For more than 15 years, Dylan van den Berg and Wieki Somers have worked together as Studio Wieki Somers on a body of work that combines innovation and tradition with wonder. The designers’ work and ethos are shared in a new exhibition, presented as part of the Musée de design et d’arts appliqués contemporains (mudac) “Carte Blanche” series.
Astonished by a general lack of consideration for our environment, the design duo has continuously questioned why things are as they are, exploring the significance and deeper meanings that lie hidden in our rituals of daily use. Out of the Ordinary offers an intuitive and contemplative journey that explores the oeuvre of the Studio via fifteen different projects, delving into some of its research themes to reveal how the Studio’s work transforms the ordinary.
In an exhibition created specifically for the warm and intimate space of the museum, Studio Wieki Somers has constructed a series of areas where visitors are invited to enter its world and develop a connection with the works – and with the art of looking. To capture this secret feeling, the Studio has designed a special color plan, where hues relate to the pieces and themes of each room, and every window is “opened” to let in natural light.
Fascinated by the unexpected qualities of everyday objects, Dylan van den Berg and Wieki Somers attempt to bring the soul of an object to life again in their practice, with a poetic association, a fleeting encounter or a subtle touch, all of which can all act as the basis of a new design.
While Studio Wieki Somers is noted for its exceptional and distinctive visual language and the high quality of its craftsmanship is also considered out of the ordinary, the research that precedes the design is more important than strict design principles.
Presented in terms of these research themes, rather than chronologically, Out of the Ordinary explores the art of looking via 15 projects, where the attention to detail and technical ingenuity are combined with unusual story lines.
In the run-up to the show, Studio Wieki Somers commissioned photographer Elspeth Diederix to capture these fascinations and a presentation of her photographs complements the exhibition.