Design between tradition and innovation explored

A reinterpretation of the everyday plastic garden chair into a hand-carved wooden one to give it an antique quality, a traditional wooden beer table recreated in recycled plastic, loosely woven indescribable piece that acts as a bedspread, bed and sleeping bag, and bendy mattresses that turn into chairs and stools – these are just some of the highlights of a new exhibition that sets out to explore design between tradition and innovation.

New Olds: Design Between Tradition and Innovation at the Design Museum Holon in Israel presents work by over sixty local and international designers. Curated by Volker Albus, in cooperation with the Goethe-Institut Israel, the exhibition aims to communicate the international and complex nature of this discourse in contemporary design.

‘We want to show the different ways in which it is possible to work with traditional aspects,’ says Albus. ‘When exhibitions tour around the world, I notice that young designers are not aware of their own culture and try to copy the western style. In this exhibition, we have a lot of designers who work with traditional aspects, so I want to help designers to concentrate, to look at their own roots.’

The artists are inspired by historical references and symbols ranging from the deer antlers to the cuckoo clock, traditional porcelain, Baroque objects and the more recent history of Bauhaus and Memphis.

The works are produced in a variety of techniques: old and new, artisan and technological – from weaving, glass blowing to wood-carving.

Over seventy designs have been curated around the themes of material, construction, configuration, production, design icons and traditional use. Participating designers include Maarten Baas, Studio Makkink & Bey, Tal Gur and Bertjan Pot & Marcel Wanders.

Designed by architect Ron Arad in 2010, Design Museum Holon is part of an urban regeneration initiative that aim to transform the city into a centre for design.

New Olds: Design Between Tradition and Innovation is at the Design Museum Holon from 26 May – 10 September 2011.

Sean Jackson

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