Interieur, the biennale held in Kortrijk, Belgium, always embraces a collective idea, and for last October’s edition that theme was Future Primitives. The most successful incarnations of the concept appeared in site-specific installations, and at a refurbished factory complex, Buda Island, that is fast becoming a cultural hub. The future – or a postdated version of it – was best encapsulated in Ross Lovegrove’s Instinctive Overide, a light and sound show projected on a floating bean. A modern iteration of primitive was seen in Nendo’s delicate wooden Fishline chairs, painstakingly varnished by winding fishing line dipped in dye around the pieces, which were exhibited in peaked-roof houses. The most effective installation, though, was also the most ethereal: Arcades, by London studio Troika, used fresnel lenses to refract artificial light into a series of arches for a Gothic effect.
As for tangible product offerings, the fair is more concerned with presenting the crème de la crème rather than everything new and shiny. This is no product launch pad, à la Salone del Mobile, but rather a more conceptual display, similar in scope and mood to Design Miami. Some of the most interesting pieces were found in exhibits. A display titled Déjà-Vu, for instance, presented products seemingly conceived along the same wavelength, including Doshi Levien’s Capo chair for Cappellini, and Benjamin Hubert’s Pod chair for De Vorm. In the manufacturers’ booths, big brands such as Moroso simply showed recent furnishings with vibrant new slipcovers and finishes, letting the smaller manufacturers and design galleries stand out. The most noteworthy pieces shook off the show’s design-art seriousness and displayed a sense of humour: Bertjan Pot’s Downstairs chandelier with its flashing bulbs, Matali Crasset’s concrete light fixtures shaped like airplane detectors from the First World War, and Sampling’s sheeplike Farming stools clad in crocheted hemp.
With the feel of an instant classic, the mushroom-shaped Marie lamp by Haymann is best arranged in a cluster, to display the various textures, from oak to marble, cork and aluminum. haymanneditions.com
Paris architecture firm Jakob + MacFarlane fashioned the Rain Shelf for Marcel By out of solid pine, CNC cut with graphic perforations in a branch-like motif that may inspire creative book storage. marcelby.fr
London’s Troika lined up seven pairs of projectors that beamed light up through fresnel lenses affixed to aluminum poles, refracting the light to form arches. The effect, called Arcades, resembled the nave of a cathedral. troika.uk.com
These NewspaperWood necklaces, conceived by rENs and Mieke Meijer, are made by Vij5 with newspaper compacted to look like wood grain. Set into brass rings, the pendants are the smallest iteration of an accessory and furniture collection that includes tables and cabinets. vij5.nl
Muller van Severen’s furniture line, shown as a Future Primitives installation, combines seating, shelving and lighting in idiosyncratic ways and recalling Donald Judd’s forms, in a variety of materials and finishes. mullervanseveren.be
Designed for a theatre café, Bertjan Pot’s showstopper of a chandelier comes in four-, six- or eight-step versions. All can be fitted with incandescent bulbs or LEDs. bertjanpot.nl
Designed by Diane Steverlynck, the Leaning series of foldable, wall-mounted storage pockets is made by Objekten from sustainable plywood. The fabric on the sides comes in 12 colours. objekten.com
Richard Hutton’s Apps chair may resemble a smart phone icon, yet its well-resolved form feels anything but gimmicky. The armchair and the two-seater are manufactured by Artifort, with a wooden frame upholstered in foam and covered in one solid fabric or two contrasting ones. artifort.com
Matali Crasset took inspiration for her concrete LED lamp with acrylic diffuser, for LCDA, from the huge concrete sound mirrors set into the ground along England’s coast during the First World War to listen for airborne invasions. beton-lcda.com
Shrouded in darkness inside the Buda Factory, Ross Lovegrove’s Instinctive Overide installation took shape via colourful projections by Biothing. The fibreglass bean, which hung from the ceiling, was partly inspired by Pininfarina’s futuristic CNR concept from the ’70s, and recalls Lovegrove’s own bulbous Car on a Stick. rosslovegrove.com
To create his Fishline chairs, Nendo wound transparent fishing line dipped in various dyes around a series of wooden seats. nendo.jp
Sampling of Latvia crafted this animated series of handmade oak stools covered in crocheted hemp twine. sampling.lv