Saturday, August 18, 2012

li edelkoort - thinking on the future!

I saved something from May that Felt Artist Wendy Bailye shared at the end of the Dorothy Caldwell Workshop... this writing below from Futurist Li Edelkoort.

                                                           Images from Wendy's blog.

Wendy emailed to us all this piece:

Edelkoort is a trend watcher in the design industry and has some interesting things to say about the life of makers and designers and future trends.

Li Edelkoort -  images found here
Post Fossil - excavating 21st century creation by Li Edelkoort 2011Time has come for extreme change
Society is ready to break away from the 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 crafted materialisation of modest earth-bound and recomposed matter.

In the aftermath of the worst financial crisis in decades, a period of glamorous and streamlined design for design's sake come to an end.
A new generation of designers retrace their roots, refine their earth and research their history, sometimes going back to the beginning of time.

In this process, they form and formulate design around natural and sustainable materials, favoring timber, hide, pulp, fibre, earth and fire.
Like contemporary cavemen, they reinvent shelter, redesign tools and manmade machines, and conceptualize archaic rituals for a more modest, content and contained lifestyle.
Like a Fred Flintstone of the future.

The animal world will keep invading and transforming the life of humans represented in a more abstract and less narrative manner.
fibre and plant are becoming dominant materials animated by organic form and skeleton structures.
Our relationship with all living organisms is at stake. Therefore humans will share and care for each other.
Soon the world will discover that we are all family.

Ecology and sustainability will no longer be enough.
Primitive matter and organic shapes will embody a need of man longing for a more meaningful and ritualistic relationship with earth and the elements.
Resulting in a revival of animism.
Therefore designers create brut and raw shapes that resemble totemic termite mounds, honeycomb shape, spider web laces and timber structures; at times incorporating biotechnology into the making process to inspire design systems for the future.

Nature is a dominant ingredient in this movement, although no longer used in a naive and aspiring ecological language, but as a mature philosophy fit for newer age. Raising the questions that need to be raised.
Can we do with less to become more?
Can design have a soul and therefore be animated?
Can man find a more meaningful way to consume?
Can we break with the past and reinvent the future?

In general, materials will be matte and humble, however the earth and its hidden riches also invites this generation to employ minerals, alloys and crystals; adding lustre and sometimes even sheen to fossil-like concepts and constructions.
Laquered and polished surfaces are enhancing vagabond finds, unveiling their raw beauty while questioning the survival of the world's economy.
At times these designs will echo the essence of the arte povera movement which is bound to make a revival - soon.

image from here.

trend tablet read here.

Reading about Futurists in the weekend magazines that come with newspapers years ago I remember the feeling of being filled with curiosity... questions about this future seeing thing.

Then I was surprised to find when starting out in a serious studio practice aged 31 that one could indeed at times see things before they had reached the zeitgeist. Designing things at that time I chanced to innovate here and there and thus pondered it a little more.

 I believe its increasingly important that we have serious thinking going into future oriented living and thus I celebrate the words of this interesting woman above for putting out such timely thinking for us to ponder!

....and what of your thoughts my friends?

x S


ronnie said...

thanks for sharing such thought provoking words - or rather i think its more accurate to call them 'direction affirming' words - as they resonate so distinctly with my internal voice that has been getting louder and louder and louder --- 'simple, humble, earth and place oriented PERMACULTURE!' YES I hear you!

Sophie Munns said...

yes Ronnie....
direction affirming is right!
Many are pulled to this instinctively... so the affirmation sits beautifully with that.
Keep flying the flag for nature & earth-connected art.

If anything I'm amazed how many 'esteemed' artists hold out for notions that fit with the previous century...i think the work has to embody different values and also have very different pathways and purposes than the old grooves glorify!

ArtPropelled said...

I was browsing through this website a few months ago and was delighted to see India in Bloom 20. Li Edelkoort has quite a lot to do with South Africa so she is often featured in our magazines.

Carole said...

Hi Sophie, oh my I wish we were sitting across the table and talking over a cup of coffee/tea!

I want to believe that we humans are becoming more sensitive to the earth and how we are destroying so much of it with our greed for more and more and more. I know we can become more knowledgeable but more caring and sensitive.....I'm just not sure when I see people sitting in their cars in the drive through lanes at banks, fast foods, coffee shops, and pharmacists.

It seems to me humans will go along with the marketing of "save the earth" "buy natural" and other slogans until it becomes uncomfortable or inconvenient. I include myself in there even though I have been veggie gardening, composting, recycling, reusing, making do, and so forth for years and years.

I am appalled at the number of 20-30ish year olds, our future generation, that toss the old to get the new without even a thought of how it affects the earth and the people around the world. My youngest is included in this group even though she was taught by us to be kind to the earth and to those less fortunate than yourself.

Okay, Sophie, the rant is over, it must be the heat!

I hope I'm wrong, I hope we will become satisfied with what we have and not constantly need the newest, most environmentally friendly product just because the designers and marketers tell us we need it.

Okay, I have to go to bed. Good night. xo

Sophie Munns said...

Hi Robyn,
its wonderful reading her stuff indeed ... I gave a lecture recently to 2nd yr Uni Design Students on the senses and found myself on a tangent at one point about textiles which lead to India's story and later I sent staff and students links to INdia's website plus images from the at Bloom magazine India was featured in.

Sophie Munns said...

I was so pleased to have your extended thoughts here... I think its terribly important that we talk on this... will report back here after some sleep to respond!

annamaria said...

She's a very exciting thinker- I have been fascinated by her ideas on future trends and her website for some time now. Definitely one to keep a close eye on:)

Sophie Munns said...

Indeed Annamaria...
great inspiration.
At the moment I'm rarely online so glad for goodies to be put in my lap. Kind of miss the trawling sessions but good to be painting.
I'd like to see more form the art/design world that was this on the mark and this succinct.
Good creating to you!