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FOREIGN LEGION

Foreign Legion is a globally active curatorial initiative by Vera Sacchetti and Matylda Krzykowski. Foreign Legion works in a wide range of formats, either existing or imagined, for the cultural and commercial sector. “We are foreign and we are everywhere.”

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Website and Visual Identity by AnnerPerrin
Illustrations by Raby Florence Fofana
Mock-Up by Matylda Krzykowski

Upcoming exhibition: Add to the Cake, 26 April – 4 November 2019, Kunstgewerbemuseum Dresden, Germany.
Save the Date: Opening 5 July 2019, 6 PM
Summer School: 6 – 8 July 2019. Info coming soon.

DESKTOP EXHIBITION

A Desktop Exhibition is a public presentation on a desktop, conducted on a laptop, a private screen. It is a curatorial format developed by Matylda Krzykowski, shortly after closing the physical space of Depot Basel. The curator clicks on files on the desktop similar to walking through a physical space and guiding you through the exhibition.

In October 2017 Matylda Krzykowski presented the first Desktop Exhibition at Is Technology Sexist?,  a conference curated by Chus Martinez at Institut Kunst, Basel.

Have you seen the presentation of the first speaker on the technology and gender conference? She curated various files onto her desktop background and called it an exhibition.

Previous Desktop Exhibitions:

In Conversation with Ilona Gaynor, The School of Art Institute Chicago, 27 Sep 2018
Methods & Formats, BauNow Bauhaus New Perspectives, Alma Tel Aviv, 12 March 2018
Inaugural Lecture, Muthesius University of Art and Design, 05 Dec 2017
Prototyping Ideas, Local, Domus Academy, 30 Oct 2017
The Art of Presenting, Z33 & Designplatform Limburg, 18 Oct 2017
Is Technology Sexist? , Institut Kunst, 1o Oct 2017

Desktop Scenographies by Tom HancocksValerie van Zuijlen or Matylda Krzykowski

A WOMAN’S WORK

Curated by Foreign Legion, Vera Sacchetti and Matylda Krzykowski, Client Kunstgewerbemuseum Dresden 
Visual Identity by Andrea Anner, Images by David Pinzer

A Woman’s Work aims to explore the roles, influence and visibility of contemporary female practitioners. Structured in three parts: ‘Advocates of history’,‘Enablers of visibility’ and ‘Dismantlers of existing conditions’, the gathering aims to bring women in and around design, art and architecture to the fore, creating the conditions for their visibility to become a permanent condition. Program Friday, 18 January 2019

  • 9:30 – Registration and Coffee
  • 10:15 – Introductory Remarks
    Matylda Krzykowski and Vera Sacchetti, Foreign Legion
  • 10:30 – Introduction to “Against Invisibility”
    Klara Němečková, curator, Kunstgewerbemuseum Dresden
  • 10:45 – Part 1 – Advocates of History“Women have always been there”, critic Alexandra Lange has recently noted, “but we have overlooked their contributions.” If design history has been skewed from the start – given the perspective of those who wrote it in the first place – what can be done to rediscover women designers? Advocates of History looks at recent examples of revisited design history, in exhibitions, books, institutions and events, that seek to celebrate female practitioners and their contributions to the fields of design and architecture.
    Thomas Geisler, director, Werkraum Bregenzerwald
    Annika Frye, designer and Professor of Design Science and Research, Muthesius Kunsthochschule Kiel
    Libby Sellers, design historian, consultant and author of Women Design
  • 12:00 – Lunch Break
  • 12:45 – Part 2 – Enablers of Visibility It is not enough that female practitioners do the work – it is also up to those in positions of power to bring their work to the spotlight. How can we make sure that the histories of these designers are written, talked about, broadcast? And how can they be transported from one generation to the next? Enablers of Visibility examines the roles of museums, schools, critics, journalists, and even social media in disseminating the stories of women. 
    Katrin Greiling, designer and teacher, founder of Studio Greiling
    Alice Rawsthorn, design critic and author of Design as an Attitude
    Antje Stahl, journalist and editor, Neue Zürcher Zeitung
  • 14:15 – Ritual of Self-Empowerment
    Pinar Demirdag, Practitioner and co-founder of Pinar & Viola
  • 14:30 – Part 3 – Dismantlers of Existing ConditionsEven while pushing for the visibility of the female practitioner, we often fail to recognize our own bias and ingrained behaviours. How can we create frameworks for the visibility of women designers without replicating the same Eurocentric stereotypes, and without overlooking different perspectives and geographies? Dismantlers of Existing Conditions discusses strategies for shifting our perspective, and that of our students, our audiences, and our establishment.
    Danah Abdulla, designer, researcher and educator, Brunel University London and Decolonising Design 
    Christoph Knoth, graphic designer, web developer and professor HFBK Hamburg
    Sarah Owens, professor of Visual Communication at Zurich University of the Arts
  • 15.45 – Roundup and Concluding Remarks
    Tulga Beyerle, director, Museums für Kunst und Gewerbe Hamburg
    Matylda Krzykowski and Vera Sacchetti, Foreign Legion
  • 17:00 – Reception

‘No longer need women to navigate the design profession without role models to look up to and be inspired by. No longer have women to conform to any predefined career orientation, designing their paths in whichever way they deem best. And because, in recent years more than ever, women in design can find inspiring examples all around them, the practitioner of today should not have to quiet down their voice, hush away their presence, hide their influence. And yet, it is this reclaiming that is the biggest challenge, one that must take most of our attention right now: finding and using our own voices in design, loud and clear. To say things such as:

Yes, I want that opportunity.
Yes, I want access to that platform.
Yes, give me that job (and pay me as much as you would a man).
Yes, represent and sell my work (for the same price as you will sell a work made by a man).
Yes, this is obvious, necessary, and the only way I will work for you, with you, alongside you.

‘Extract from the essay ‘A Woman’s Work, or, steps towards the yin revolution’ by Foreign Legion for the ‘Against Invisibility exhibition catalogue’ (Gegen die Unsichtbarkeit, Designerinnen der Deutschen Werkstätte Hellerau, 1898 bis 1938, July 2018

FÉMININ

Work and Art Direction by Valentina Cameranesi Sgroi
Short Film by Adrianna Glaviano
Text and Narration by Matylda Krzykowski

Is there anything unpleasant about being here?
No,  you cant even talk about anything unpleasant here.
The only thing unpleasant is if someone comes here for half a day and does not get really to know the place . … that must me unpleasant. 

Nothing changes year after year.
It brings together seemingly unsuitable visual elements.
In the same time they couldn’t be more unsuitable
Artificial and natural. 

They are props like the rest of the world.
Things appear as seductive, often exaggerated variations of references.
They are decorated.
They are all pretty girls and guys.
Who? Everyone. Everything.

The scene of Féminin, Valentina Cameranesi’s recent exhibition in Toulon, France, is set in a former hair salon, a place of self-reflection. Conceived as a spatial still life that includes vases, fabrics, and photographs, the show inspires nostalgia for the 1980s, a time when hair was big, blocky shapes defined interiors, and people generally weren’t afraid to make bold style statements.

The title of the show is taken from the vinyl lettering remaining on the salon’s window façade. It is the ideal reference for Valentina Cameranesi’s work, which deals with a perception of femininity, from an era when the understanding of confident, sensual femininity was being redefined as many women’s idea of power dressing started to emulate that of men.

Vases with their curvy ceramics echo the female form, entering into a dialogue, in the case of Cameranesi’s works, on femininity. Cameranesi drew her first vase in 2011, after being deeply moved by an exhibition of Gino de Dominicis at the Maxxxi Museum in Rome, something she remembers being both saddened and inspired by. In the following year, she continued to let her emotions draw variations of symbolic and decorative vessels until she was introduced to a supplier in the Veneto, in Northern Italy, where she produced her first set. The transformation of a drawing, an abstract idea, into a ceramic object was new to Cameranesi and gave her an unexpected sense, complementing her work as an art director and stylist.

Another example of Cameranesi’s aesthetic understanding is the pastel-colored, blue-shaded, expressive Jacquard fabric in the show. Made according to an industrial weaving technique, it also offers a possibility to translate her imagined, hand-drawn ideas into visual patterns. There is a difference between what she drew and what the machines produced — the end result an is abstract and uncontrollable version of the original concept, manipulated by its weaving technique. It is a process that she describes as “a romance with digital embroidery.”

Adding to the Féminin’s profusion of nostalgia — visually elegant and often decoratively beautiful — Cameranesi references mass-produced images that have informed our ideas of femininity over the years. As an art director and stylist whose work is captured through photography, the artist is intimate with the power of pictures. One could say Cameranesi is looking for an artistic lexicon of shapes, colors, and ornaments, her themes referencing the issues of female identity. Today the sensually elegant L’Oréal from the late 70s and early 80s may no longer be present, but in Féminin her image lingers on.

The exhibition Féminin was on view in Toulon until September 24, 2017, as part of the Villa Noailles‘s Design Parade program. Text was published in a limited edition catalogue and on PIN-UP – The Feminine Glaze

 

PARALLAX

A seminar at Muthesius University by Matylda Krzykowski, turned into a hybrid project, an approach to design education, with Annika Frye. Website Digital Interface  by Benjamin Unterluggauer and Matylda Krzykowski. Catalogue Printed Interface by Annika Frye and Matylda Krzykowski.

A Contemporary Understanding of Design – The concept of the Werkbundkiste (Werkbund crate) was developed in the 1950s by the Werkbund (German Association of Craftsmen). The Werkbund was founded in 1907 as an association of artists, architects and entrepreneurs, at the suggestion of Hermann Muthesius et al., the eponym of our Muthesius University, which was also founded in 1907. The various Werkbundkisten contained mass-produced household goods; functional everyday objects such as tableware or kitchen appliances. About 80 of these boxes were distributed to schools as visual aids in order to anchor the utopian idea of the democratic Gute Form among future consumers in the period of upheaval that the economic miracle during the reconstruction of Germany constituted. It is hard to imagine today that people believed at that time that they could convey a sustainable and democratic concept of design on the basis of a box full of household objects alone. For today the process draws more attention than he product in design. So what would be the current format of a Werkbundkiste?

Muthesius Parallax shows processes, methods, tools and attitudes instead of finished products. The spatial interface is an approach to mediating design education. This form of approach to process-based design aims to convey to visitors a conscious—today one would say contemporary—understanding of design.

#muthesiusparallax
#lifelonglearningparallax
#spatialinterface
#designhistory
#werkbundkiste

With Jakob Brand, Katharina Graff, Franziska Schneider, Benjamin Unterluggauer, Alex Niggemeyer, Leon Clausen, Sebastian Kommer, Henrieke Neumeyer, Hansol Kim, Thank you to Simon Denny, Veronica Ranner, Ingo Gerken and Christoph Knoth.

 

MILANO AFTER HOURS

Evening event hosted by Felix Burrichter, Juan Garcia Mosqueda and Matylda Krzykowski. Temporary exhibition curated by Matylda Krzykowski. Work by Lucio Fontana, Ilaria Bianchi,  Andrea Sala, Davide Groppi, Johanna Grawunder, Lorenzo Vitturi, Parasite 2.0, Stefano Galuzzi, and Valentina Cameranesi Sgroi. Thank you Francesca Cefis, Cameranesi Pompili and Natalia Troja for support. Images by Delfino Sisto Legnani.

‘On the top floor of an inconspicuous 1950s apart­ment building, on an unassuming street just off the bustling Piazzale Loreto — northeastern Milan’s answer to Picadilly Circus is the former one of the 20th century’s most iconic artists: Lucio Fontana, who lived here with his fashion designer – wife Teresita Rasini, from the early 1950s until his – the founder of Spatialism, which sought to – distil color, form, space, movement, and sound into – a new breed of post­war art.’ PIN-UP #23

THE EXHIBITION THAT NEVER HAPPEND

Curated by Matylda Krzykowski, Photography Christoph Sagel, Scenography by Matylda Krzykowski and Christoph Sagel, Commissioned by Current Obsession, featured in the #2 issue of the magazine, first image by Matylda Krzykowski

A two-dimensional curated show is an exhibition that a magazine can offer. The number of printed copies equals the number of invited guests, but they do not need to stand around in a crowded space, distracted by the buzz of the opening. Each gets an individual visual sensation and experience.

I am an exhibition maker. Current Obsession asked me to work with them because I can, to quote the editors ‘create images’. My view on jewellery comes from a product and object-related context. Through my blog Matandme I have been in touch with a fair amount of designers, many of which I’ve worked with and sourced for their ways of relating to design. This eventually lead me to co-founding Depot Basel, place for contemporary design, where I have curated numerous exhibitions.

For The Exhibition That Never Happened we’ve selected jewellery by designers focusing on the potential of each individual object. As curator I was aiming to find one piece that holds the attitude of each jeweller’s general work – a reference piece. The result is an overview of new, sometimes undiscovered work, for which the context hasn’t been fully defined.

The obsolete notion that jewellery is handmade in silver or gold and that the more you wear it, the more it defines you, has shifted towards wearable objects or small-sized sculptures that exist on their own. This certainly caught my attention.

The Exhibition That Never Happened is set in a black room, a darkroom with extreme light, allowing each colourful piece to shine. It is a presentation of formality – aiming to introduce the selection in full control. Christoph Sagel, still-life photographer from Berlin, a master of lighting, with whom I’ve been working since 2012, is the right person to give the pieces a dramatic editorial stage, where jewellery comes across as desirable two-dimensional objects.

Florian Milker – Digital Precision
GOLDSMITH, JEWELLERY DESIGNER
Kunsthochschule Burg Giebichenstein, Halle Saale, DE, 2015
Florian did an apprenticeship as a Goldsmith – a classic playground with its limitations. Soon he turned to 3D programs. The B_Serie is made by laser sinter process. “I like the gentle surface, the low weight possibility and the precision of the technique.” Florian will graduate in 2015.

Shana Teugels – Shaped Kitsch
JEWELLERY DESIGNER
St. Lucas University College of Art & Design, BE, 2010
Shana uses polypropylene, resin, plastic beads, and glitter glue – a combination of cheap materials that came from an intense research on kitsch and resulted in experiments of endless shaping options.

Nelly Zagury – 2D To 3D Fantasy
HANDS-ON ART DIRECTOR
Ecole Supérieure des Arts Décoratifs of Strasbourg, FR, 2011
Nelly creates a mythological world, where jewellery is a relic of her fantasy, a hybrid object, which looks like a whip or a penis. She creates ornamental objects playing with symbolism of adornment.

Ejing Zhang – Tradition Encounters Interaction
TEXTILE DESIGNER
MA Royal College of Art, UK, 2013
Ejing made an abacus out of essential materials and tools – bobbins and paintbrushes.
Abacus was the calculating method taught everywhere in China when she was little. The thread winding, the plastic, and the wood all came from that abacus. She is interested in jewellery as something interacting with the body and not having limitations of being soft fabric.

Patricia Domingues – Reconstructed Material
JEWELLERY DESIGNER
MA Hochschule Trier, Fachrichtung Edelstein und Schmuck, Idar-Oberstein, DE, 2013
Reconstructed material is a massive block, without anything, any line, any detail, and any imperfection. It does not matter the angle you cut, it will always be the same. Whatever you make will only add something to this naked block.

He Jing – Readymade Liaison
JEWELLERY DESIGNER
Jewellery department at Gerrit Rietveld Academie, NL, 2013
Jing appreciates normal-looking, mass-produced things, because they are simple, durable, and functional. They are full of hints in details. She imagines the reasons why people made them and how people treat them. When she makes the work with ready-mades, she is ‘collaborating’ with them.

Wei Mao – Right Material
JEWELLERY DESIGNER
BA fashion Jewellery at London College of Fashion, UK, 2013
The work is based on dessert-making and cream-piping. Wei researched the material that is soft and fluid enough to go through a piping nozzle, while not being too soft or too fluid to keep the shape. She tried plaster, jesmonite, resin, silicone and etc., eventually found polymer clay material. It is also pure white, which makes it easy to get any colour palette.

Maiko Gubler – Experiments Within Hybrid Spaces
ART DIRECTOR/IMAGE-MAKER
Visual Communication at The Berlin University of the Arts, DE, 2000
Maiko is interested in printing technology and 3D modelling. She experiments within hybrid spaces and explores the intrinsic qualities of three-dimensional computer-aided imagery and objects. ”The intersection where things are lacking definition and have a sense of unease is what I’m interested in. I’d like to invite people to think about the obsolete real/digital distinctions differently and to expand their notion of spatiality and things.”

Boris de Beijer– Artefacts From The Far Future
DESIGNER & DJ
Jewellery department at Gerrit Rietveld Academie, NL, 2011
Boris deals with historic context of jewellery, rather than it’s contemporary relevance. “Jewellery pieces are not even meant to be worn by humans”. Invents his own material by combining and excessively experimenting with existing raw materials and found objects – mixture of different resins at the base for each piece. Due to its unpredictable and aggressive behaviour, the outcome of the raw bloc is always a surprise, always unique and therefore it is impossible to duplicate a piece. “It’s a lot like alchemy.”

Marina Stanimirovic – Juxtaposition Of Sculpture Or Design Object
JEWELLERY DESIGNER
Goldsmithing, Silversmithing, Metalwork & Jewellery department at Royal College of Art, UK, 2013
“Because even if you can’t wear it to go to work or go buy some food, the fact that it has been designed for the body, makes the piece the most intimate sculpture or design object.” Marina used Corian®, resin mixed with powder of stone, because when you touch it, it is a really cold and heavy material, but also really soft to carve: two antithetic notions.

Text featured in the magazine and on Matandme.

SHOW I – IV, COLLECTION #3

– Show I, Just What Is It, 28 Oct to 3 Dec 2016
Work by Trix and Robert Hausmann, Pieterjan Ginckels, Niek Hendrix, Design Displacement Group, Mischer-Traxler, Tina Roeder, Louie Rigano & Gil Muller, Mirka Laura Severa, Studio Swine, Oskar Zieta, Florian Ziller & Fatemeh Naderi, Jiri Pelcl, Martino Gamper, Deborah Bowman, Cyril Porchet, Os & Oss, Silo Studio, Nick van Woert, Robert Stadler
– Show II, This Is Today, 16 Dec to 18 February 2017
Work by Maiko Gubler, Jiri Pelcl, Martino Gamper, Jochen Holz, Stephanie Baechler, Tymek Borowski, Dimitri Bähler, Jonah Takagi, Soft Baroque, Jakub Berdych, Martin Chmarosta, Jörg Boner, Victoria Willmotte, PlueerSmitt, New Tendency, Lucas Maassen & Sons, Nick van Woert
– Show III, Domestic Appeal, 3 March to 22 April 2017
Work by Raw Color, Carle Emil Jacobsen, Bertille Laguet, Soft Baroque, James Shaw, Edgar Mosa, Andy and Dave, Florian Milker, Ferréol Babin, Tom Hancocks, Dimitri Bähler, Jochen Holz, Chen Chen & Kai Williams
– Show IV, Room With Its Own Rules, 4 May to 22 July 2017
Work by Ana Kraš, Ania Jaworska, Åsa Jungnelius, Buro Belén, Claudia Caviezel, Gun Gordillo, Hilda Hellström, Johanna Grawunder, Katie Stout, Kiki van Eijk, Lindsey Adelman, Liz Collins, Marlène Huissoud, Mimi Jung, Mira Nakashima, Pieke Bergmans, Sabine Marcelis, Sarah Zapata, Sigrid von Lintig, Studio Berg, and Zohra Opoku

By referencing the 1956 artwork by Richard Hamilton, “Just what is it that makes today’s homes so different, so appealing?”, all four exhibitions at Chamber gallery in New York explore groups of objects that are possibly as desirable now as the items featured prominently in Hamilton’s work were half a century ago, at the dawn of the modern consumer age.

“The request to make a choice of one hundred items for a gallery show is like collecting one hundred potential fragments for a collage.” – Matylda Krzykowski

Hamilton pasted images onto a page, and Krzykowski places objects in a space, creating a collage of contemporary works in real life. Many of the works on view center around colliding ideas of functional object and sculpture. Domestic sculptures, surrealist lights, abstract shapes, foldable structures, informative paintings, architectural templates, aesthetic games and beyond.

For each of the four exhibitions Matylda Krzykowski commissioned a visual artist to produce a collage: Sasa Stucin, Wang & Söderström, Koos Breen and Builders Club.

“Room With Its Own Rules” is an example of what is clearly not yet happening. It presents a parallel, post-patriarchal reality in which an all-female show is a normal phenomenon, rather than a specially planned “affirmative action.” – Matylda Krzykowski

Images
1) Frederike Berg, Ana Kraš and Gun Gordillo in Show IV, Room With Its Own Rules, image by David Brandon Geeting
2) Sabine Marchelis and Johanan Grawunder in Show IV, Room With Its Own Rules, image by David Brandon Geeting
3) Collage by Saša Štucin for Show IV, Room With Its Own Rules
4) Tom Hancocks, Edgar Mosa and Andy & Dave in Show III, Domestic Appeal
5) Bertille Laguet, Jochen Holz and Raw Color in Show III, Domestic Appeal
6) Collage by Wang & Söderstrom for Show III, Domestic Appeal
7) Jörg Boner, Florian Ziller & Fatemeh Naderi, Soft Baroque, Tymek Borowski, Victoria Willmotte, Maiko Gubler for Show II, This Is Today, image by Fran Parente
8) Martin Chramosta and Stéphanie Baechler for Show II, This Is Today, image by Fran Parente
9) Portrait for Yabu Pushelberg’s book ‘Drive’ by Dan McMahon, March 2017
10) Collage by Koos Breen for Show II, This Is Today
11) Exhibition View, Show I, This Is Today, image by Lauren Coleman
12) Mirka Laura Severa for Show I, This Is Today, image by Lauren Coleman

FORUM FOR AN ATTITUDE

Exhibition curated with Depot Basel for the Vitra Design Museum gallery, Exhibition photography art directed by Matylda Krzykowski, photographed by Tomas Soucek, Forums organised at Depot Basel

What is the ambition of designers today? Why did they become designers? What kind of social influence do they hope to achieve? What image of design is conveyed to society? And how can an attitude be expressed in design? The exhibition Forum for an Attitude (16.10.2015 – 14.02.2016) considers these questions and presents answers and positions on the topic. Through a presentation of the works, objects, texts and infographics, it analyzes what drives contemporary designers and how their attitude is reflected in their creative output. In addition to the exhibition at the Vitra Design Museum Gallery, five multi-day events will be held at Depot Basel on various focal themes.

The exhibition describes design as a versatile discipline. Works are shown by 24 contemporary designers who are just starting out on their professional career. The exhibition organizers wanted to know from them as well: What are the convictions that compel them to act as designers? What are the underlying motives behind their investigations and suggestions?

Five multi-day forums taking place from November to January at Depot Basel, each dedicated to a different topic, offer a platform for amicable, professional exchange among designers, non-designers, practitioners, thinkers and amateurs. The titles of the events are »Solidarity«, »Visibility«, »Intuition«, »Knowledge« and »Tools«. A small publication coming out in April 2016 will document the most important findings and highlights of the »Forum for an Attitude«.

The Vitra Design Museum presents the »Forum for an Attitude« in association with the major exhibition »The Bauhaus #itsalldesign« (26.09.2015 – 28.02.2016), which explores the Bauhaus concept of design – while also considering the influence of the Bauhaus on the work of contemporary designers and their own attitudes and understanding of design.

Depot Basel – a place for contemporary design was launched in June 2011 as an independent initiative and is now based in the St. Johann district of Basel. Today the organisation is directed by Matylda Krzykowski and Rebekka Kiesewetter with the regular support of partners and helpers, designers and non-designers. All participants share a belief in the importance and urgency of the theoretical and practical engagement with design and its presentation, mediation and promotion as a topic relevant to society.

DISPLAY

Display (14×20 CM, 143 PAGES) by Matylda Krzykowski
Content based on year-long research at Jan van Eyck Academie , designed and printed in intense 5 days with Kaspar Pyndt, Kaja Kusztra, Christophe Clarijs and Timo Demollin. Debut to Kaspar Pyndt’s typeface Dalat. Assistance by Charlotte van de Velde. RISO printed in an edition of 100 in the Charles Nypels Lab at the Jan van Eyck Academie.
Installation during Open Studios at Jan van Eyck Academie, card for installation by Anton Stuckardt

‘Matylda Krzykowski‘s work plays a role in integrating curating and exhibition-making within a larger discourse. With Display she explores how we design messages to the public in a collaborative mode. An extract of the project is compiled as a handbook, now serving as template for the designers and artists. It thus became a long-term exhibition format, a collaborative curatorial strategy, open to the public 7 days a week.’ Karin de Jong, PrintRoom

‘Display is a book that examines the notion of showing. It does so through contributed texts and images, presenting a wide variety of takes on the subject. The cover depicts the display-windows of Depot Basel in which the book launch would take place. In doing so, the cover displays the physical context in which the book is displayed creating a paradoxical ping-pong of references. While the initial and concluding pages of the book show full-bleed images of Depot Basel and its display systems, the main content is treated in a straight-forward way, dividing text- and image-contributions into separate sections.’ Kaspar Pyndt

Display handbook holds contributions by: Anna Bak, Bill Balaskas, Alexandra Bertels, Josh Bitelli, Isabelle Born, Gregor Brändli, Christophe Clarijs, Marta Colon, Klara Czerniewska, Timo Demollin, Workshop for Potential Design, EMYL, Tal Erez, The Farm, Studio Glithero, Veronika Gombert, Carl Haase, Rodrigo Hernandez, Maria Jeglinska, Kaja Kusztra, Moritz Lehner, Cedar Lewisohn, Bárbara Maçães, Agata Nowotny, Study O Portable, Stefan Pabst, Juan Palencia, Pedro Portellano, Kasper Pyndt, Ronja Römmelt, Vera Sacchetti, Alessandro Schiattarella, Michael Schoner, Theda Schoppe, Speedism, Jasio Stefanski, TEOK, Andrew Thrope, Basil Thüring, Bik van der Pol, Andres Wanner, Anna-Lena Werner.

Extract of the Interview with Artfridge:

Anna-Lena Werner: You showed a spatial installation during the Jan van Eyck Open Studios. Were strategies of communication involved in the one year that you spent in Maastricht?
Matylda: I am interested in the model of theatre, especially in contemporary theatre, such as the productions that Kaserne Basel presents. What strikes me is that there is a whole production led by one director and as a visitor you are being served. No description boards, no exhibition text, no curatorial speech, no images. Since I did a lot of research in choreography, theatre and exhibition making during my time at the Jan van Eyck, my work hasn’t been very visible. I mostly created databases that I saved on my laptop. Until the final exhibition my studio was empty, as I wanted to use the time to think for myself without feeling the need to communicate all I am doing. And then at the end you are supposed to make your work visible.

Anna-Lena Werner: What was the concept of the installation?
Matylda: It was about the display. An installation as a display of a display of a display. I wanted to alter the perception of the space that has been my clean and empty studio for one year.

Anna-Lena Werner: So that the act of presentation becomes the content of presentation?
Matylda: You could say that. I wanted to break the white cube mode in my studio and instead create a presentation that would bring methods of display together – domestic, cultural and commercial displays. The material comprised plinths, flagpoles, a flip chart and a laundry rack. I also borrowed a facial home solarium panel from Ron Bernstein’s workshop – once you switch it on it makes a sound like an egg-timer. Next to the auditive and the visual aspect, there was also smell: I used old cardboard from Charles Nyples the print lab to generate the smell of an archive. And I got these see-through plastic strips that you use for doors, in order to generate the smell of a factory. As the space is quite small, I wanted to construct a density, building a model of displays, both real and artificial.

Anna-Lena Werner: Although you say that you wanted to break the white cube, it still looks really clean and neat. How do you evaluate the role of visual aestheticism?
Matylda: Let’s say, I wanted to construct a spatial installation, a dense room. There is a language in my work that is certainly aesthetic, but I am not justifying the content of the work to reach that goal.

DESIGN DATE

What kind of partner are you looking for? Working in design means constantly looking for opportunities that come through others. A designer seeks a producer, a curator hunts for a designer, a production company searches for a designer and vice versa. We all look for collaborators to define and anchor our creative ambitions. How can a compliment or adulation manipulate us to make a final decision to work with someone? And how do our ego and expectations deal with the impact and results of such actions?

By applying a critical twist to the entertaining and humorous format, Matylda Krzykowski wants to reflect how to charm and being charmed can be an active part of our professional lives.

Read the story of Design Date 

‘Thanks to their network, Design Date – a spin off of a romantic television show put into a professional context- will be playfully moderated by Matylda Krzykowski. Each round, three participants will try to make a match with a mystery guest, a collector, museum curator or another influencer.’ Quote from the program of The Joy of Collecting

Previous editions:

– At V&A Museum in context of London Design Festival, 18 Sept 2014, with Brent Dzekciorius, Jana Scholze, Jacopo SarziLoris & LiviaStudio SwineOskar Wanless & Attua Aparicio Hilda Hellström Marjan van Aubel, Clea Irving, Reinier Bosch & Carolina Wilcke
– At TV Clerici during Salone del Mobile organised by Design Academy Eindhoven, 4 – 7 April 2017, with Ilse Crawford, Marcus Fairs, Job Smeets, Jurgen Bey and students of the DAE
– The Joy of Collecting organised by Current Obsession, 11 Nov 2017, with Gabrielle Kennedy, Marjan Unger, Jules van den Langenberg, Marjanne van Helvert, Hendrik-Jan Grievink, Martijn van Ooststroom and Alice Wong

Upcoming editions:

– At Designmarch, 15 March 2018
– At Soho House Berlin, 11 April 2018

Images:

1. Jacopo Sarzi, Loris & Livia, Azusa Murakami (Studio Swine), Jana Scholze and Matylda Krzykowski
2. Martijn van Ooststroom, Jules van den LangenbergMarjanne van Helvert and Matylda Krzykowski
3. Logo Design ‘Design Date’ by Sepus Noordmans

CRAFT & BLING BLING – FAKE

Curated by Depot Basel and Current Obsession in the context of Depot Basel’s ongoing exhibition series ‘CRAFT &…’. Commissioned work by Adam GrinovichBarbara SchrobenhauserEdgar MosaFlorian MilkerFlorian WeichsbergerHe JingJulia WalterKevin HughesMallory Weston, Philipp Eberle, Rainer Kaasik-Aaslav and Sophie Hanagarth. Additionally work by Manfred Nisslmüller, Suska Mackert, Johanna Dahm and Cloe Floirat. The exhibition was featured in the #3 FAKE issue of Current Obsession with photographs by by Thomas Albdorf. Exhibition photography by Gregor Brändli.

DEPOT BASEL

Depot Basel was founded in June 2011 on the initiative of designers and curators Laura Pregger and Matylda Krzykowski, process designer Moritz Walther and economist Elias Schäfer. In 2012 design journalist Rebekka Kiesewetter joined the organisation. Their common interest lies in a theoretical and practical approach to the subject of design and its presentation, mediation and promotion.

Depot Basel endeavours to remain independent and work prospectively, to appoint and process current themes with the ability to reach an audience of interested parties, professionals and people from different fields and encourage a mutual exchange between them. Since its foundation – and with the temporary and permanent support of partners and backers, designers and non-designers – Depot Basel has evolved into a centre and agency in the contemporary design discourse.

Website Depot Basel
Website Online Depot

SPRECHZIMMER

Sprechzimmer is an evening during which a specific matter is discussed. Each edition of Sprechzimmer is dedicated to a theme and asks each guest to bring something to contribute to the conversation. Sprechzimmer thrives on the engagement of all guests.

The participatory format is curated by Matylda Krzykowski, organised by Jeanette Apitz and hosted by Chaja Lang & Anna Bolte.


Previous editions:
Bring A Book, Gallery BolteLang, 30 Nov 2017
To Make Somebody A Present, Gallery BolteLang, 25 Jan 2018

ACHILLE IS WATCHING US

A self-initiated exhibition, an assortment of stories and memories, by Matylda Krzykowski and Marco Gabriele Lorusso.
Graphic design by Boy Vereecken and Marthe Prins.

‘With Achille is Watching Us, we would like to shift the attention to another side of design that is sometimes forgotten: feelings. Objects have a value if we attach feelings to them; everyone is living in this world of colorful and playful objects, but only a few are able to surpass the limits of time and become memories. In a way, we could say that someone is looking over the shoulders of these ‘blessed’ ones to make sure they become great guardians of our time – people that inspire the minds of the creators and the designers of the precious objects that we introduce into our little world. Someone like Achille Castiglioni, for example.

He is one of the true geniuses of the design world, having designed beautiful artifacts that are still nowadays of a great value. As not so many may know, Castiglioni had a passion for collecting objects, particularly glasses. If you happen to have the opportunity to go and visit his studio, you can still find two big closets full of these ‘memorabilia’, little souvenirs that he collected during his travels and loved to show to friends to make them laugh. Castiglioni was the sort of man who would be sat in a meeting and, all of a sudden, would turn his face around to reveal that he was wearing a pair of springy eyeball glasses, astonishing his clients not only with his capacity for designing great products, but also with his playful nature.

This is the kind of attitude we like, and the kind of attitude we would like to underline: the particular penchant for little objects and the emotions that they can convey’.

Alissia Melka-Teichroew (US); Bcxsy (NL); Bless (FR/DE); Charlotte Dumoncel d’Argence (FR); Chris Kabel (NL); Danny Venlet (BE); Formafantasma (IT); Henny van Nistelrooy (UK); Jens Praet (BE); Jo Meesters (NL); Julien Carretero (FR); Kaspar Hamacher (BE); Laurence Humier (BE); Lee Broom (UK); Maarten de Ceulaer (BE); Mark Braun (DE); Nacho Carbonell (E); Niek Pulles (NL); Oscar Diaz (E); Oskar Zieta (PL); Osko + Deichmann (DE); Paul Loebach (US); Polka (AT); Peter Marigold (UK); Philippe Malouin (UK); Simon Heijdens (UK); Sylvain Willenz (BE); Tina Roeder (DE); Valentin Loellmann (DE); Xavier Lust (BE)

Via Laghetto 9
20122 Milan
Italy

More here or here.

BORSTE & HORN

Designed for Passionswege, Vienna Design Week, 2012
Made by Norbert Meier, Bürsten- und Pinselerzeugung & Thomas Petz, Petz Hornmanufaktur

‘Two manufacturers at once are involved in this Passionswege project and both work in crafts that scarcely exist anymore. The brush manufacturer Norbert Meier is one of the last to possess a master craftsman’s diploma in this trade. The young Thomas Petz on the other hand is the last Viennese producer of horn ware. He is just 26 years old and took over the factory from his grandfather; combs, jewellery, egg spoons and many other objects made of horn form part of the production programme.

The artist with the pleasure of applying her talents to both operations is the Polish-born curator, designer and scenographer Matylda Krzykowski, who now lives in Maastricht. She is an expert not only for products but for telling stories as well; she has designed not only a small collection of objects bringing together the materials of horn and bristles, but contextualises them historically: namely, the two manufacturers had already worked together generations ago to produce the designs of Carl Auböck, then as now a highly esteemed designer from the early second half of the twentieth century. A small exhibition on (disappearing) materiality, on Before and Now, shown in a charming brushmakers’ workshop.’

Text by Tina Thiel

Winner Wallpaper Award Best Finished Objects 2013

DADDY WOULD BE PROUD

Extraordinary wood carvings can be found when you visit native Polish markets. Some of the most interesting are carved in the Beskids, a series of mountain ranges in South Poland. The wood carvers from there take their wares to the market, where they present their objects. My Father is from this region. My Mother has always said that he is a true ‘Goral’, a boy from the mountains. Influenced by these crafts from the country of my origin, I interpreted my own woodworking skill into a series of small objects using pear tree wood.

Daddy would be proud, 2011
Wooden objects

SAGEL AND KRZYKOWSKI

Sagel & Krzykowski is a professional collaboration between Bureau Matylda Krzykowski and still-life photographer Christoph Sagel. Since 2012 they work on self-initiated and commissioned projects that they stage and photograph together.

Website Sagel & Krzykowski Core 77 Food Award 2013
CI of Sagel & Krzykowski by Matylda Krzykowski

They Both Endure Time, look-alikes, self-initiated

Personal Content, Clemence Seilles for Craft & Scenography, Depot Basel

Personal Content, Emilie Pallard & Rachel Griffin for Craft & Scenography, Depot Basel

MATANDME

The internet gets blamed for a lot of things. One is the uncontrolled copy and paste of original content. That then turns into an explosion of suddenly free content whose reception is then shaped by the attitudes and the social network of the duplicator. Paradoxically, it is my believe that in such age the value of originality increases.

MATANDME is an independent host of experiences and encounters, conducted by Matylda Krzykowski. It aims to build a monumentum on current issues around design, visual arts and their creators that often fall through the cracks of the pressroom floor.

All images and text is composed by Matylda Krzykowski and are courtesty of MATANDME.

matandme.com
facebook.com/matandme

Since 2012 redesigned by Christoph Knoth

CLASH PROJECT

Initiator and curator of the Clash Project, a project where people from various disciplines produce work for the catwalk. Fashion By Non-Fashion Designers, 5 Years of Clash, 2009–2015

50 A4 sheets of paper hang on the wall in my bureau, all nicely lined up and separated in five lines of ten. On each of them you find a name of one of the Clash participants and the title they choose for t their outfit, such as: “questioning the established’, “Foamboy” or “Don’t hide your pride”. The wall is a helpful reminder of 5 years of Clash Projects for Fashionclash. Some might think you enter a room that belongs to someone who has a liking for international names and abstract titles. But it is a representation to what the fashion world is announcing as “Monstres de Mode” or “Fetishism in Fashion.”

It has been almost 6 years since the conversations between Branko PopovicNawie KuiperLaurens Hamacher and myself. They had the courage to pull an event off that became their full-time job and their life. One that obviously has the potential to shape the career of others.

Looking back there are always issues, frustrations and unfortunately budget problems. But at the end everyone we ask to be involved had a choice. In fact there are many who wanted to get hold of an opportunity like that. In 2009 I wanted that too. I was a product design student who longed for an opportunity to initiate a project. Again, Fashionclash had the courage to give that possibility to me. The consequence was that the Clash Project was born. It is a direct reference to the Fashionclash attitude, blurring all lines between art, design, knowledge and experiment. All aspects brought together to a project that asks non-fashion designers to make a wearable piece of work, preferably made from the material they use in their profession.

In 5 years we worked with Severafrahm, Christoph SagelLonneke van de Palen and Muller3000 who have photographed the outfits. The people we asked for a contribution are international non-fashion designers like Hermine van Dijck and Britt Helbig from Belgium, llot llov and Christoph Knoth from Germany, Natalia Kacpar Mleczak and Tymek Jezierski from Poland, Fabia Zindel from Switzerland, Loris & Livia from London and many Dutch professionals like La BolleurAgata KarolinaDik ScheepersInge DevorNiek Pulles and Tanja Ritterbex.

The results are unexpected, experimental bodysuits that are different in colour, shape and material. None of the 50 outfits look alike. They are a reference of each participants work, each telling a story and showing a very personal intake in their way of working in an unacquainted fashion context.

By Matylda Krzykowski for the 5 year publication of Fashionclash, June 2013

Image by Peter Stigter

DRAWN INTERVIEW

The concept of asking a designer 3 questions with their answers submitted as brief sketches first emerged back in 2007, when I was a student. I have been collecting them ever since. Establishing the blog MATANDME could maybe be viewed as a naive approach: a playground I am able to manipulate. I photograph objects, projects, places and exhibitions, but my main interest are people. 

For many years now, I have been asking designers, artists, architects and cultural contributors from all walks of life to (1) draw themselves (2) draw their favourite objects, and to (2) describe themselves. Once I evolved from my early student days to someone who took charge of her own professional identity, my ‘Drawn Interviews’ also shape what I do. In the future I would like for the ‘Drawn Interviews’ to be collated into a book and an exhibition.’

Image by Jeremy Liebman exhibition view Wonder Cabinets of Europe ICFF, New York, 2013
Drawn Interview no. 100 with Martino Gamper

About

Matylda Krzykowski is a curator, designer, art director, scenographer, advisor and educator focusing on collaborative and performative projects in physical and digital space. Krzykowski’s work is introspective, as it explores and experiments with the inner mechanisms of design, art and architecture. As such, her projects dissect the design process to its different stages – from material and personal origins, to methodologies and education; from network and politics to social projections, and the spectrum in between.

With a strong perspective on transdisciplinarity as discipline of communication, her work within these questions explores not only content but also form, for which interdisciplinary and artistic links are made. Among others, her tools of exploration have included choreography, reportage, TV game shows, theater and innovative and experimental formats that range between exhibitions, workshops, interventions and talks.

Krzykowski is frequently invited to chair juries in the cultural field. Her work has been internationally presented and she has given numerous lectures and workshops worldwide.

She is founding member and artistic director of Depot Basel place for contemporary design, Switzerland, and is a former participant of the Jan van Eyck Academy. Since October 2017 Matylda Krzykowski is international guest professor in the Industrial Design Department of the Muthesius University of Fine Arts and Design. Her seminars rank from Methods & Formats to Multiversum and Parallax.

In Fall 2018 Matylda Krzykowski joined the faculty of The School of Arts Institute Chicago in the Department of Architecture, Interior Architecture and Designed Objects. Appointed the Mitchell Visiting Professor she contributes with her experimental practice and project-based learning strategies, to an interdisciplinary community of artists and designers.

Together with Vera Sacchetti she founded Foreign Legion, a globally active curatorial practice.

Tal Erez, 2018

 

‘We’re joined by this belief that design shapes the way we live, that it’s the reason we walk through doors and corridors with purpose.’
Source: Interview for Interview Magazine by Grace Banks

 

‘Many of the most influential design curators are female: notably Paola Antonelli at the Museum of Modern Art and Beatrice Galillee at the Metropolitan Museum in New York,  Zoë Ryan of the Art institute in Chicago; Catherine ince at the Victoria & Albert Museum in London; Matylda Krzykowski in Berlin; and Cecilia León de la Barra in Mexico City.’
Source: Design as an Attitude by Alice Rawsthorn 

 

‘Who do you look up to?” “Mary Poppins. She appears when she is needed; she surprises and moves on once she’s done.’
Source: Interview for We are the Future by Ashley Hefnawy

 

‘If you would found an organisation dealing with design today what would you do differently? – I would propose a union of disciplines, herald the end of ‘design’, stress the importance of the irrational and call for an approach and attitude, which would synthesise topics like ‘home, family, money, health, work, youth etc.’.
Source: Interview No Space Is A Good Place by Nadine Botha

 

‘I work in contemporary design, with or for the creators. I am a maker, in general. I find it very pleasurable to initiate a context for others and to analyse each participant and his or her contribution. I am an exhibition maker, a communicator, and an initiator.’
Source: DAMn, Designs On Curating by Sven Ehman

 

 

Clients & Partners

Institutional

Archiv der Avantgarden, Die Angewandte Wien, Design Museum London, Jan Van Eyck Academy, Holon Design Museum, Kunstgewerbemuseum Dresden, London Design Festival, Marres Maastricht, Vitra Design Museum, Van Abbemuseum Eindhoven, Victoria & Albert Museum,  Z33 Hasselt

Educational

Bezalel Academy of Art & Design Jersusalem, Brno Design Biennale, Cranbrook Academy of Art, Columbia University Graduate School of Architecture, Design Academy Eindhoven, Domus Academy Milan, FHNW Basel, Graphic Design Arnhem, HKB Bern, Institut Kunst Basel, Kingston University London, Maastricht Academy of Fine Arts & Design, Muthesius University Kiel, School of Visual Arts New York, Parallel School Lausanne, Pratt Institute, The School of Art Institute Chicago, University of Illinois Chicago, The University of New South Wales Faculty of Art and Design Sydney, Virginia Commonwealth University

Others

Adidas, Base Milano, Bonjour Baby, Chamber Gallery, C-Mine Designcentrum, Current Obsession, Design Indaba, Design Platform Limburg, Fashionclash, Female Design Council, Frame Magazine, Futu Magazine, Gallery Bolte Lang, Gothe Institut Chicago, Istanbul Design Biennale, Jerusalem Design Week, Kompetenzzentrum der Kultur- und Kreativwirtschaft des Bundes, Lodz Design Festival, Migros Engagement, Muto Heimatgastronomie, Pecha Kucha, PIN-UP, Stimulieringsfonds, Salone del Mobile, Soho House Berlin, Soho House Istanbul, TL Magazine, UBS Art Forum, Uncube, Vienna Design Week, Vitra

Jurys  & Nominations 

Dutch Design Award (2011 – 2016), Interieur Awards / Kortrijk Biennale (2014), Outstanding Artist Award (2016),  Limburg Design Icons (2016), Beazley Designs of the Year (Since 2018), Villa Noailles Design Competition (2018), Frame Awards (2019), Design Prize Milan (2019)

Awards 
Nomination ‘Animator’ Designalive Awards (2012), Cultural Advancement Award Stadt Basel / Depot Basel (2013), Nomination Core 77 Food Award / Sagel & Krzykowski (2013), Wallpaper Magazine Award – Best Finished Object (2013), Swiss Federal Design Award for ‘Design Mediation’ / Depot Basel (2013), Alexander Clavel Kulturpreis / Depot Basel (2015), Swiss Federal Design Award for ‘Design Mediation’ / Online Depot (2017)

 

Landing page photography, portrait of Matylda Krzykowski, by Katrin Greiling