a favourite, but confronted here with new functional approaches such as lightness and technology for the interior. Many exhibitors are stepping outside their traditional catalogue and advertising offer this year, or engage young designers, fashion and food specialists in order to create fruitful cross-fertilisations.
The INTERIEUR Bars and the INTERIEUR Bistro also contributed to a full-on interiors experience involving all the senses. In the Spaces category, more than 70 competitors from 18 countries submitted a proposal for bar design to be realized at the Biennale INTERIEUR 2014 wich resulted in 5 concept winners : Gone Fishing appealed with a subtle graphic language and a sustainable fish and seafood concept. The baroque looking Dried Chat Room, caught the eye from the jury because of a strong food and design concept uniting multiple cultures and traditions. In Behind the Curtain, visitors were able to escape through soft fabric waves into intimate spaces with luxurious marble tables. The Fusions scored with a strong graphic look and a concept that puts absurdity and confusion central “we make it happen, just like strawberries in winter.” With Gelato Meccanico, a concept based on handmade ice cream made to old technologies in an environment that stimulates participation.
Alongside the commercial exhibitors in the venue, among the most appreciated items were the Broelschool experience (INTERIEUR bistro ) And the presence of so many young designers in Budafabriek Ventura Interieur (new in-depth article on young talent soon as we remember exquisite tables of rising designduo Ben storms and Axelandre Lowie — see an indepth interview next Design update) ) and the De/Reconstruction performance by local band GOOSE
Of course there is new as well a new Designer of the Year 2014: Brussels-based designer Marina Bautier
Marina Bautier studied at the Buckinghamshire New University and started her studio in Brussels in 2003. She designed for Belgian and international labels such as Swedese, Ligne Roset and Stattmann Neue Moebel. In 2013 Bautier launched her own label and showroom called MA. Inspired by Scandinavia and Asia, she creates functional but elegant no-frills furniture and has a soft spot for working with pale woods.Apart from her particular less-is-more style, the jury was impressed with her audacity to start up a label and the fact that she manages to produce her designs in Belgium at accessible prices. (www.maison-ma.com)
Interieur Awards 2014 – Winners Objects Category:
GRAND PRIZE: Keystones Table (cover picture), Minaele Maeda (IT/JP)She is Japanese, he is Italian … They live and work in Rotterdam for their design studio Minale-Maeda. Mario Minale & Kuniko Maeda has just been awarded for the Interieur Awards 2014 with their Keystones project. Keystones, a remarkable table with sleek lines, uses a single connector, which is 3D printed, to hold the components of the structure of the table.
The 2014 edition may well offered a more decorative Biennale than usual, with form and content no longer within strict minimalist lines, but manipulating that approach and linking it to fashion, food, music, sport and work-from-home… Concepts play with new interpretations of post-war modern classics with high recognition value. Timeless design is a favorite, but confronted here with new functional approaches such as lightness and technology for the interior. Many exhibitors are stepping outside their traditional catalogue and advertising offer this year, or engage young designers, fashion and food specialists in order to create fruitful cross-fertilizations.
Some personal exhibition highlights at the Xpo:
Hip Portuguese brand LZF (lzf-lamps.com) show how poetic and unambiguous decorative lighting can be achieved with elegant wooden curves.
Newcomers Piure (piure.de) show a pure sense of aesthetics with their wardrobes and dressers in walnut and lacquer. Masculine mirrors :Chassis and Chassis XL Design by MaDe Design by Deknudt mirrors
Flos (www.flos.com) reinvents itself with the new architectural The black line, the retro chic IC lights , a sphere balanced on a rod and the poetic suspension String lights (both designs by Michael Anastiades (more of this great designer at www.g4.be/michaelanastassiades )
Vola with a new metallic version of the classic KV6 to spice up your kitchen. Or the vola round shower head. Pure and timeless.(vola.com)
An overall trend we saw at many high end stands were details of messing and bronze (and other metallics) are introduced in the interior combined with marble, concrete and wood.
Flush bronze door fittings at FSB (www.fsb.de/flush),
Furniture La Chance (www.lachance.fr) with their sublime low table ‘Salute’ and other furniture breathing the new french vibe in design
The expansion drive of Obumex (obumex.be) resulted this year in an optimised kitchen concept by Sergio Herman, a cooperation with Pro-Memoria featuring the usual aesthetic surprises and for a retro edge Serge Mouille lighting .
Other Historic knowledge, glass aesthetics and craft are among the trumps of Czech company Brokis (brokis.cz), a fine balance of hand blown glass, wood and metals anno 2014.
The dutch firm NotonlyWhite showed their new Scape collection, with as highlight the Scape Monolith , Despite its stately appearance, the monolith looks light and slim thanks to the 12mm outside edge , contrasting Himacs inside and the subtle plinth lifting it slightly from the floor.
Bulo, in coperation with Bram Boo designer of the year 2010 showed the clean lined wooden table /screen / desk Mate durable made by Bosq out of local wood.
Kvadrat (kvadrat.dk) took four Belgians under its wings to develop, present and pimp new upholstery fabrics, that is Raf Simons, man behind the magic of Dior, architect Glenn Sestig and duo Fien Muller-Hannes Van Severen.
Exclusive Fireplace specialist Depuydt from Knokke (www.depuydthaarden.be) combined forces with Glenn Sestig for their sublime stand.