Mia Karlova Galerie
24 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 the Amsterdam-based interior designer and curator Mia Karlova.
COLLECTIBLE: How did you get into collectible design? Why did you start your gallery?
Mia Karlova: I come from the interior design world. I started my practice in 2011 and was incredibly lucky to work on very diverse projects – my portfolio includes private and public spaces from restaurants and school interiors to a historical estate recognised as a landmark of cultural and architectural heritage. From the very start, art played a significant role in my interiors. For every project, we were selecting art and design pieces together with my clients be it from the artists’ studios, at auctions - such as Drouot - or in galleries. Gradually, I also started commissioning one-of-a-kind objects for specific projects.
Art and design objects are what truly elevate an interior project to a whole different level. I felt that I wanted to devote my time and efforts to this most inspiring aspect of interior design.
“Art and design objects are what truly elevate an interior project to a whole different level. I felt that I wanted to devote my time and efforts to this most inspiring aspect of interior design.”
C: What are the key questions you ask yourself before starting to conceptualise an exhibition?
MK: One of the most fascinating aspects of my curatorial work is conversations with the designers. Through these conversations, I saw that every designer reflects on the recent lockdowns and how the designers fared with self-isolation, but each in their own manner. “A life less ordinary”, the exhibition I’ve curated for Collectible Salon, reflects on the shifts caused by the pandemic in our everyday lives, seen through the lens of four designers.
This past year has drastically changed our lives and transformed our realities. We stayed at home, stopped travelling, moved online, and started observing things we hadn’t noticed before. This change of focus has altered our perception of ordinary life.I wanted the pieces I selected for Collectible to tackle these life-changing transformations.
C: Can you talk about the designers you present for COLLECTIBLE SALON, what makes their practice/pieces unique
MK: Vadim Kibardin delves into a conscious and responsible approach to consumption. He is a material-driven designer experimenting with a wide range of sustainable materials from discarded cardboard to coffee and bone leftovers. With his Black Paper collection, Vadim offers his contribution towards achieving a circular economy, creating sculptural, highly aesthetic and fully functional furniture out of reclaimed paper.
Femke van Gemert has a background in fashion design and trendsetting. When witnessing this tremendous increase in fast fashion consumption, she decided to start exploring ways to turn unrequired textile into pieces of art. Femke’s practice reveals an alternative renaissance of textile leftovers, enriched with her sense of emotion and distinct personal touch.
Olga Engel is known for her minimalistic forms and poetic designs. In her practice, she sends positive messages and captures sweet memories. The Lightbox #1L is conceived for the “new normal”, where the home becomes the true centre of life. Our perception of this familiar piece of furniture is changed when embedded with unexpected functions and new emotions. No longer an ordinary light-box, here spaces for social interaction as well as conscious privacy have been created.
Sho Ota’s research focuses on the appeal of the forms and textures that surround us. Sho’s Surfaced collection stemmed from a desire to reveal the structures beneath industrial surfaces. Sho’s new coat rack displays the structure of wood to the viewers, leaving nothing hidden while reimagining a common piece of peripheral furniture into a functional sculpture deserving of admiration and attention.
About Mia Karlova (The Netherlands)
Founded in 2020 by Amsterdam-based interior designer and curator Mia Karlova, Mia Karlova Galerie specialises in functional sculpture, which pushes the boundaries between art and design while retaining environmental sustainability at its core.