Mid summer Review

The Future is Growing Now at Boisbuchet

A Mid Summer Review

“Pose the best questions, verify answers and find out how we should deal with ourselves and with society” was the assignment given to designers, architects, and artists invited to tutor practical and multidisciplinary workshops at Domaine de Boisbuchet's creative camp in 2017. It is now halfway through the season – reason enough to take a look at the harvest so far and see what has been planted for the future.

Dutch designer Petra Blaisse prepared the ground in late June. Her workshop installed a straight line of fluorescent stone chunks cutting through the landscape from one end of the Domaine to the other, providing a sculptural scale that placed nature, architecture and people in relation to each other. A week later, artist Joost Conijn arrived from Holland with his self-made prop airliner – a spectacular introduction to a workshop that challenged participants to “take risks” that climaxed in the performance of a suspense-packed chain reaction.

Faithful to its long tradition, Boisbuchet's program embraces the richness of topics as well as that of people, from all over the world: French designer Pierre Favresse, for example, used the synthetic carpets of Swedish producer Bolon to nurture them into the third dimension for experimental interior designs. US designer Christopher Schanck directed a labroratory for esthetic mixes of natural and artificial materials, and Peter Mabeo of Botswana challenged his participants to create tools for survival in his home country's Okavango delta.

Equally comprehensive is the scope of disciplines that Boisbuchet's season has covered so far. In his workshop, New York based dancer and choreographer Jonah Bokaer developed a concise version of Henry Purcell's opera Dido and Aeneas, which included stage design and costumes as well as acting. Then the Block Research Group of ETH Zurich reversed gravity with helium-filled balloons for their team's form finding regarding architectural domes, Franziska Kessler from Switzerland together with Sebastian Bergne of the UK tutored a workshop on “Balance” that combined design with yoga, and Italian food designer Francesca Sarti invited her group to prepare innovative drinks served in a festive performance at the end of the week.

Workshop "Unidentified Funicular Objects" by Block Research Group. Video by Daniela Velasco

Briefed by the Design Museum of Lausanne (MUDAC), UK based studio Glithero tutored a 10-day workshop, where students supported by technicians from the Corning Museum of Glass and French ceramist Hadrien Venat created ceramic and glass vessels with which to experience perfume. The great finale of this “Ol-Factory” was a simultaneous mix of theatre performance, laboratory tour and exhibition. French artist Mathias Kiss, in contrast, invited his participants to inform interior decoration by nature's materials, shapes and colours while the maestro himself by the end of the week left a trompe l'oeil on Boisbuchet's lake: a floating island made of gold.

It is now high season at Domaine Boisbuchet, asteriked by some unique characters of contemporary design: Last week the workshops of Frenchman Ferréol Babin and Sabine Marcelis from New Zealand were brimming of energy and produced a rich harvest with dozens of realized projects. Presently critical designers Anthony Dunne and Fiona Raby challenge their team to “designing time”, and more highlights are to come for the late summer, such as process developers mischer'traxler, the multi-talented Bertjan Pot, Julia Lohmann animating natural matter, film-makers Bêka & Lemoine, Dominic Wilcox, who invites local children to brief the participants, Timur Ersen realising clay architecture, and Lina Ghotmeh, who is going to build a greenhouse. They all invite you to “get your hands dirty and make the future grow”. Note: some shovels are still available!

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