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Tradition with a Twist

For immediate release: 12 July 2013

Tradition with a Twist

International design exhibition opens at The Dowse, 24 August

Jeesus Furniture Armchair 2006: Image, Johan Olin

Everyday objects are imbued with new qualities in a design exhibition featuring 60 works by 45 European and American designers. New Olds: Design Between Tradition and Innovation, an exhibition by the Institute for Foreign Cultural Relations, Stuttgart (ifa), opening at The Dowse on 24 August, presents household objects with a quirky 21st century twist. The exhibition is curated by German architect and designer, Volker Albus, who will be in New Zealand for the show’s opening.

“I don’t want to be nostalgic with this exhibition. Yes, some of these pieces are very experimental – they show how you should leave all borders behind and think very open, by looking forward as well as looking back. The fact that many of these works are innovative and may not be a commercial success is very important for me.” Volker Albus

New Olds investigates concepts of the ‘new’ and the ‘old’ and questions the increasingly global and complex nature of contemporary design, the reinvention of design classics and traditional ways of using new materials.

In an interview in the Melbourne Review in January this year, Albus described good design as all about the important balance between function, configuration, material, stability and the price at the end of the process. While there are many pieces in New Olds that will bring a flash of recognition or a wry smile at conventions being challenged, the curator wants visitors to understand that, like a couture fashion exhibition, not all pieces have to be practical or indeed, bound for the showroom.

New Olds is a touring exhibition brought to New Zealand by the Goethe Institut. It has previously been exhibited in Israel, India and Australia. As well as the exhibition at The Dowse, an important element of the show is its blog:

Volker Albus studied architecture at RWTH Aachen University in Germany from 1968 to 1976 and then started working as a freelance architect. Since 1982, he has been working as a freelance architect, designer, curator and writer, having published several books. In 1994, Albus became a professor for product design at the University for Design in Karlsruhe. In 2001, his lamp Downlight was awarded the Baden-Württemberg International Design Award. Volker Albus lives and works in Frankfurt and Karlsruhe. His passion for soccer saw a design for cleaning shoes - a football brush called Kick & Brush.

New Olds: Design Between Tradition and
24 August – 22 September 2013
The Dowse Art Museum | FREE ENTRY


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