At last week’s IDS design show/think-tank/trade day, Norwegian architect, Craig Dykers declared that interior design would be better called “interior architecture.” His reasoning was that the makings of an effective interior involve complex considerations akin to those of architecture as generally understood. Though at first blush this sounds facile, patronizing and wrong-headed, by following the heart of several presentations (including that of Dykers) we come to the exciting jist of how the two disciplines merge.
Dykers’ slide show included the photo above, showing his Snohetta staff on their annual trek to the Norwegian wilds, more specifically the home of Valhalla as pertaining to the Viking energies of their world-wide hunt for treasure. This was, however, not a primarily Ultraman macho test, but instead an exposure to silent kinetic forces at the essence of their métier. In accordance with that navigational foundation, Dykers’ was far from the only voice casting doubt upon academic credentials as adequate for the future of profitable building and designing in the 21st century.
For my money, the figure who somewhat stole the show was British designer Lee Broom. He not only did cheerleading for that polymorphic melding at the heart of significant contemporary films (like Quentin Tarantino’s The Hateful Eight and Paolo Sorrentino’s Youth)—concerning disparate presences linking and mutually catalyzing. But he could walk the walk, having begun his professional career as a child actor and then shifted to theatrical fashion design under the auspices of Vivienne Westwood (shown above).
Broom being already oriented as a design iconoclast by virtue of his over-the-top, cinematic presence and daring business strategy, Westwood provided valuable gambits and tricks for a business that rocks.
Shown here, a dress design already underway toward becoming electric furniture!
Though proudly British, Broom is, in many ways, a Surrealist furniture-maker—having done what he could with the world of show-biz and fashion and come to cultivate the vast range of synthesis in objects of use. His neon (electric) chair is a bountiful successor to Dali’s lips chair.
Being a well-trained and yet instinctive actor—his delivery by Power Point entails a way of pointing things out and ushering in a visual which is both a delight and an action of magnifying the sealing of the deal—and fashionista, Broom was born to let fly the rocketry into unexplored space which a great bar should deliver!
On the other hand, stay-at-home whimsy in this downtown inflected weekend-in-the country swing/chair.
With this veering table we not only see another step in Broom’s rejuvenating a chic and surreal past; but also his being a master of materials, composition and color. A repeated motif of his talk was excitement about working with artisanal craftspersons preserving handiwork from the distant past.
Pressing the interactive energies of a site to be marshalled by architecture, Dykers shows off his Oslo Opera House, inviting the general public to look at and listen in a most informal and possibly the most exciting way!
Dykers’ 9/11 museum at Ground Zero in Manhattan dares to diminutive in homage to the human scale of the disaster.
A moment when horizontal constructs really come into their own. Dykers is always on the look out to surprise those occupying public venues by means of little “personal” hideaways. (His infrastructural investigation being acutely cognizant that we all need time-out from others, even those who are not totally and incorrigibly dangerous.) He spoke at length about his smashing and fun recently-opened Ryerson University Student Centre, Toronto, on the grotty old Yonge and Dundas zone.
Here is his Queen’s University Student Centre at Kingston, Ontario, stressing the expanses of Lake Ontario as the means to give students a bit of serious learning not on the curriculum.
British designer Tom Dixon gave us not only his wry take on market probing; but he brought to bear the stresses of rapid production and distribution in an era awash with rabid and clever forgers.
Dixon was the exponent of dark comedy for the day—an old pro who had seen the worst of the dog-eat-dog field. Here he shows us one of his forays, a chair from a garbage dump and stripped down in such a way as to expose the shock factor of marketing industrial design.
A flying saucer cluster of lights. Dixon, like a pro baseball pitcher, has many contrasting pitches to dazzle us with!
Geometry and groping for the affinities.
A crystalline, golden shower of lights!
An undersea environment, with its shells.
Dixon giving us a sense that one can be swamped very quickly.
We were treated to an interior design primer for those who imagine it can be a piece of cake!