Design excavation

Since our hairy ape-like ancestors started fashioning tools more than two million years ago, design has been at the heart of problem solving and the progress of human civilisation.

It is this pre-historic heritage that exhibition Post Fossil: excavating 21st century creation, which opens at the Design Museum Holon in Israel in January, aims to tap into, but with a modern twist. 

The work of more than 60 designers, including Arik Levy, Peter Marigold, Raphael Navot and Raw Edges, has been collected by curator and renowned trend-forecaster Lidewij Edelkoort, to produce a exhibition of contemporary design inspired by the aesthetics, materials or techniques of the past.

Guus Van Leeuwen
Guus Van Leeuwen’s Domestic Animals radiators

Design Museum Holon chief curator Galit Gaon explains, ‘Edelkoort has assembled a selection of future fossils, based on the understanding that one of the best ways to study design is through the analysis of archaeological relics.

‘In contrast to the common perception of future design as technological and interactive, Post Fossil enables us to examine the future by gazing back to the past and to re-experience the primal encounter between man, matter and basic forms.’

Guus Van Leeuwen’s Domestic Animals are reinvented radiators in animal forms. The radiators, which are covered with wheat filled skins that retain the heat of the radiator when taken to bed on a chilly evening, aim to remind users of a time when people lived above their livestock to profit from their animal’s heat.

Nacho Carbonell
Lover’s Chair by Nacho Carbonell. Photo by Nacho Carbonell Studio

Peter Marigold’s Split Boxes is a site-specific installation featuring a shelving system made from logs split at random into four parts.

Nacho Carbonell has used recycled paper publications to create sculptural refuges to hide in, like ancient caves.

Like Dominic Wilcox’s recent Speed Creating project, which was showcased in September’s Anti Design Festival, the exhibition aims to showcase pieces which vie against the last few decade’s ‘streamlined design for design’s sake’ mantra, say organisers.

Edelkoort says, ‘Time has come for extreme change. Society is ready to break away from last century for good: to break with creative conventions, theoretic rules and stigmas that now are questioned, challenged and broken, to break with a materialistic mentality, replacing it with the materialisation of modest earth-bound and recomposed matter.’

Spilt Box Shelves by Peter Marigold
Spilt Box Shelves by Peter Marigold

Post Fossil: excavating 21st century creation runs at 27 January – 30 April 2011 at Design Museum Holon Israel, Pinhas Eilon St. 8 
Holon, 58459, Israel.

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