Conversation Pieces, an apartment designed entirely by students, gets its name from the English term centrepieces, the decorative arrangements dating back to the Renaissance that are placed on ceremonial tables to generate a conversational topic for guests. Beyond its functional utility, could design also be used for debate?
In an apartment called Conversation Pieces, the design of spaces, products and objects from entire living spaces to furniture, from embroidered napkins to video games, from interactive wallpaper to ceramic centrepieces shows that materials, shapes and concepts can change the relations between people and invite them to converse, for example.
As its name suggests, Conversation Piecesis an exhibition which not only presents and exhibits the contextualized work of students in a theoretical controlled contemporary apartment, but also hosts a thematic evening dinner organized by Alexandra Midal and Jean-Pierre Greff, leading figures in the design world, students and a guest selected at random each day. Gathered around a large table, the rotating Masters of Ceremonies (Nicolas Nova, Martino Gamper and Åbäke, Yves Mirande and Ruedi Baur) discussed an important design issue with their hosts, dissected it, examined it and debated it over dinner. The event was filmed and broadcast the next day on the website of our media partner, TAR, the art magazine.
“What reasons are used by designers to make objects talk? Is it a question of simulating or defining an independent line of sensations? Looking beyond simple anthropomorphism, doesn’t design endowed with emotions take over?” – Alexandra Midal, Director of the HEAD-Geneva Master in Design