What is unearthed in archaeological digs tells a story of the past, and this FestiveNESS pick preempts these findings. The designs by Bram Vanderbeke exhibit the marks of their making and the stability of their construction raising questions related to the Anthropocene as well as the history of building techniques.
2019 New Primitives Custom Side Table © Luca Beel
New Primitives by Bram Vanderbeke
New Primitives—a combination of three separate elements, stacked on top of each other—are manually sculpted out of hefty concrete blocks. An intensive and physical process which is explicated by the scars on their surfaces. The usage of a grinding wheel and the ﬁnishes with speciﬁc pigments and waxes is related to the common techniques applied to natural stones and results in an equally natural look and feel.
Vanderbeke deliberately challenges our perception and, in doing so, he questions the status of what is often referred to as the Anthropocene. Are these New Primitives the precursors of future archaeological ﬁndings? To accentuate this idea, some of the New Primitives are coated with dark wax, giving them an aged and mysterious aspect.
But New Primitives is also a research into architectural constructions and, more speciﬁcally, into the methods in which a building’s stability is realized through the stacking of semi-identical, horizontal forms—present in both today’s and primitive’s architecture.
2019 Inside/Outside Expo Ph. © Franziska Krieck