Biennale Interieur – In Review

By chris

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For 46 years, the Biennale Interieur (located in the charming city of Kortrijk, Belgium) has been a destination for design-lovers seeking fresh ideas and innovative makers from Belgium and beyond.  It was our first time at the bi-annual show and we were frankly blown away.  The quality of the exhibition space/exhibitors and the thoughtful offsite exhibitions really made a walk down each aisle an exciting discovery. The show offered a well-curated experience between the main hall and the installations and exhibits located across town in the Buda Island district.  Organized and run by a non-profit organization, with sleek Audis ferrying attendees back and forth, the two days we had for the show, were not nearly enough time to soak it all in. We did our best by taking very short breaks in the charming onsite cafes (created by designers), monitoring our beer drinking (we even visited a Beer Temple) and keeping a brisk pace (our FitBit numbers were through the roof).

cafe

One of our favorite areas was the special section celebrating outstanding Belgian designers and going back in time to show the rich talent that distinguishes the Belgian design scene.  This year the “Designer of the Year” award, a prestigious title given to one who exhibits unique and creative design in their industry, was given to Marina Bautier.  Marina is a native to Belgium, where she set up her own furniture design practice in 2002, until Lignet Roset discovered her work and fueled her international career in Milan.  At a cocktail in honor of the exhibit, we got to meet other Belgian design super stars, including Alain Bertau, the founder of Objekten and one of our faves, who was awarded this title in 2006.

In addition to thought-provoking exhibits, installations and cash and carry designs, the show line-up included cocktail and dance parties at all hours and all over town.  Our friends at Architonic went so far as to rent a decommissioned church for their annual disco event.  The venue was attached to an old school that was soon to be demolished.  The city allowed the show to take over the space to fill it with student design work as well as a fab pop-up restaurant.  We got coveted reservations for dinner on the long school-house tables. It was wonderful! Another after-hours hot ticket was to the Wünder party sponsored by Axor, Duravit, Delta Lighting, Casaus, Samsung and Barrisol and featuring installations, dancing and Belgian beers.. need we say more!

Additional culinary highlights included the home gelato makers on the show floor and some of the best gelato we have ever had… AND for free at a trade show to boot – fantastic chocolates and frites!!!

Some of our favorite pieces at the show were:

Bulo

Bulo launched an exciting new collection, “Dan”. Modular, flexible and suitable for the home or office, Dan is a revolutionary take on great office design – made for the way people live now!

up-lift by redesign

Redesign’s new line of chairs ,“Uplift”, are extremely innovative and convenient. They pull out to form a bed, and are perfect for any occasion.

We loved the vibrant and antique feeling that Limited Edition’s new line of rugs brings.

The vibrant and antique feeling that Limited Edition’s new line of rugs brings is simply stunning.

We're still dreaming of Renson's Camargue!  We loved the versatility and the high-tech nature of the structures. We are ready to move right in!

We’re still dreaming of Renson’s Camargue! We loved the versatility and the high-tech nature of the structures. We are ready to move right in!

Axor’s Manufaktur showcases the wide range of custom finishes.

Axor has the golden touch. Its Manufaktur showcases the designer brand’s wide range of custom finishes.

Jonas Van Put’s outdoor furniture always brings people back to their natural environment. This fascinating collection of lounge chairs really caught our eyes. Who wouldn’t want to take a nap on one of these!

Jonas Van Put’s outdoor furniture always brings people back to their natural environment. This fascinating collection of lounge chairs really caught our eyes. Who wouldn’t want to take a nap on one of these!

MATE is designed by Bram Boo for BULO and produced with local Belgian wood in collaboration with BOSQ. According to Boo, “MATE originates from the coherence between table and screen, horizontal and vertical. For me it is obvious that they are one and so form an archetypical object. Function displayed in all its trueness, defining a space in a symbolic and discrete way. MATE subtly fits in every space, as a desk, a mirror, a coffee corner and many other settings…”

This table, designed by Ben Storms, has an organic and modern feel that is simply captivating.

This table, designed by Ben Storms, has an organic and modern feel that is simply captivating.

We were thrilled to see Remy Swamp Oak With Orange Wild Spirit, a desk designed by Anita Nevens.  Working could be a lot more fun with this desk!

Wildspirit is known for turning everyday ideas into signature pieces. They believe in creating multifunctional furnishings for multifarious interiors. Meet Remy – a space-saving writing or make-up desk designed by Anita Nevens – that perfectly illustrates the company’s philosophy. It is available in Swamp Oak or Stained Walnut, with optional, orange, camel, dark or black leather.

 

Introducing Scoop and Scoopy! This new collection from Deknudt Mirrors is the perfect example of Karim Rashid’s signature style. The shell shaped mirror features bright colors and sloping lines. Amorphous and minimalistic, organic and human, they cradle the reflection and contribute to the atmosphere and the experience in the room. The two cushy geometric shapes can incorporate a light source that accentuates the smooth finish and slanting lines of the shell. Wall compositions can be created by combining different shapes and colors, leading to what Karim Rashid calls “Ego Art.”

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