When nature inspires…

 
 INTO THE WILLE
 

Into the wild !


04.2016

2016 invites us to reconnect with untamed nature, as analysed by François Bernard, trend-spotter for the Salon Maison & Objet design show in Paris.

 

Why are we still talking about nature
and why explore the “wild” theme François Bernard: Following Descartes, the modern world wanted to organise and
exploit nature, believing man was its master. Nature owed us everything and we owed it nothing. That has now changed, today we're asking: Will the impact of human activities on the ecosystem mean the end of our species? We're discovering our responsibility: we owe humans and non-humans rights and duties. As a result, nature presents more than ever as symbolising vitality, and “wildness”, as in “untamed”, is seen as the driving force of that vital energy.

How do you explain this fascination

 

with wildness?
Domestication has become the doctrine of a hyper-technological world; this ideology standardises living beings. For the first time in the history of creation, one species – man – is taking control of its evolution. We've moved from the idea of taming nature to one of the emergence through biotechnologies of a being separate from nature. Given a world that is dematerialising and a being artificially augmented, the term “wild” becomes synonymous with “natural”. It embodies the life force, chance and the rejection of cultural norms.

 

Is there a specific “wild” vocabulary of form and colour?
We're seeing forms that are indistinct or unfinished and colours in ranges of yellow, green, greeny blue, khaki, earthy brown, rust, charcoal and burned. Textures are important, notably as a means of expressing time warps; “streaky” effects too are popular, for example in the revival of wall fabrics; and long cotton or wool hair replaces fur.

 

Can you give us some examples of products?
Il Labotorio dell’Imperfetto's Olmo bench resembling a burnt tree trunk springs to mind, and the rock seats in Fredrikson Stallard's Species collection. Materials such as fibreglass are being crafted to reproduce primitive forms. The ceramics in Olivier Van Herpt's Adaptive Manufacturing collection are interesting too; they're produced using a 3D printer programmed to “sense” random influences from its surroundings. That fascination for the undefined is beautifully expressed in the rugs that Helmut Lang has designed for Henzel Studio. Then there are the herbariums that Maarten Kolk and Guus Kusters's studio has developed for Thomas Eyck, which illustrate a form of neonaturalism. And I find very inspiring Swiss photographer Charles Fréger's series of people in costumes derived from European shamanic folklore. There's a poetry of magical thought and symbolism, as found in e15's Bigfoot table with its pseudo-hieroglyphic drawings
on the underside of the solid wood top.