The High Museum of Art, Atlanta, is the largest public holding of Joris Laarman’s (b. 1979) work outside of his home country, the Netherlands. Design in the Digital Age, presents the first comprehensive overview of Laarman’s work, from furniture generated by algorithms to a “living” lampshade made of genetically modified cells, ultimately bringing emerging technologies into conversation with skilled craftsmanship.
After graduating from the revered Design Academy in Eindhoven, a technology and design hub in the south of Holland, Laarman and his partner Anita Star founded The Lab. Founded in 2004, the collective is an experimental playground of digital fabrication based in Amsterdam where scientists, engineers, programmers and craftspeople come together to produce and facilitate an advanced and interdisciplinary attitude to contemporary design. Working predominantly with emerging technologies, the Lab exercises an inventive take on craftsmanship, which carves out a place for tradition as a pioneering model rather than a nostalgic pursuit.
In this way, the exhibition brings to light current trends from a global design community, focused on the importance of materials and a revival of artisanal visions. As Sarah Schleuning, High Museum’s curator of decorative arts and design, notes: “Laarman’s intellectual, thoughtful and collaborative approach to design propels him to explore new means and methods for creating, resulting in a remarkably innovative and beautiful body of work.”
Arranged into sections, the show offers a multi-dimensional view into a diverse and forward-thinking practice, one that brings together furniture design, applied projects and experiments, as well as sketches, videos and renderings. The most recent 3D printing work is also be on display, including Dragon Bench (2014), which was made by a 3D printing robot that Laarman developed himself. Using a specially adapted arm, the robot has been designed to draw molten metal lines in the air, creating a form that does not rely on any support structures to hold it up.
Until 13 May. For more information click here.
1. Joris Laarman (Dutch, born 1979) Joris Laarman Lab (Dutch, established 2004) Aluminum Gradient Chair, 2014, laser sintered aluminum, 72 x 70 x 77 cm. Barry Friedman, New York. Photo: Joris Laarman Lab.