Jeffrey Bernett

Curator for the USA

The US along with the rest of the world is in the midst of one of the biggest turning points of the last seventy years economically, socially, and culturally. The international community is bound together in unprecedented ways and the collective ‘we’ is no longer a company, culture, or even nation but a single infinitely interconnected world. With dynamic times comes terrific opportunity where design in the US can and should be an important player in the changes that are to come.

This project, which brings a diverse group of multinational designers together with Kvadrat is a wonderful example of the new opportunities now available to US creatives. Danish goods and to an even greater extent professional services represent quality, excellence, and problem solving capabilities at the highest level, and Hallingdal 65 represents an important historical landmark textile. As a blank canvas for designers from around the world to create unique and original work, it would be difficult to better.

This selection of four US designers are all still making their respective mark in the world of design that all work to one degree or another on a global level. There is Todd Bracher, who studied at Pratt (New York) before living in Denmark on a Fulbright and his work is rooted in the world of the natural sciences as well as experience in the cultured world of Europe. There is Stephen Burks, a curator and designer whose initial product work started with a couple of the more important European manufacturers and has evolved to highlight important links to craft oriented product programs in developing world countries. Like the others, Jonathan Olivares’ first experiences and product partnerships began in Europe while in recent years he has also started product relationships back in the US – intellectual thinker Jonathan splits his time with teaching and critical writing. The line up is completed with Jonah Takagi, who studied design at RISD, and whose work is rooted in tradition, hand craftsmanship, and in interpreting historical furniture archetypes with a fresh point of view.

In quality of idea, point of view, strategically, culturally, intellectually, and in craftsmanship these four designers each represent important characteristics that will help shape and define the American and global design landscape going forward.