28 May 2021
This new series, Design bites, unveil the backstage of contemporary creation. Tackling various topics from personal designer processes to the position of Collectible design on the global design market; these bites offer different views to suit all tastes. Today we talk with Kristofer Kongshaug, director and Pieter Maes, designer for BOON_ROOM.
COLLECTIBLE: What are the challenges in presenting contemporary collectible design?
Kristofer Kongshaug: Every business has its challenge, it’s about owning its own position in the market and being recognised as such by its potential clientele. At BOON we aim to show something that is defined exclusively in an inclusive manner. Contemporary collectible design is very much a positive reaction to this neglect; there is a demand for something authentic, to understand the process, techniques, and materials. Something that is made with such a personal vision that it connects the creator and the client through the object, defines collectible design to me.
“ Something that is made with such a personal vision that it connects the creator and the client through the object, defines collectible design to me.”
C: Can you talk about a new piece / collection that you release for COLLECTIBLE SALON?
Pieter Maes: We are showing a collection I developed for BOON. It includes three pieces in marble and two sofa lines. The marble pieces were made in collaboration with master craftsmen in Tbilisi, Georgia. A big part of this project was to show the contrast in colour of different surfacing techniques. The bright parts were bush-hammered and afterwards lightly sanded, while the dark parts were obtained by honing and polishing. The Tbilisi stone carvers did a remarkable job, given all the technical challenges. The two sofa lines, Strata and Rubens, are due in September. Strata is about a simple and bold movement that balances the inner force of upholstery with the exterior force of gravity. The Rubens sofa has been designed to play on the indulgence of upholstery. With generously padded seats and plump down-filled pillows that are tightly packed into an upholstered frame.
C: How did you get into collectible design? Why did you focus your practice on this type of design rather than industrial design? What have you been up to recently?
KK: I have a huge passion for creation; art, design, and fashion - the essence of material, shape, and texture is important to me, to tell a story. So, the step towards collectible design came very naturally. We wanted to open part of our spaces for the public and create an inclusive platform for brilliant talents.
PM: Both sides of that spectrum are important to me. I have also noticed that industrial brands are as interested in sculptural pieces as galleries are. We are launching the second part of BOON_EDITION nº1 in September during Paris design week and in N.Y. for the BOON_NEW YORK opening the same month.
C: How do sustainability-related questions influence your practice?
PM: I see my output as something to be kept and passed on rather than be used up and thrown away. I do this by focussing on mastery of craft and choosing materials that improve over time. Environmental impact is a complex and holistic issue that is sometimes counter-intuitive. It’s an obvious variable in the equation of the design process, but in my case, it’s not a starting point.
KK: BOON launches its e-commerce platform in the coming months, it will be a digital gallery and platform for exercise and storytelling. It will reflect and follow our physical events virtually that will help the promotion of our talents without shipping randomly pieces everywhere for exhibitions.
BOON_ROOM, a multidisciplinary gallery that embraces the past, energises the present and projects the future. Representing a patchwork of more than 150 artistic talents from more than 50 countries, all with one thing in common: Something incredible to share. Atomising the cultural landscape through a curated selection of ART, DESIGN and FASHION. We challenge the senses, creating positive tension between space and object, talent and viewer, cross-pollinating all art and design expressions bringing the present one step closer to the future.