Curator for Asia
It can still be difficult to find good talent in Asia. These nations are evolving at such a high speed that people rarely have the time, the dedication and commitment to create new things of the high quality we are used to seeing in the West. The Hallingdal 65 project not only allows and encourages this application but it requires it. The luxury of time, and the benefits of the exposure that Kvadrat can bring as a company is an exciting combination.
Everyone has been looking at China and Asia over the past few years – every magazine has done a special edition on what is going on here. But from the ground we see a very outward focused design scene, with most studios spending some 90 per cent of their time looking overseas for inspiration, and Western architects and designers still winning the significant projects. That said, there is still an incredible energy here and the market for local design is growing all the time, despite the economic climate.
Going forward we are starting to see big global brands seeking out designers from this part of the world with whom to collaborate. In this way the Hallingdal 65 project provides an important platform for an emerging design scene in Asia. The way I see it is that talented designers here have a considerable opportunity at this point in time – not simply to represent where they are from, but also to use this as a stage to speak to an international audience. Communication is the key to open many doors.
I nominated Ministry of Design (Singapore) and Smallprojects (Japan) for this commission and while both have taken their inspiration directly from the fabric, they are also bringing their own cultural heritage to the project, which is interesting to see.