design by Richard Hutten , Michael Young & Jerszy Seymour
Kunstgewerbemuseum, Schloss Pillnitz, Wasserpalais
Tulga Beyerle, Director of the Museum of Decorative Arts
Maria Cristina Didero, Exhibition Curator
The theme of friendship has preoccupied philosophers and artists since time immemorial. The Kunstgewerbemuseum asks in its exhibition “Friends + Design” from 9 July until 1 November 2016 how designers handle their friendships: as free entrepreneurs they are on the one hand rivals and as a rule do not work together; on the other hand, they share the passion for the metier.
Curators Tulga Beyerle and Maria Cristina Didero have invited one internationally renowned female designer and six equally famous male designers to interpret their relationships by means of new works. In doing so they work together in different constellations and stage the results in three rooms in the Wasserpalais in Schloss Pillnitz. On the basis of very different work tasks, the newly created works bear witness to the bonds of affection between these seven people.
Michael Young (GB, lives in Hong Kong and Belgium), Richard Hutten (NL, lives in Rotterdam) and Jerszy Seymour (GB/CA, lives in Berlin) differ very much in character, so their careers and works being correspondingly various. What unites them is the unconventional way they see their work commissions, likewise their friendship. Based on the Surrealist game “Cadavre Exquis”, they developed a collectively created product reflecting their personalities.
Mathias Hahn (DE, lives in London) and Tomás Alonso (ES, lives in London) have never worked together before either, although they share the OKAYstudio in London. Their task was to give each other a present. Their answer is as surprising as touching – in times of challenging economic austerity in production the friends decided to devote time to each other by setting off on a journey from London to Dresden. Through the eyes of two young designers we are able to perceive the common passion for production and processes.
Bethan Laura Wood (GB, lives in London) and Philippe Malouin (CA, lives in London) are at home with experimental design and yet their work and work methods are as different as night and day. They have reacted to their respect for each other’s work and the task of empathising with the other’s perspective with a very personal project. They use the typology of an everyday product, its privacy the prerequisite for an intensive confrontation with the other’s work.
This is an extraordinary opportunity to get to know the work of seven designers who have never previously – and probably will not again so soon – designed products together and realised a special project. Once again the Kunstgewerbemuseum of the Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden is joining the international design discourse. Works of the designers involved in the project have been acquired for the collection of the Kunstgewerbemuseum thanks to the support of the Freundeskreis Kunstgewerbemuseum e.V. A huge thank you goes to everyone at Van Den Weghe in Belgium who made this table a reality!