When Eckhart Tolle wrote his spiritual bestseller in which he argues that true (personal) liberation could only be found by living in the instant, the now, one wonders which present-state he was in fact referring to? We seam enslaved by each click, swipe, scan or turn of a page lusting for the new-ness and now-ness. What does this hunger for visual input of aesthetic impulse tell us about the culture of our time? Is it solely the superficial smooth talking of commerce trying to sell and tell us to consume? Is it creative industry with innovation as a USP? Or is there something profoundly liberating in celebrating the now and ridding ourselves from legacies of the past or the gloomy projections of our future? Or is true self-realization to be found in the fiction of the now?
Looking at contemporary design and aiming to understand current trends and tendencies through the lens of the interior it seems to be filled with ambiguities or even paradoxes. On the one hand the discipline of design is truly emancipating itself by engaging with issues relevant to society at large, with some sort of a modernist remnant of ‘doing good’. While on the other hand it seems to be part of the problem, in its eagerness for stylistic turnover.
Time & Scale
In the quest of giving meaning to design we see the profession diverging: incorporating local materials and cultural narratives, anticipating the context by empowering communities, co-producing with neighborhoods or setting the picketing poles for a ‘do it yourself’ design tool.
Shifting from designing the functional object to a more programmatic approach, socially inclusive and sustainable, that goes without saying. Materials such as plastic is making way for wood, tactility and fabrics are reentering the interior. Creating all sorts of softer environments and freedom for both designers as the users and liberating the design and its process.
Simultaneously we seem to be caught-up in a restless dream, some sort of Orwellian now, stuck in endless interiors. With fear as a given and fragmentation in the slipstream of the modern, the hyper-mediated total experience hinting on escapism.
One wonders if the neo-romantic trend, with its small scale, local orientation, ritualization of slowing down, collective and circular economies could amount up to a critical mass which would liberate us from the needs of our time? And does this signal us an articulation of celebrating the now or longing for the past.
The paradox between a longing for continuity, meaning giving and value creation beyond the monetary seems to be in opposition with the constant acceleration en eagerness for technological innovation. Either way, not facing the pressing issues of our era: environmental pressures, vacant property while many are being expelled from their homes, a growing division between the haves and the have not’s.
Can we learn lessons from the past? Will our lack of historical memory turn against us? Those who don't firmly understand thier past are condemned to repeat its mistakes. Why is the future so unpopular? Have we lost the capacity to imagine an alternative, a bright and forever future?
We present FOREVER NOW.
For this edition we are are very pleased with the professional jury:
• BRENDAN CORMIER, curator Victoria and Albert Museum
• ALEXIS GEORGACOPOULOS, director ECAL- Ecole cantonale d’art de Lausanne (University of Art and Design Lausanne)
• NORA FEHLBAUM, co-CEO Vitra
• DEYAN SUDJIC, director Design Museum London
• JASPER JANSEN, designer/founder i29
Four prizes will be awarded for the most innovative interior designs for public and commercial spaces in the following categories:
- Show & sell(Retail: shops, showrooms, exhibition stands, exhibitions)
- Relax & consume (Leisure: hotels, bars, clubs, restaurants, spas, wellness centres)
- Concentrate & collaborate (Work: offices, studios, administrative buildings, conference centres)
- Serve & facilitate (Public domain: libraries, hospitals, theatres, schools).
The Great Indoors Talks
On Thursday 3 and Friday 4 September, the jury members will be in Maastricht to judge the entries. On the evening of Thursday 3 September, the jury will participate in The Great Indoors Talks. The Talks start at 20:30 and will take place at Bureau Europa.
To attend this event, please register via firstname.lastname@example.org
Mark your calendar: festive award ceremony
On Friday 30 and Saturday 31 October, there will be a number of activities around The Great Indoors in Maastricht, and the Biennale will end with a dinner for nominees and a spectacular closing party.
For more information, please visit www.the-great-indoors.com and Facebook page of The Great indoors.
The Great Indoors is a joined initiative
The Great Indoors is an initiative of FRAME Magazine, Bureau Europa and Marres, House for Contemporary Culture.
The Great Indoors is generously supported by the City of Maastricht and the Fund Creative Industries.