Tord Boontje is well-known for his original design vision and with this eclectic and exciting collection of new work he overturns conventional expectations of what lace might be. With lace, he points out, all the value is invested in the labour and so it seemed a good idea to start working with cheap materials. But also, by changing the material you can change the references.
Works in the exhibition include a dramatic black sofa that emerges from a large three-dimensional web-like structure of bound and knotted Aramide and Dynema fibres. The sofa is one example of what he has been able to create by employing traditional craft skills, while substituting unorthodox materials.
Others are a curtain composed in a random pattern of tangled flora and a selection of exuberant lighting designs, all constructed from natural raffia. Some of the more delicate works are items of jewellery, such as necklaces and a hairpiece, and a selection of test samples made in a variety of natural materials, including grass.
Inspiration for this body of work came from an invitation by the Design Center at the University of Philadelphia to respond to their historic Quaker Lace Company collection and to make work for an exhibition entitled Lace in Translation held at the Center in early 2010. Boontje spent three days immersed in the Center's archives and the resulting new works contain quotes from the original lace articles that attracted his attention.
2010 • Studio Tord Boontje