Crafts Magazine Guide to COLLECT 2015 - page 30

exhibition by the British Council in Prague, using
his budget to buy the required tooling and manufac-
turing 12 for the show. When they sold instantly,
he realised he might be on to something. It sub-
sequently appeared in
The Guardian
’s interiors sup-
plement ‘Space’ and orders, to use his own turn of
phrase, ‘went wild’.
‘It was very pretty and ornamental but in a very
technological sort of way. On one hand it was a
completely new expression, at the same time it had
a sentiment that can be recognised, without being
nostalgic,’ he says. A different iteration of the product,
the
Garland Light
, which was rather less sharp and
considerably larger, was picked up by Habitat.
That sheet of photo-etched steel was Boontje’s
first real brush with mass manufacturing and indus-
try. However, arguably his most important relation-
ship has been with the high-end Italian furniture
company Moroso. The
Witch Chair
came from his
hugely theatrical
Happy Ever After
installation
at the company’s showroom during the Milan
Furniture Fair in 2004, in which he attempted to fuse a
sense of nature together with technology and fashion.
Ah! I just used the F-word. It’s one that divides the
design world. The likes of Dieter Rams, for instance,
have argued that products should be beyond the sea-
sonal cycle of clothes. Boontje, however, isn’t
so sure. ‘I find it very exciting that fashion is so
constantly moving and innovating,’ he tells me.
‘And I think that’s what is really attractive about
fashion. Fashion is set up in a way that means you
don’t need to make the same jacket year after year.
You can change the pattern; you can change the
fabrics, it’s fine. The problem is with consumerism:
throwing away a perfectly fine jacket and not
wearing it because you don’t have enough self-belief
to wear what you like. That’s more where the
problem lies. The problem also lies with advertising
that leaves people feeling insecure about not
being up-to-date.’
He collaborated with Alexander McQueen to
design a Christmas tree made up of 100,000
Swarovski crystals for the V&A in 2003 and the pair
struck up a friendship. ‘We connected very strongly
28
COLLECT 2015
LIGHTPHOTO:ANGELAMOORE
Above:
Witch Chair
,
part of the
Happy Ever
After
installation at
Moroso,Milan, 2004
Left:
Wednesday
Light
,
Wednesday
Collection
, 2001
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