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?
PHOTOS BY BENITA MARCUSSEN
Rosenmeier + Foersom
Jeppe Lillegaard Nielsson & Anna Oxholm Iversen
Collin Townsend Velkoff
Vinni Hedegaard Frederiksen
Anne Dorthe Vester, James Martin & Eibhlin Ni Chathasaigh