Imagine a Chinese whispers design brief, relayed from studio to studio, pinging back and forth between London and Berlin by way of Skype.
magine designers leaving behind their commercial practice, developing their own briefs and extending their ideas into a space to produce a three-dimensional object.
That was the challenge set by London’s Inventory Studio and Berlin-based Bank, co-curators of The Art of Conversation. Twenty groups from the two capitals used Skype to pass on and develop ideas, with the resulting work on show in two exhibitions in May and June.
Some took a pragmatic approach, others dealt with the challenge in a more conceptual way, says Inventory’s Robert Boon. ’We selected those we thought were idea studios. We have to trust that they’re going to do interesting work.’
Multistorey, for example, pondered an image of a camping tent and their own camping experiences and created a low-fi techno music machine, made from camping utensils. The shows will showcase the final objects as well as posters by the groups interpreting their experience, while a catalogue and website document the processes they have gone through since January.
The studios most known for a distinctive style were the most surprising, says Boon. Siggi Eggertsson created a video piece, Anthony Burrill delivered photography and Dan Has Potential made a hand-built table cluttered with artefacts. ’The designers we thought might be the easiest to imagine what they would come up with have done something they haven’t pursued before,’ says Boon. ’The results are great.’
The Art of Conversation runs at Idea Generation Gallery, 11 Chance Street, London E2 from 12-24 May and at Program Gallery, Berlin from 12 June to 3 July