Was ist Loos? (What's going on?) is a wink to Adolf Loos, whose 'Ornament & Verbrechen' is regarded as a pivoting text for modernism in design history. However, Kunsthalle Wien’s venue at Karlsplatz, in the heart of Vienna right opposite historical places like Secession and Café Museum, that had an interior by Loos, made an excellent spot to reflect on the status quo of design today.
The exhibition presents thoughts related to design-research as explored in the Salons that Ineke Hans organised in London in 2016-'17. Recent and new work is grouped around a number of topics that influence the position of design and the designer today.Except for raising questions and being 'food for thought', the topics are also nutritional base for an active design attitude and the exhibition explicitly shows some responses too: a chair is developed for Kunsthalle Wien with Gebrüder Thonet Wien and a desk for Opendesk, a platform for open source furniture production.
A catalogue designed by Irma Boom accompanies the presentation with text contributions from Oliver Stratford - Editor-in-Chief of Disegno Magazine, Deyan Sudjic - Director of Design Museum London and Bart Lootsma - Professor for Architectural Theory Innsbruck who was head of the 3D design department when Ineke studied in Arnhem. The opening of the exhibition coincided with the start of Vienna Design Week and had several side events.
For 'Was ist Loos?' three themes with underlying topics are picked that influence the position of design and the designer and question the current state of design: 'Making & Making Sense', 'Dealing with the Digital' and 'Less'.Work is grouped in 12 settings around these themes to illustrate how Ineke related to them so far. Even though projects often relate to more than one topic, it is a way to get grip on things and to share the changing reality of design through technical innovations and changing social contexts. Some issues have been topical for a while, others seem now more urgent than before and often their current relevance lies in their combination.The arrangements of objects are - as much as possible - set up as living environments. Sometimes backdrops with images of projects of Studio INEKEHANS are used to give more context to the settings.MAKING & MAKING SENSEToday we find ourselves in a pool of production opportunities, but "How do we produce? and what and why do we produce?" are questions to be asked.
Designers no longer work on just one type of track, but they work hybrid and apply both handmade and machined as well as industrial methods that are within our reach nowadays.For long face & function were important for design, but meaningful & making sense seem to replace that. The problem solving abilities of designers result more often in strategies and intangible outcomes that are socially engaged and if we keep producing stuff: why not focus on smart essentials: use-centred objects to interact with on a daily basis?- Making - handmade: material experiments, one offs and serie made products with a lot of hand work involved- Making - industrial made: indutstrial projects were hardly any hand work is involved- Making sense - social engagement: engagements in social driven projects from Fogo Island and Malawi- Making sense - use centred: extremely practical small inventions for modern every day use
• RESPONSE = CHAIR: Kunsthalle Wien Chair with Gebrüder Thonet WienA chair for Kunsthalle Wien developed with Gebrüder Thonet Vienna for Kunsthalle Wien (read and see more), presented in the centre of the MAKING & MAKING SENSE settings taps into the above topics:- made via one of the first industrial processes: steambending wood. This process is still vital today but now also regarded as a process with a lot of hand work. So it needs different solutions to counterbalance the costs and to make a viable product nowadays.- the chair is meets all kind of use-centred requirements (stacking, rows, economical) to make it work for the client (KH) the fact that there is a client and a first project make it beneficial for the maker (GTV) and - hopefully - the designer (IH).- the combination of designer-maker-client makes the story round but the designer had an active role in this. However the combination of a designed chair for cultural Viennese spot & and Gebrüder Thonet Vienna as a manufacturer gives the project also a social context, historical touch and because of that a depth that goes further than designing again another chair.
DEALING WITH DIGITALA new reality is part of our lives that has great impact on it and on design: the digital.
This digital reality allows digital production methods that are the basis of open source production (produce if needed and where needed) and new approaches to materials. Online marketing & sales define how we find and buy design and how it has to be designed to suit new delivery methods: preferably upholstered 3-seaters arrive through our letterbox.Being digital daily and everywhere changes and blurs the boundaries between work and private space: we work at home and are switched on 24/7. Our work spaces become domesitfied, flexible, mobile and popup.- Digital - production: early interactions with cnc ('97) laser ('02) digital etching ('02) 3d printing ('05)- Digital - design & arrival: modern sales & shipping influences how products aredesigned (a.o. iittala, ahrend)- Digital daily - home office: dealing with being switched on 24/7: the workspace enters the home- Digital daily - work space: furniture and products to serve formal, domestic, flexible and pop up environments
• RESPONSE = TABLE: Instant Desk a prototype for OpendeskA desk for open source platform Opendesk (read and see more), presented in the centre of the DEALING WITH DIGITAL section.It deals with hybrids, flexible home & work environments, global & local digital production and using resources well:- designed as a digital code that is globally available to be downloaded locally. It can be made where and when needed.- a table for extremely flexible work spaces that we have nowadays were configuration and change of use are required therefore 'instant-desk' is portable, can be folded and moved easily or temporary stored.- because of its size and informal appearance the desk is useful for both home and work environments.- it deals extremely well with the efficient use of sheet material: two desks come out of one standard plywood sheet.
LESSIn 2017 the majority of the world's population lives in cities and in our western society a young generation is getting less interested in material possession; on the one hand because they can not afford it, on the other hand because of environmental concern.
Our living space is getting smaller and more expensive, leaving less space and finance for design which has to perform more hybrid and in return our public in- and outdoor space will become more important.Our production is numerous and expands, but our recourses get scarce. If we produce we need to reduce and if we design we have to use materials efficient: use well with a minimum of waste, or recycle.
- Less space - hybrids: a.o. work where a table is kitchen table + work desk and a stool is side table too- Less space - public & outdoor: outdoor and public realm projects and work in architectural space- Less resources - use well: shows efficient and concerned material use (forest bench/replant tree, sustainable wood)- Less recourses - re use: industrial and self initiated projects from recycled materials
• RESPONSE = STORAGE: the documentationThe documentation of the exhibition is presented in the centre of the LESS section. It deals with how we store, what we store and which things we like to store. It also taps into the tangible and intangible (less material) results of design nowadays where designers solve problems on strategic levels or are director and/or editor of a process.Storage contains: the catalogue by Irma Boom, as an outspoken tangible object that opposes all intangible digital content on KH's online channels and short filmed documents of the process and context of CHAIR and TABLE.
see more on: exhibition and eventssee: gallery bookletsee: floorplansee catalogue by Irma Boom
commission: Kunsthalle Wienproduction: studio INEKEHANSreviews a.o: the gap, austria / domusweb, italy / e-flux / disegno daily / archpaper / frame / der-standard / bartlootsma / olistratford / intramuros / impressions, wiener zeitungtalking about it a.o: radio Ö1 / conversation at Kunsthalle Wien / Ineke at Kunsthalle Wien