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Design Opinion: Alexi Robinson Knows Design

indesignlive.com’s UK Editor, Alexi Robinson reports on ’Design Art’ at Amanda Levete’s first solo exhibition in London.



BY jesse

March 13th, 2008


Alexi Robinson is indesignlive’s UK editor. An Aussie expat living in London, working for design legend Tom Dixon, who better to send us a fortnightly report on ever dynamic design scene over the sea.

 

On an icy February evening, a group of London’s design elite huddled on the pavement to be granted entry and in turn, marvel in wonderment at Amanda Levete’s first solo exhibition for British manufacturer Established & Sons. Set against white walls and even whiter light, Around the Corner as a collection of four limited edition furniture pieces attempts to pierce the otherwise vacant space that occupies the corner of a room.

Draped in conceptual rationale from perception to the poetic imagination, Around the Corner flourishes in its original approach to spatial disharmony and in doing so sits fittingly within the food chain of high-end curator to clientele.

South, as a single piece of black marble resting deceptively on one leg, and the multiple zeros it inspires, bares resemblance to a galleried sculpture carved from its heaving mass and projected into objectification.

Design art has certainly arrived upon us, and with its emergence into the furniture establishment comes a new wave of theoretical debate surrounding its reddening appeal and longevity.

In the context of Levete’s latest creations, I find myself asking why few corner objects pre-exist and why I would not be devastated if even less were conceived. The notion that the corner of a room is a rigid if not offensive interaction rather than the quiet convergence of planes imparting volume is not necessarily a given. To occupy corners with objects to help liberate their ostracised standing in spatial hierarchy transfers to the neighbouring available space a similar immobility. The now lonely stretch of wall how confused it must be.

Just how far beyond the manifestation of ideas must design art go?

Does the allure for collectors lie not within the refinement of ideas and innovation but in the ever-present grey areas that stretch across reason and functionality? As long as design art objects continue to command such dissection so too will they continue to entice shivering on the street to catch a glimpse.

Alexi’s ’Design Opinion’ pieces are uploaded once a fortnight. Keep an eye out for the next piece at the end of March.

 

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