Airy objects that are weightless – or at least appear to be – will fill the great hall at Ausstellungsstrasse 60 from the beginning of March: Minoshi, white blossoms made of soft Japanese Washi paper, Brindilles, twigs made from slender wooden rods connected to each other by strips of textile, and Helicoïdales, large spirals made from thin planed strips of stone pine wood.
Three installations, of which two were conceived especially for this occasion and revealed for the first time, liven up to the surrounding air movements.
Following three years of renovation work the Museum für Gestaltung Zürich is celebrating the reopening of its newly restored location on Ausstellungsstrasse. The core of the listed building, which dates from the 1930s, is formed by the exhibition hall with its characteristic piers which now are revealed again in their earlier two-story form. The design office atelier oï from western Switzerland is using this hall for the opening exhibition entitled Oïphorie.
Alongside installations that intervene in space the exhibition also presents the most important works that Aurel Aebi, Armand Louis and Patrick Reymond have made together with their team since founding the studio in 1991: simple, directly understandable constructive forms which are inspired and supported by everyday images and narratives so that they remain lodged in our memory. Alongside the objects themselves the material studies, prototypes and videos provide a first comprehensive insight into their way of working, which is as systematic as it is playful.
From the coffee cup to the building: it’s the material that counts
atelier oï work internationally and in all dimensions from the coffee cup to the building. This trio believes it is important to cultivate an intensive dialogue with the material and to think with the hands. Usually the focus is on high-quality handcraft production like in the leather Objets No- mades for Louis Vuitton. However atelier oï can switch from unique pieces in limited editions to mass products, for example the wall-mounted storage rack Torslanda for IKEA, made from PET foil, or the coffee cup View for Nespresso, produced from cast glass.
Light in motion
Light and light fittings are a recurring theme in the work of atelier oï. When not in use the lamps may at times not seem particularly attractive but when they move the playful constellations created unlock their full visual potential. The lamps Les danseuses revolve at different speeds but always so quickly that centrifugal force retains the upper hand against gravity. The effect of whirling dervishes created by the gentle wavy form conceals the light source.
The lamp Oïphorique – of which the exhibition takes its name – repeatedly compresses and dilates. This is possible thanks to the pleated textile, cut in such a way that it can be bent at right angle to the folds. As a result the lampshades form a pulsating object whose movements recall the way that mammals respire or jellyfish float in the ocean.
Troika as the principle of collaboration
The troika is a Russian version of a carriage drawn by a team of three horses. The designers use this term to describe the principle on which they base their collaboration: a tripartite driving force in the service of the projects. Working with a 35 person team they combine methods from the areas of product design, architecture and scenography. This interdisciplinary creative approach has played a significant role in making atelier oï one of the most important design offices in Switzerland.
The educational program with discussions, tours and workshops can be found on the website: museum-gestaltung.ch