Crumple Zone


AZE design / Bas van der Veer / Bertjan Pot / Brunno Jahara / Cappellini David Dolcini & Vittorio Venezia / e27 / Flip Sellin / Foscarini / Form Us With Love / Frank Willems / InsideKompott / Kosmos Project / Kraud / mottoWasabi / PLecy (AZE design + BETON) / Sebastian Jansson / Serhan Gürkan / TAF

A battle-torn landscape. All items are somehow tilted: lame, askew, unstable. They have bowed legs or even entirely bent bodies. The battle had to be fought a long time ago because its victims include those, who tried to prevent the disaster. Squashed armchairs, solidified silhouettes of sacks, stacks of pillows, which may have tried to stop the incoming force. That is the first impression. The second is rather different. It seems as if the skewed and staggering items had an inner subtlety and precision worth of a piece of origami, as well as dynamics of a spontaneously applied force. A kind of energy that influences their identity. Light, as if paper-made furniture does not really welcome you to sit on it, although it is able to endure the weight of a grown-up human. The family of „Gazelle” stools by Serhan Gürkan, the „Habitus” stools by Sebastian Jansson, and the „3Devils” by PLecy – their frail, rickety legs do not invoke trust, but they do support you. The force that could break them would have to be much greater.

Other pieces of furniture, seemingly bulkier, wooden or upholstered, have flocked together in trepidation, forming an irreversible amalgam. They are shaping a new form, developed by putting together well-known configurations. Chair-benches and stool-puffs created by young German designers Yvonne Fehling and Jennie Peiz (Kraud) reflect human behaviour and perpetuate group dynamics. Another example of a melange is the „Multiculti” vase by Bas van der Veer.

Other items, frozen in motion, seem to be falling, breaking into pieces or waiting for a sentence, which will decide their fate. They are interim, makeshift and pencil-traced (like the furniture of Flip Sellin), sometimes crippled, and irreversibly deformed like the „Succesfull Living” lamps (Foscarini) or the fabulously colourful crockery by Brunno Jahara. Looking at them, one cannot be certain whether they represent a transitional form or the final concept. The chaise lounge and table designed by e27 almost guarantee that the user will fall, similarly to the David Dolcini & Vittorio Venezia bookcase made of playing cards caught in mid-air.

One can also see items that are their own opposites. They bend under our weight, not doing us any harm, but encompassing us with their form. They remember the shape of our bodies like the „Hanabi” sofa by the Finnish designers mottoWasabi, the „Lazy Bastard” by Bertjan Pot or the „Swell” chair designed by the Swedish group Form Us With Love. Their softness is, however, a temporary result. Pushed inside, clamped with rubber bands (AZE design and Frank Willems), they look like created for the sake of protection and counteracting pressure.

„Crumple Zone” is a term most often used in the automotive industry in order to define the portion of a vehicle which, in case of a collision, is deformed (crumpled), absorbing as much energy as possible. Contrary to common belief, a car whose front has been almost entirely crumpled is much safer than one that – due to its rigid body – retains its form.

Agnieszka Jacobson-Cielecka, curator of the exhibition

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