Vases that grow like mushrooms and other Ukrainian design projects
For the first time, the Kyiv Design Week is taking place in Zurich under the title "Kiev: City of Change". On show are eleven projects by Ukrainian designers who are currently working in various European cities due to the war in Ukraine.
On 13 September, the first edition of Kyiv Design Week opened as part of the Design Weeks in Zurich. In addition to talks, documentary screenings and performances, the exhibition "Crossroads of Time" can be seen at the Thomas Kurer Galerie. Until 19 September, it shows eleven different projects from art as well as fashion, graphic, watch and product design. Behind the selection for the exhibition is Design4Ukraine. The association has been planning it for quite some time, but could not realise it as planned first because of the pandemic and then because of the war in Ukraine. Now the wait is over. "Despite the war, Kyiv always inspires us to dream, create and change, even in difficult times like these," say Aid Kyiv Design Week co-founders Anastasia Biletska and Yaroslav Belinskiy.
Participants include textile studio Solomia Studio, furniture brand Donna and gallery Sana Moreau, which presents objects that literally grow like mushrooms.
Three highlights from the "Crossroads of Time"
exhibition. For some time now, mushrooms have been sprouting up as a material everywhere in the design world. So too at this exhibition. The Ukrainian gallery Sana Moreau presents a small collection with a vase and a decorative bowl made of a biomaterial composed of hemp and mushroom mesh, among other things. It was developed by S.Lab and Natura Ceramica. The trick: the objects grow in 3D printing trays under special temperature conditions with a substrate. After two weeks, the growth process is stopped so that they retain their shape.
The result is extremely light yet durable. Although the objects have grown in the dark, they are bright. The colour shades range from ivory to beige to brown and depend on how long the material remained in the shell after the object grew. The process makes each piece unique. While the shape can be repeated, the colour, as well as the delicate, mushroom-like texture, cannot.
Like a puzzle: the "Konky"
set. The manufacturer Studio Donna designs furnishings and works with Ukrainian designers. His goal is to design furniture for the future. Natalia Filonenko's design shows what this looks like. "Konky" is a chair, table, computer stand and what you make of it.
The module can be extended at will into a sofa or, as in this video, a bench. It fits in the living room, the office, but also in a hotel lobby and is available in different colours and fabrics from the manufacturer. Because the stool weighs only seven kilograms, even a child can pick it up and move it from A to B. This flyweight and its multifunctionality make the furniture a perfect match for anyone who likes to regularly rearrange their home and is looking for a designer piece that moves with the times.
Virtual reality technologies meet traditional craftsmanship: the "MetaProstir" tapestry**
The Solomia Studio studio wants to preserve a heritage yet go one step further. How does it do that? By transforming AI-generated motifs by hand using a time-tested weaving technique. The tapestry that the Ukrainian textile company is presenting in Zurich was created entirely in the spirit of the craftsmanship typical of the Reshetylivka region.
The abstract graphic was developed by students of the UFEG fashion institute. It is inspired by the Metaverse and, true to the title "Crossroads of Time", is intended to illustrate how this edition of Kyiv Design Week bridges Switzerland and Ukraine.
Kyiv Design Week is an important part of the largest Swiss design festival "Zurich Design Weeks", where studios and shops open their doors or established brands as well as newcomers exhibit their work. While the majority of the programme will take place in Zurich, some public events will also be held in Kiev itself. More information on the varied programme, guided tours and workshops can be found on the website. . Titelfoto: Pia Seidel