Turning the Tables
Friday 19th Jan – 18th Feb 2012
Private view Thursday 18th Jan
Location: Gallery & Project Space
When I asked my architect friends, “Have you got a table to exhibit in seven weeks’ time?”, the intention of such an open brief was to discover their design preoccupations and discover what tales these tables tell about life – here and now.
There were twelve different responses – six tables designed especially for this exhibition, along with another six new tables; eleven were first time on show a month ago at TESTBED1, Battersea. Great Western Studios invited us for a second round.
All tables, but one, were designed by architects who focus on architecture, tending to collaborate with many disciplines, who are all involved in a long process of production, from generating the design to the built end product on site. Nevertheless, more and more architects delight in directly making the real thing, and tables seem a great example of a pleasurable (yet relatively short) task that architects can enjoy making, right up to the moment of having the prototype in hand. They, unlike product designers or artists, still lack the system of networking via agents, galleries or others and their design stays in the private realm without reaching the public domain, thus my incentive for this exhibition.
The incredibly wide range of CNC cutting machines and 3D printers, enables today’s processes to be more affordable than even five years ago, cutting different materials, in almost no time, or laying others in tight layers; unsurprisingly nine architects out of twelve designers used these technologies. Nevertheless, the different digital tools and technologies – which became rapidly a common place for architects – naturally influence design without generating, leading or determining it, as was until five or six years ago.
The stage belongs again to desires, and ideas lead the design, while the choice of material or technologies becoming secondary. Thus more than ever before architects are fully engaged with drawings on their computers – a sketch that captures an idea is articulated and perfected through a three dimensional digital drawing – and there lies the real artistic craft of the architect these days. Yet with the manufacturing often dependent on the machine, the artistic quality resides and is controlled by the drawing; surely a meaningful change of character.
Architects have become the makers of 1:1 building fragments and objects – a revolutionary shift, turning them from the visionaries who often lead design processes through the crafts of others to the crafty makers themselves.
Tables included in the exhibition; The Laid table: Will Alsop, Phable: Cinimod Studio, Embrace: Peter Cook and Yael Reisner, stressDESK: Bernd Felsinger, The indesructible: Pablo Gill and Jaime Bartolome, 8×4=2: Barnaby Gunning, The tree of dining: Helen and Hard, Labour of wood: Sandra Knöbl with Rudolf Knöbl, Nurbster II: marcosandmarjan, The sleep of reason brings forth Take-away: NaJa-deOstos, Stress Out: sixteen*(makers), Water Table: HengZhi.
DR Yael Reisner, curator.
Yael Reisner www.yaelreisner.com
Sandra Knobl www.labour-of-wood.at
Will Alsop www.all-worldwide.com
Helen and Hard www.hha.no
Cinimod Studio www.cinimodstudio.com
NaJa & deOstos www.naja-deostos.com
Pablo Gill and Jaime Bartolome www.gilbartolome.com
Barnaby Gunning www.barnabygunning.com
Heng Zhi www.vimeo.com/29387944