Gathering – Li Edelkoort at the Milan Design Week 2015
Li Edelkoort changed the location this year at Ventura Labrate with Gathering – From Domestic Craft To Contemporary Process which belongs to a larger exhibition that has originally been commissioned by Design Museum Holon (Israel).
“A time to design flexible geometric patterns that can be imagined in different handmade techniques: to plead materials into newer, stricter shapes with a folding technique that has been fascinating man since the beginning of time; to wrap objects as if creating contemporary sculptures, so that the packaging becomes the expressive outer skin of the product; to layer and compact fabrics into club-sandwich in multiple strata of fluid material; to drape textiles into elegant examples of cultural forms; to smock matter into spheres of ornamental opulence, leading to the revival of a baroque moment.
These kinds of gathering go back in time and belong to the collective memory of our mothers and grandmothers patiently sliding needle and thread up and down a fragile textile, meticulously mending an old pair of socks, serenely quilting by the fire place, softly knitting some wool yarn into new forms or lovingly smocking the garment of a new-born grandchild. At times, mothers would be exuberant and outgoing working on Sunday best clothes and heritage linens, using embellishments with haberdashery, pearl buttons and opulent techniques like shirring and smoking. To fulfill their fantasies, ribbons could be used for ornamentation and embroidery could narrate their innermost thoughts and feelings, communicating to other their female perspectives.
In an incredible reversal of roles, these demoting techniques are now inspiring our high-tech industries driving them to review the production process with new and abundant options, lending a sense of frivolity industrial design, feminizing the modernist movement, domesticating the creation of form. On the eve of this major revival of industrial processes, the design world suddenly lays witness to several young designers compelled to invent their own machines or reform existing engines in order to manufacture their own designs – a fresh generation of inventors/designers interested in the process as much as in the final product, viewing the machine as an ally rather than a constraint.
Bridging the gap between different age groups and genders, between rich and poor, and between craft and industry, these options offer made-to-measure and made-to-taste solutions for the public at large. In becoming one, man and machine create a bond that is a promise for all future developments in the 21st century. The hand and the engine gather together to create a new manual for the design discipline, waiting to be explored.”
Texts by Li Edelkoort.