At the Reform Design Biennale, Helping to Push Design in a More Radical Direction

Last summer, we received an invitation from Danish designer Maria Bruun to participate in the Reform Design Biennale, an open-call, juried design exhibition she co-founded in 2014 with her friends and colleagues, Louise Hagemann, Rasmus Fex, and Jens Dan Johansen. The brief for designers? To create an experimental piece that might challenge their typical practice or usual methods of production — i.e., what the curators describe as doing “the illogical in order to create something logical.” The task for us? To whittle down more than 100 amazing international entries to our favorite 20, which were then combined and narrowed even further with selections from the other judges — Erik Lundh, managing director of the Swedish furniture company Källemo and Line Kjær, director of the late Danish designer Gunnar Aagaard Andersen‘s museum and family home, Munkeruphus. Seemed like a win-win for us — especially since it would include a small travel stipend by which we might travel to Copenhagen for the opening — so naturally, we said yes.

The judging was more difficult than we anticipated. Just because something was conventionally “pretty,” should it have made the cut if it wasn’t particularly ground-breaking? What if something had an interesting concept and yet felt unresolved? The results are on view starting tomorrow at Munkeruphus — a fitting location for the exhibition, considering Andersen himself was constantly trying to turn design in a more radical direction. But if you can’t make it there, we invite you to peruse the entries below and on the RE F O R M website and make your own decisions. Some of our favorites include Julien Manaira’s green, epoxy shelving unit, whose resin was cast layer by layer; Stine Mikkelsen’s Brutalist-inspired, crushed granite seat; and Örn Duvald’s translucent, butter-colored light. Can you guess which others were our selections?


REFORM Biennale_01 Julien Manaira foto Benita Marcussen

Julien Manaira

REFORM Biennale_02 Mette Schelde foto Benita marcussen

Mette Schelde

REFORM Biennale_02 Stine Mikkelsen foto Benita Marcussen

Stine Mikkelsen

REFORM Biennale_01 Ornduvald foto Benita Marcussen

Örn Duvald

REFORM Biennale_02 Mark Redele Foto Benita Marcussen

Márk Redele

REFORM Biennale_01 Kasper Kjeldgaard foto Benita Marcussen

Kasper Kjeldgaard

REFORM Biennale_Foersom_Rosenmeier Foto Benita Marcussen

Rosenmeier + Foersom

REFORM Biennale_01 PettersenHein foto Benita Marcussen

Pettersen Hein

REFORM Biennale_01 Thomas Balouhey foto Benita Marcussen

Thomas Ballouhey

REFORM Biennale_02 Manuel Canu Foto Benita Marcussen

Manuel Canu

REFORM Biennale_02 Ida Elke foto Benita Marcussen

Ida Elke

01 Søren Betak foto Benita Markussen

Soren Betak

REFORM Biennale_01 Nielsson_Iversen foto Benita Marcussen

Jeppe Lillegaard Nielsson & Anna Oxholm Iversen

REFORM Biennale_01 LauraFaurschou Foto Benita Marcussen

Laura Faurschou

REFORM Biennale_01 CollinVelkoff Foto Benita Marcussen

Collin Townsend Velkoff

REFORM Biennale_01 Vinni Frederiksen foto Benita Marcussen

Vinni Hedegaard Frederiksen

REFORM Biennale_01 Ying Chang Foto Benita Marcussen

Ying Chang

REFORM Biennale_01 James, Ebelin og Anne Dorthe foto Benita Marcussen

Anne Dorthe Vester, James Martin & Eibhlin Ni Chathasaigh

REFORM Biennale_02 FlenstedMouritzen Foto Benita Marcussen

Flensted Mouritzen

Gareth Proskourine-Barnett foto Benita Marcussen

Gareth Proskourine-Barnett