Friday, May 7, 2010

Designer of the Month: Tord Boontje

Tord Boontje, Midsummer Light, 2004. Courtesy of the MoMA Store.

May, with spring in the air and flowers making a major comeback in the warmer weather, seemed to me like the perfect month for the Dutch-born, London-based industrial designer Tord Boontje (1968- ) to be Designer of the Month. As Martina Margetts, author of Boontje's monograph, states, "Boontje is for beauty with purpose, for making everyday life better through the practice of design: he is a William Morris for our times, taking a local message and practice and transforming it for global mass consumption."[1] Boontje's ability to create objects that are at once decorative, functional and beautiful has turned him into a designer who is having his moment - you can't turn a corner without running into something he's designed - and that's certainly alright with me. Even though I love Isamu Noguchi and had a really fun time talking about his work during the month of April, I thought it might be nice to go in a completely different direction this month and focus on a designer who is all about decoration, ornament and color, all of which describe Boontje's work perfectly.

Tord Boontje. Courtesy of the Design Museum of London.

Now, some people might also accuse me of choosing Boontje as May's Designer of the Month because I've been longing to buy the monograph documenting the last 10 years of his work (1996-2006), which was published by Rizzoli in 2006, for a while now. To those people I say, well, you're probably right, as this does give me the perfect excuse, but it also works out for all of you out there who are going get the benefit of this latest addition to my library. Boontje's work runs the gamut from limited-edition pieces to designs for mass-consumption, and this month, we're going to be looking at a little bit of all of it, focusing on his furniture and tableware in week 2, lighting designs and textiles in week 3 and finishing up in with installations in week 4.

[1] Martina Margetts, "Introduction," from Tord Boontje (New York: Rizzoli, 2006), 23.

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