New Olds: Design Between Tradition and Innovation

05.30.11 | By
New Olds: Design Between Tradition and Innovation

Curated by Volker Albus, Design Museum Holon in Israel has a new exhibition that just opened on May 26th called new olds: design between tradition and innovation.

Pictured above is the Happy Material chair by Pini Leibovich, which is made from thousands of balloons with its nod to surrealism and furniture-as-art.

new olds presents works by over 60 Israeli and international designers exploring design between tradition and innovation. They are inspired by historical references and symbols ranging from the deer antlers to the cuckoo clock, traditional porcelain, Baroque objects and the more recent history of Bauhaus and Memphis. The works are produced in a variety of techniques: old and new, artisanal and technological, from weaving, glass-blowing and wood-carving to rotomoulding and use of 3D software.

The new olds exhibition aims to show the international and complex nature of this discourse in contemporary design. Over seventy designs have been curated around the themes of material, construction, configuration, production, design icons and traditional use.

Here is a selection of the works on display through September 10, 2011 (descriptions provided by the museum):

Mesh by Tal Gur. Photo by Ohad Matalon

A web of metal wires that lie over a base of curved iron rods -– a spider web of sorts. Polyurethane plastic bags have been twisted over the structure by heating and welding. The chair creates a sense of naturalness and organic form that has undergone contemporary adaptation and interpretation.

Werkstadt-Kabinett by Studio Makkink & Bey. Photo by Frank Kleinbach

The title of this work alone promises something new. The piece diminishes the very precise bipolar sense of location where one works, proving that the only thing that matters is the technical equipment. If you have that, all you need in order to open up a workshop or an office in the city, is a place to sit and put down the computer.

Plus de Madam Rubens by Frank Willems. Photo by Serge Hagemeier

After bending, twisting and folding mattresses into quirky shapes, Willems then sprays them with a water-resistant foam coating and then paints it.

Golden Age by Meirav Peled Barzilay. Photo by Naama Rona

Inspired by the loss of skin elasticity in old age, the ceramic vases are first created in slip cast molds and are then manipulated manually. This results in vases which are very similar but never identical. The form of the vases resembles sagging skin in old age; they are decorated by two different but complementing prints.

Mono Thone by Martino Gamper. Photo by Anna Arca

Gamper sees his designs as a chance to create “three-dimensional sketchbooks,” a set of playful yet thought-provoking designs that, due to the time constraint, are put together with a minimum of analysis but possibly creating one or more designs that might be suitable for mass production. The designer hopes his chairs illustrate and celebrate the geographical, historical and human resonance of design: what can they tell us about London, the sociological context of seating from different areas, and the people who owned each one? The stories behind the chairs are as important as their style or even their function.

Secrets D-6 by Arik Ben Simhon. Photo by Ori Ackerman

This modular storage unit was created following efforts to develop pieces of furniture that encourage people to hide secrets in them. It is composed of drawers that are mounted one on top of the other, and the number of drawers can vary according to the function or need. The drawers revolve independently, allowing the owner to deliberately show or hide the handles -– revealing or hiding the access to their secrets.

Raw 001 by Haim Parnas Photo by Shay Halevi

The object is made of a white wood beam that was used by Israel Railway workers and then discarded. The legs of the piece and the mast are made of cypress branches found in the forest. The connector is a tree branch inserted into a simple cylindrical cavity made with a hand drill. The parts are connected by means of pressure, without glue, and the whole piece is coated in beeswax. The rubber pads on the legs were cut out of a tire. The tracks left by worms are just as important as the marks of the saw, the axe, and other tools, and even after it has been finished the object perpetuates the fact that it is still a raw material given to change.

Blow Away Vase by Front. Photo by Maarten van Houten

This classic Royal Blue Delft porcelain vase has experienced something truly bizarre: it has been blown aside by a powerful gush of wind. The wind motion has become part of its features and the beauty of the vase lies in the fact that it is bent but not defeated.

Rope Bench by Yoav Reches

This plywood bench has been constructed using only rope tension. The system, which features the rope embedded directly in the plywood, can either lie flat or be realised into a complete seating unit.

Jaime Derringer, Founder + Executive Editor of Design Milk, is a Jersey girl living in SoCal. She dreams about funky, artistic jewelry + having enough free time to enjoy some of her favorite things—running, reading, making music, and drawing.