At long, long last, I was finally given the opportunity to write a profile of one of my all-time favorite designers: Thibault Brevet. He Skyped with me fromÂ his Berlin studio, and I was excited to know more about what drives him and what he’s up to next. The result is up on Interwoven, Kvadrat’s amazing online magazine edited by Anniina Koivu, and is brilliantly illustrated by photographs taken by Katrin Greiling. A link to the piece here, and an excerpt below:
No matter the size of his projects, be they self-initiated or commissioned, Brevet adapts, questions, takes apart and reconstructs. His thinking is representative of a new kind of designer, one less concerned with patents and copyright than with open processes and knowledge sharing. â€œMost projects Iâ€™ve done are born out of Google searches,â€ he points out. â€œEvery project is this huge list of questions that you have to figure out: how do I mill this? How do I export that? The more material there is online the easier it is.â€ This reasoning works both ways: the same way he learns from others, from the â€œguy who already did it in a similar wayâ€ to the â€œlittle piece of code that inspires youâ€, Brevet documents and publishes the results online, both at in-progress stage and when finalised; others can build on his process and his thinking, or analyse it and draw inspiration and ideas from it. In the end, â€œthe finished product is a crystallisation of a learning process,â€ he says. â€œThe fact that youâ€™re becoming an expert in something is the work. Mastering a skill is the project in itself.â€
A detail of one of the modular appliances developed by the Hacking Households group. Photo Hacking Households
I was happy to write about the Internet of Things and the future of smart home appliances in Disegno no. 7, with a piece focusing on the work of designers Thibault Brevet, Jesse Howard and their combined efforts alongsideÂ the Hacking Households group at BIO 50. The project was one of my favorites within the biennial, and can be fully explored here.
A view of the “Towards a New Avant-Garde” debate and installation. Photo Philippe Declerck /DEVspace
“Towards a New Avant-Garde”, the three-part conversation series I lead withÂ SuperscriptÂ during the opening weekend of the 14th International Architecture Exhibitionâ€” La Biennale di Venezia, brought together 40 talented young architects, writers, critics, to debate issues of identity, collaboration, and economics. Over the course of three 90-minute conversations, several key themes emerged, including the need of architects to engage the public directly, the importance of evolving new forms of communication and criticism, and the value of capitalizing on opportunities to be proactive. A recap of the discussion’sÂ main topics can be read at ArchDaily.Â The eventÂ was also coveredÂ on DezeenÂ andÂ Domusweb, among others.
Produced by Superscript withÂ Catharine Rossi and Rossella Ferorelli, the conversations took place within Â the main Monditalia exhibition at the Corderie dellâ€™Arsenale. The live-edited installation, designed by Brussels-based architecture firm DEVspaceÂ and French-Swiss interaction designer Thibault BrevetÂ with students from Baselâ€™s Hyperwerk Institute, featured 18 Arduino-powered Â open-source printers and standard marker pens. Provocations from the organizers, participantÂ names and quotes, as well as contributions from online followers using the hashtag Â #stayradical became part of dynamic backdrop that emerged over the course of each conversation.
The project was made possible through generous assistance from Hyperwerk InstituteÂ (KevinÂ Renz, Gabriel Meisel, Gabriel Kiefer, Fabian Ritzi, Ivo Ludwig, David Safranek, MatthiasÂ Maurer), and contributions by Amelie Klein, Niku Alex Mucaj, Becky Quintal, Elian Stefa,Â Fabrizia Vecchione, and Malte Ziegler. The project is supported by theÂ Swiss Arts Council ProÂ Helvetia and WallonieBruxelles International (Belgium).