February seems to be the month of design: NOMAD St. Mortiz held its third winter edition in Switzerland from the seventh to the ninth, OBJECT Rotterdam was held over the same weekend, and the Madrid Design Festival has activities throughout the month. What is present in all three events is a questioning of how the design is interacted with and shown. More than just celebrating design, all three–in their own unique way–look towards design that moves forward and creates new dialogues without ignoring the past.
NOMAD St. Moritz
NOMAD is in and of itself in movement: it is the first traveling showcase for collectible design and contemporary art. The third winter edition was held in Engadine, Switzerland in a 16th-century Alpine residence, Chesa Planta. Some small-scale and site-specific installations were inspired by this temporary home while others took inspiration from different territories around the world, including features on textile art from the Orient, masters of Italian design, and Brazilian design. This mix of local and global is manifested in an experimental breadth that looked towards the mountain and nature as installation design: many 20th century works were installed outside in the Alpine scenery for the first time. The event showcased process and materials and highlighted the recurring trend of exploring dialogue and theater. The varied mix of designs bounces between antique and new, unseen objects and 20th-century design, familiar and surprising installations, and the event became a localized laboratory to view design and art.
Chesa Planta, NOMAD St Moritz 2019. Photo Filippo Bamberghi
DATES: 7 – 9 February 2020 / LOCATION: Chesa Planta, Engadine, Switzerland / PARTICIPATING GALLERIES: Angela Weber Möbel (Zurich); Athr Gallery (Jeddah); Carwan Gallery (Athens); Etage Projects (Copenhagen); Erik Thomsen Gallery (New York); Galerie Andrea Caratsch (St. Moritz); Galleri Format (Oslo); Galleria Luisa Delle Piane (Milan); Galleria Rossella Colombari (Milan); Giustini Stagetti (Rome); Magazzino (Rome); Maniera(Brussels); Massimo de Carlo (Hong Kong, London, Milan); Mercado Moderno (Rio de Janeiro); Musegallery (Monaco); Officine Saffi (Milan); The Gallery of Everything(London) / SPECIAL PROJECTS: by Au Départ Paris and Mazzoleni Art; Draga&Aurel; Eliane Fattal; Established & Sons; Fabio Salini; Fornasetti; Georg Hornemann; John Wolf; Iwan Maktabi; Ramon Zangger Möbelwerkstatt; The Invisible Collection; and Volumnia / TEXT: NESS with the press release courtesy of NOMAD
This is not your typical design fair: it goes on a hunt for its objects itself rather than sorting through applications and proposals as Director and Curator Anne van der Zwaag personally scouts and selects all participants. In the process, she looks for innovative uses of materials and colors. The fair mixed together established designers and upcoming talents in the HAKA building, designed in the 1930s by Dutch architects Mertens and Koeman. The building is soon to be redeveloped and the event allows the exploration of this extraordinary industrial heritage once more. The designs are fresh and the curation and selection help to open up new dialogues between the unseen and the classic. The fair is accessible, allowing visitors to invest in what might later become a household name and helping to continue the dialogue behind its three short days.
The Haka Building, ©Ossip
DATES: 7 – 9 February 2020 / LOCATION: HAKA building | Vierhavensstraat 38-42 | Rotterdam / DIRECTOR AND CURATOR: Anne van der Zwaag / TEXT: NESS with help from the press release courtesy OBJECT Rotterdam
Madrid Design Festival
The third edition of the festival focuses on the functionality of design and its ability to transform the cultural world; or in other words, its starting point is the idea of redesigning the world. It takes into account new materials and sustainability throughout its talks and exhibitions. Directed by Álvaro Matías, it includes 250 activities, 66 exhibitions, 12 installations, and the participation of more than 400 design professionals. The various exhibitions look to the future in terms of innovation as well as to the past to see how historical design movements and ideas have shaped our present day.
DATES: 1 – 29 February 2020 / DIRECTOR: Álvaro Matías / SPECIALIST TEAM: Deyan Sudjic, Juli Capella, Marisa Santmaría, Ippolito Pestellini, Pilar Marcos / TEXT: NESS, translated from the press release courtesy Madrid Design Festival.