Who’d have thought it? Bright orange and tasty raspberry suddenly weave delicate bonds with apple green and other surreal splashes of colour. Among the Trends 2020 ‘artistical + diverse’ is a creative melting pot of designs spanning the spectrum between poetic and ironic. Craft, art and digital technology are closely intertwined. Ceramic art is especially well suited to freestyling at the interface between all three, producing great experiments with glazes and paste stones. Porcelain is unconventionally printed and painted, with faces a common feature – whether sculpted, or as Picasso-style line drawings. These shapes, colours and joyous details turn living spaces into an optimistic collage. Let us tempt you with the art of happy!
With a dada twist
Bauhaus expert Johannes Itten once said that giving an object colour is like breathing life into it. The ‘artistical + diverse’ trend certainly supports that idea, with objects inspired by modern art. Take this unusual crystal glass object, whose lively colours converge in a circle of energy. It is surrounded by a deep yellow halo, with pulsing waves of orange and red. Many of the extrovert glass vases on display are free-form and mouth-blown, created using special techniques to give milky colours and sculptural effects, as if on canvas. The nature of the object itself showcases the beauty of the provocative and plays a major role in these small-scale production runs – often designed to a strict brief. Heads and faces are used to catch the eye, seemingly snapped in mid-artistic process, like an unfinished sketch.
A series of fine glass platters by Belgian manufacturer Ethnicraft pay homage to early abstract art with their circles and semicircles, divisions and repetitions, and are finished using the technique of reverse glass painting. Perhaps the best description of the vibrant 2020 trend world is ‘Bauhaus meets the persistent irrationality of Dada’.
Natural materials such as rattan and bamboo have long provided inspiration for greater sustainability. They were originally prized for their refined flexibility, which made them favourites for natural, elegant design. The possibilities of local materials are explored in the Indian ‘Opium’ ceiling light and its stand-mounted companion pieces, which are made from bamboo and reflect a very loose interpretation of their historic predecessors. ‘artistical + diverse’ is one of the least complicated Trends 2020 at Ambiente, and encompasses everything which is woven, bent, knotted and combined anew – in other words, it demonstrates the natural chaos of growth. That certainly explains the prevalence of beautiful bowls woven according to local traditions.
We also sense an inherent lust for life, found for example in the seating by Brazilian designer Humberto da Mata. Hand-woven and sewn foam and cotton stripes combine to form a woven seat like endless plaited tresses. This comfortable bench is certainly not shy and retiring, and comes in an unusual mix of bright orange and blood red. Nor does the pink ceiling lamp shun the limelight. Its ingenious linear structure showcases the material perfectly: papier mâché! And talking of intertwining: The incredibly fine items of jewellery also show how this key trend turns squarely away from convention. Designers are experimenting with stones and pearls, seeking unique pieces and a new aesthetic.
What happens if you take a perfectly turned clay vessel and drop it on the floor while it’s still soft? No, this isn’t a joke – it’s done intentionally before firing. Traces of the impact remain for all to see and make these pieces truly unique. ‘Controlled chance’ is a technique that channels the random element and can be seen in contemporary action art. Is it art or is it design? A question which the Ambiente Trends 2020 are asking here more than ever. The boundaries are skilfully blurred, as is clear from our examples. Ceramics here are unconventionally glazed, cut, exposed and shaped. Stoneware combines with porcelain to produce thin-walled, poetically inspired vessels which appear to have emerged out of fine sand on the beach. They are unselfconsciously calming. Ceramic cups with impasto paint demonstrate their strength of character.
If you want something playful, you’ll certainly find it here. Fresh animal motifs frolic across plates with exotic birds and a Japanese tea service decorated with rabbits. Porcelain plates from a French manufacturer, printed with delicate blue, reflect our lives, telling tales of both the everyday and the unexpected. These can easily be combined, mix and match, either at your table or in a wall display. It’s a trend which confirms that not everything needs to fit together perfectly – the main thing is to achieve a refreshing mixture and showcase your artistic inspiration.