Dispatch from Interieur: Future Primitives

Muller van Severen for Future Primitives
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Troika for Future Primitives
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Ross Lovegrove for Future Primitives

With installations by such designers as Ross Lovegrove, Troika and Muller Van Severen, the Future Primitives display is the undeniable star of the Belgian design fair.

At this curated biennale, the competition is stiff, with many of Europe’s top manufacturers showing their latest furnishings in multiple halls along with more whimsical displays on view in the spaces between. But six designers and architects – David BowenRoss LovegroveGreg LynnMakkink & BeyNendoTroika and Muller Van Severen – are capturing showgoers’ attention with their unique interpretations of the Future Primitive theme. Here are three of the highlights.

Muller van Severen approaches the theme by focusing on a hybrid furnishing that, while seemingly a throwback to rectilinear forms and bare-bones construction, is in fact a new way of thinking about living. The studio created a combination of shelving and seating: a multihued and multi-purpose art installation that you can live with (and which rivals the Donald Judd furniture on display on the show floor).

At Buda Island, the offsite gallery, factory and tower complex, Troika has installed an inspring cathedral of light. Working with Osram, the highly experimental London-based studio created the fantastic effect with 20 pillars of light running the length of a gallery. These illuminated rods are topped with Fresnel lenses that refract the light to create a series of ghostly arches. Walking through this arcade is perhaps the most transcendental experience one is likely have at the fair.

Also at Buda Island – and equally mesmerizing – is Ross Lovegrove’s giant floating bean. Illuminated by waves of coloured light, the installation is paired with a soundtrack that recalls cars zooming by, giving off the overall impression of a sleek hovercraft, or something out of The Fifth Element. Could this be where Lovegrove’s innovative auto designs might take him in the future?

The 23rd edition of Interieur, held in Kortrijk, Belgium, runs until October 28.

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