Belgium is Design at Fuorisalone 2024

News, Appointments, Milan — 26 February 2024
Maak Transmettre @ Raphael Kenia - Maak Transmettre

BOLD Dualities will present a very bold and unconventional selection of objects by 30 Belgian studios and designers.

For the first time in the history of Belgium is Design, the international design platform organized by Flanders DC, WBDM and MAD Brussels, over 30 designers and design studios are brought together for a joint exhibition during the Milan Design Week. Titled BOLD Dualities, the exhibition, curated by Baroness O., showcases local talent in a scenography by Karel Burssens. As the title suggests, it has become a bold, daring, and especially unconventional selection. The venue chosen is Baranzate Ateliers, an initiative by designer Lionel Jadot, which this year will have a new impressive location in Via Gaudenzio Fantoli 16.

Among more established names, BOLD Dualities also gives a focus on a prolific new generation, thus leaving aside for this edition, the SaloneSatellite. In addition, a highlight on all Belgian initiatives and novelties will be listed in the Belgian Design Map.

@ Lydie Nesvadba

Despite Belgium being a small country with a complex historical and political structure, its designers often exhibit humility, adaptability and ambiguity. These contradictions converge in the presentation of BOLD Dualities. The exhibition, featuring objects from over thirty Belgian designers, illustrates how designers adapt to the ambiguous identity of the country, navigate complex situations, and engage with their surroundings. Above all, it highlights how this translates into their designs, how they stimulate and question the design industry, push boundaries within existing norms, and never shy away from challenges. This unique approach often distinguishes them from similar international profiles, allowing them to focus on a distinctive style of design that makes Belgian design truly unique.

Studio Biskt © Silvia Cappellari - MAD - Charlotte Gigan

Curators Baroness O. emphasize the duality in the title by categorizing selected objects into two groups, placing them almost in opposition of each other. This creates an exciting dichotomy between objects and their designers, where contradiction strangely brings them together and also divides them. The result is a dynamic interplay between two groups telling a collective story, attracting and repelling, dividing and connecting. These groups engage in a dialogue within Karel Burssens’ scenography.


studio MOTO - Stack © Siska Vandecasteele - Thomas Hick

The curators at Baroness O. found it crucial to provide a broad perspective on Belgian design based on a coherent concept that brings together established figures and young talent. The 2024 selection notably emphasizes a greater presence of collectible design compared to industrial design, although the latter remains a significant Belgian characteristic.

The BOLD selection, on one hand, showcases Belgian modesty in design and the use of materials. Objects in this selection appear simple, clean, and minimalistic. Unusual material applications, unconventional extrusions, and objects without apparent functions ensure that each item deviates from contemporary design norms in a structured way, offering a unique perspective. This first selection primarily includes larger pieces such as furniture, larger decorative objects, and mirrors. Cold and hard colors and materials like metal dominate this category such as the projects by Oskar de Roover, Studio MOTO, paulineplusluis, Nuts&Bolts, Duplex, Jules Vrijsen and Fractall. Reflective materials are seen in works by Lou van ‘t Riet, Venlettettelin, and Studio BISKT. Stone and ceramics are present in the works of Muller Van Severen for HAY, and plastics are featured in Lisa Berden’s creations. The colder materials find contrast with the work of Bent Fierens, as well as in the wooden objects of Sébastien Caporusso and Studio Plastique, the textile objects of Nathalie Van der Massen, and, extending further, in the wallpaper collection of Tenue de Ville.

Jules Vrijsen

Duplex Studio

On the other hand, the COLOURFUL selection is small but brave, much like the country itself. These objects are daring, extroverted, and striking. Unlike the BOLD selec- tion, these designs are smaller in scale, such as the vases from Studio BISKT, Studio Matta, Home Studyo, and Studio Nas, as well as tableware items like KRUM’s coffee mugs, eggcups by Studio Minimètre and Muller Van Severen’s cutlery for HAY. The colors used are cheerful and playful, particularly evident in Combo Toys’ toy kit and Nortstudio collection of lamps.

Antoine Guitou, Chateau Resort - Sea Swallow Me 

Cocono - Aztec 

The materials, on the other hand, are warm, including a selection of textile objects from Atelier Leda, Chateau Resort, amgs studio, Maak & Transmettre, and the rugs from Cocono. Additionally, the exhibition highlights a strong presence of objects focusing on personal well-being. Examples include Jules Vrijsen’s contemplative object, Bent Fierens’ huggable stool, Venlettettelin’s mirror displaying multiple perspectives, and Lisa Berden’s wall object exploring the relationship between body and space. Other designs contribute to personal well-being through their ultimate cheerfulness, such as the creations of Combo Toys, nortstudio, Home Studyo, KRUM, studio Nas, or the warm coziness found in Cocono, Atelier Leda, and amgs studio.
Finally, significant importance is placed on individual character and the ability to isolate oneself from the world through curtains, as seen in Chateau Resort, Maak & Transmettre, Maud Brunstein, or the screens by Nathalie Van der Massen.

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© — All rights reserved. — Published on 26 February 2024

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