Section Scenography 2023 by Klaas Rood - Volfram
COLLECTIBLE: Could you briefly introduce your practice and tell us about your past projects?
Klaas Rood: After nearly twenty years of talking about starting a studio together, we (Klaas Rood, The Hague, NL and Ernst van ter Beek, New York City, USA) founded Volfram in 2020 when technology made it possible to overcome the ocean that is between us.
Our first project together was Art Basel in Miami Beach, designing the showfloor, VIP lounges and the cafes. We previously led projects at studios in New York and Amsterdam, from which we built a solid network of collaborators. From there, other projects in the world of art and design flowed naturally, such as the NN Art Award space at Art Rotterdam, gallery exhibitions in New York, Singapore and Basel, and even event spaces like the Formula 1 Miami Grand Prix.
C: What is your vision for COLLECTIBLE’s lay-out design? Where are you drawing inspiration from?
KR: We both have a background in industrial design, so we have an ingrained understanding of how to place furniture in the best possible light. We design for the galleries and for the collectors as this is an important moment for them to make new connections. To emphasise the experience of both, the start of the design process is about interweaving all parameters as if you are spinning cotton candy. For COLLECTIBLE 2023, we were inspired by the works of Jan Schoonhoven to reduce, align and organise all parameters into a coherent lay-out.
C: How is the lay-out design a way to create a connection between the visitors and the exhibitors?
KR: For the first time COLLECTIBLE 2023 will be in the Tour & Taxi building in Brussels, which is a very different venue to what Collectible is used to. However, it it gave us the opportunity to design a new floorplan from scratch. By placing the different kinds of galleries, services, catering etc in a structured way you can control the flow of the visitors through the fair. We think about the following questions for example: What is the first thing they see when they enter the show? Where can they go and what are the next moves? Then we think about the exhibitor and their needs. How are they visible to the collectors in the space? How can the gallery present themselves to the crowd navigating the event?
C: How do you approach the lay-out design for a design fair like COLLECTIBLE? How does it differ from an art fair?
KR: For a contemporary art fair, galleries most often want a blank space that truly makes the visitor focus on the art on display. For design, context is much more important, so the setting itself can be much more present. We want to create a coherent experience for the entire fair. A clearly laid out space to give you overview, but less defined areas within that to stimulate exploration and a sense of discovery.
Volfram, a The Hague & New York based design collective founded in 2020 by Klaas Rood (right) and Ernst van ter Beek, specialises in scenography for art & design. Together with a global network of architects and designers, they create interiors and event spaces. Recent projects include the architecture of Art Basel in Miami Beach,VIP lounge for Formula 1 Miami Grand Prix and the NN Art Award space at Art Rotterdam, as well as gallery exhibitions in New York, Singapore and Basel.