Superficial design

23.01.2017 Haptic Illusion : Het Nieuwe Instituut​ : The Things And The Materials
True Colours Vases by Lex Pott 2016 at Designing the Surface, Rotterdam. Photography by Taisuke Koyama
True Colours Vases by Lex Pott 2016 at Designing the Surface, Rotterdam. Photography by Taisuke Koyama
Coral, Technological Exaptation, 2016 by Maxime Guyon at Designing the Surface, Rotterdam
Coral, Technological Exaptation, 2016 by Maxime Guyon at Designing the Surface, Rotterdam
Ceramic Bric Bench by Chris Kabel 2016 at Designing the Surface, Rotterdam. Photography by Taisuke Koyama Ceramic Bric Bench by Chris Kabel 2016 at Designing the Surface, Rotterdam. Photography by Taisuke Koyama

Rotterdam – A new exhibition examines the role of exterior textures and finishes in design.

Designing the Surface, which opens on 26 January 2017, is divided into five categories – Patina, Lustre, Faux, Agency and Teflon – that highlight types of man-made and naturally occurring surface finishes, and examine their cultural significance.

‘We are especially interested in the coatings used to achieve a certain effect; the finishing layer intended to cover something or make it more beautiful or attractive,’ says Koehorst. ‘You can use it to seduce, but also to disguise.’

The Faux section explores how notions of authenticity have evolved over time, and highlights the value of mimicry as an art form, as craftsmen historically sought to imitate marble and rare tropical wood finishes on regular pine and poplar panels.

The Big Picture

Product designers are drawing attention to the surface of objects to challenge cultural norms and arouse consumers’ curiosity. Read our Haptic Illusion design direction to find out more.

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